Strong Core for Balance

A strong core, the muscles around your waist and spine, is key to develop a good sense of balance. Sure, some say that balance is affected by the inner ear, but years of training experience lead me to believe or trust in the core. I believe that if your lower body starts to wiggle, your mind is locked in uncertainty causing you to look down and lose balance. If however, your core muscles were strong, your lower body would be locked in and not cause the upper body or your mind to become distracted.

What happens below the waist should not affect the rest of the body above the waist.

Riding a bicycle is the No.1 option to learn balance on 2-wheels, failing that, the method below will, first of all, determine your balance abilities and also help develop a strong core in order to improve a good sense of balance. This will, therefore, speed up the process of and improve your ability to ride a scooter or motorcycle more effectively.

You'll need:

  1. A willing participant
  2. Broomstick of approx. 80-100cm long

Step 1

  1. Stand with both feet facing forward, parallel and shoulder width apart.
  2. With both arms stretched out shoulder height, and forward, hold the stick in both hands.
  3. Now turn your head 90-deg to the left, and turn your upper body (torso) along with your arms to the left, following your head.
  4. Then turn your head all the way to the right, then turn your upper body (torso) along with your arms to the right, following your head.

Repeat this at least 5 to 6 times in order to learn the process of first turning the head and then the torso, keeping your arms shoulder height, stretched out in front of you while holding the stick and feet kept facing forward. The lower body or legs and feet should not move, only the upper body with the arms should twist left and right.

Step 2

  1. Stand with both feet facing forward, parallel and shoulder width apart.
  2. With both arms stretched out shoulder height, and forward, hold the stick in both hands.
  3. Bring the right foot up and tuck it in behind the left knee, standing on one foot.
  4. Now turn your head 90-deg to the left, and turn your upper body (torso) along with your arms to the left, following your head.
  5. Then turn your head all the way to the right, then turn your upper body (torso) along with your arms to the right, following your head.

Step 3

  1. Stand with both feet facing forward, parallel and shoulder width apart.
  2. With both arms stretched out shoulder height, and forward, hold the stick in both hands.
  3. Bring the left foot up and tuck it in behind the right knee, standing on one foot.
  4. Now turn your head 90-deg to the left, and turn your upper body (torso) along with your arms to the left, following your head.
  5. Then turn your head all the way to the right, then turn your upper body (torso) along with your arms to the right, following your head.

You will lose balance initially but within a few attempts, you should be able to do Steps 2 and 3 without losing balance or dropping your foot down.

If you keep on dropping your foot (left or right) then you have a weak core or sense of balance and will not be able to balance or operate a motorcycle effectively. To improve your balance, repeat this exercise until you can successfully balance on one leg, practising 10 minutes a day for 7 days.

Other exercises like “Planking” can and will increase core strength and with that a good sense of balance.

Don’t give up – You can do this!