How to do an upright balance:
- Raise the leg backwards passing through a rear toe point
- Ensure both legs are straight and turned out
- Keep hips level and not rotated to assist the lifting of the leg
- Body must be upright (keep your nose over the toes of your supporting foot)
- Ensure the lifting and lowering of the leg is completed with control
- Maximum leg lift is 90 degrees – parallel to floor – to protect the spine.
Tips for practicing upright balance
You need strength in your upper back and flexibility in both your hamstring and hip flexor. The hamstring and hip flexor work together – if one is too tight, the other isn’t able to contract and vice versa.
Safe stretch and strength exercises include hamstring stretches and hip flexor stretch (conventional stretches for the splits are perfect for this). Most people lack strength in the upper body, so back strengthening exercises are important. (See below)
To check the accuracy of your position, use a mirror or work with a partner and photograph each other.
Back Strengthening – engage the entire core
- lie on your tummy, arms extended
- inhale and lift your chest, right arm and left leg as high as you can – hold for 3
- lower and exhale
- repeat opposite
- do this 3 times
- keep feet on the floor inhale and lift both arms together – hold for 3
- exhale and lower
- inhale and lift feet – hold for 3
- exhale and lower feet
- repeat lifting and lower arms and feet 3 times
- as you improve try lifting arms and legs at the same time.