Exercise of the Week: Barefoot Balance Towel Drill
Balance is a huge component of many different sports skills. Without it, you wouldn't be able to accurately throw a pass, shoot a puck or shed a defender. It's sometimes perceived as a natural talent, but in fact, you can radically improve your balance with training techniques.
Want a great way to improve your balance? Use exercises that involve instability, because they employ stabilizer muscles, which are essential for balance. They also stimulate the neuromuscular pathways that relay balance feedback to the brain, which then sends it to the muscles so the body can remain steady.
Todd Durkin, Fitness Quest 10 owner, uses the Barefoot Balance Towel Drill to improve the balance of New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees. This single-leg drill places you on an Airex pad, which causes your ankle and leg muscles to work harder to overcome the instability. When you swing the towel, you add further instability to the movement, activating your legs and core to help keep you from falling over.
- Balance on one leg with bare foot on Airex pad and towel in opposite hand
- Stabilize with leg, then explosively slap towel down onto another pad held by partner
- Repeat for specified reps
- Repeat with opposite leg and arm
Sets/Reps: 2x10-15 each leg