Subtle Activation for Better Balance

Try THIS if You're Wobbly on 1 Foot

By Coach E

We live in a “more is better” culture – more money, bigger houses, more stuff, faster cars…

Even since I was a kid, I’ve always thought the faster cars / max horsepower thing was rather silly since we have speed limits.

But in marketing, whatever sells!

The problem is that more isn’t always better and if we don’t question this cultural conditioning, we can get caught up applying this mindset where it doesn’t belong.

In fitness, the idea of subtlety is often lost, because we’re taught to chase more weight, more reps, bigger muscles and even deeper tans!…

When it comes to execution of movement, I’ve seen many-a-video and heard many-a-coach say things like, “Squeeze your abs as tight as you can!” when doing simple exercises that might require at most 20-30% of maximum strength.

While there is a time and place for doing this, it isn’t something to do all the time.

And while I’ve understood the concept of using the proper level of activation for the task so as to prevent the creation of inefficient activation patterns, the thing is, I’ve done the same thing in my own attempts to improve my 1-leg balance.

So I’m not preaching from the pulpit – I’m right here learning along with you.

That’s why when I realized this regarding my problem with balance on my right leg, it was truly an “a-ha” moment.

I’ve been practicing this for just a couple weeks now, but I thought I’d share because the improvements I’ve made in those couple of weeks is far greater than any of my previous attempts at rectifying this issue.

About the Author

Eric Wong (aka Coach E) is the founder of Precision Movement and has a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. He's been a coach since 2005 and spent his early career training combat athletes including multiple UFC fighters and professional boxers. He now dedicates himself to helping active people eliminate pain and improve mobility. He lives in Toronto (Go Leafs Go!) with his wife and two kids and drinks black coffee at work and IPAs at play. Click here to learn more about Eric.