Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
As a fitness instructor I promised an occasional blog that would focus on a specific fitness tip. In this blog we’ll see a simple floor exercise that will improve your static balance. It also strengthens & tones all our core muscles. It’s called the Bird Dog.
Most of us don’t even think about our balance until we find ourselves about to fall. As we get older though, that seems to happen more frequently. Sometime around age 50, our bodies begin to lose their strength and muscle mass. This is just one of many elements that can affect balance. It is, however, one that we can work on improving.
I’m always encouraged to see so many older adults at my health club. They seem to know that the only way to beat this aging loss of strength is to get your muscles stronger. We need to become friends with our dumbbells!
Of course we don’t need weights to make our muscles stronger. We can use our own muscles to work against gravity. Just think of the strength gains we get from doing a simple push-up! The BirdDog works on the same principal and also challenges our balance in the process.
Here’s how it’s done….
. Get down on hands/knees (like a dog) with arms directly under head/shoulders; knees under hips
. Engage the core muscles. Imagine pulling your belly button back toward your spine.
. Extend your opposite arm/leg. This will challenge the balance in the hip you are kneeling on.
. Pull your chest UP. Pull your chin UP. Most importantly, pull that hip you’re kneeling on UP toward the ceiling. Don’t let your hip fall to the side. Activate your hip strength to pull it straight up.
. Hold for a count of 10 or longer. The longer you can hold it, the more you work your static balance.
. Do the same action on the other side of your body with the opposite arm/leg.
. Start with 10 reps total: that’s 5 reps on each side.
I have a balance deficit because of my TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). Yet I was able to show my class how to do a Bird Dog properly. Because I have practiced the exercise over & over again, my balance IS slightly better. I know with certainty that my hips and core muscles are stronger!
With enough practice, we can teach our bodies to do anything!
You can do all this things through Him who gives you strength. (Philippians 4:13)
Try praying while doing the Bird Dog, or any exercise!
With God, all things are possible!
Thank you for giving us healthy bodies. I know You want us strong to be able to do the work You have planned for us. I also know You built our bodies to balance. Please let us to build our hip & core strength AND our balance through repeated practice of the BirdDog.
After clicking, please read through past blogs and find more about my books & fitness tips!
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