Lockdown Training Tip #2: First learn to stand, then learn fly
There is so much we can learn from the film Karate Kid, but for today’s training tip I want to focus on balance. A much-overlooked aspect of running.
When we run, we only ever have one foot on the ground at a time. It’s the fundamental aspect that differentiates running from walking, and means that any given run includes many, many repetitions of impact and balance on one foot. So, when we include drills and exercises in our weekly plan, putting some focus on single-leg balance, coordination and strength pays dividends as we increase mileage.
So, why not trying building some of these into your weekly schedule:
Stand on one leg and bounce a tennis ball off a wall in front of you and catch it again in the same hand. The small movements needed to catch the ball each time work balance and proprioception.
One-legged squats are tough, but an essential tool for runner’s strength. Try squatting down into a sofa or armchair to start with as this will give you some bounce back to standing.
An arabesque is the one where you stand on one leg (slightly bent at the knee) and lean forward with straight arms like superman whilst lifting you other leg out straight behind you. Great for your hips as well as balance – plus you get to look like a superhero.
If you have a skipping rope, dusting it off and taking it for a spin will give you a cardio workout as well as develop balance, if you can alternate between left and right single-leg landings.
Finally, a good old single leg calf raise will also help with balance (if you can avoid holding on to a wall) as well as build up calf strength.
Got your own favourite single-leg exercises? Share them in the comments below!