Butt, Belly & Mid Back for Better Balance

balance exercise technique published article safe movement Sep 15, 2023

Linda, a client in her late 50s was so excited to find she could now easily stand on one leg. Big deal? Definitely!

As we age, balance can become a big issue. A single fall, even a minor one, can be the catalyst for declining health, mobility, and quality of life. So, it’s no surprise there’s a focus on leg strength exercises as you get older.

There’s plenty available - exercises online, handouts and flyers with prescribed exercises from your local health professional, community classes and articles like this one. While these all help in some way, what is largely missing is education. To improve balance, it's’ more than just providing people with leg strength and single leg balance exercises. It’s about teaching them how they can better work their bodies – showing them what it looks like and feels like to use the muscles in their butt, belly and mid back to instantly improve their balance and self-confidence.

So how do you do that? It’s really very simple! 

  1. Stand up with your feet straight and hip-width apart.
  2. Keep your chin and chest up to activate your mid back muscles and keep you upright.
  3. Now shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right knee. Use the back of a chair for support if you need to but take care to keep your hand light. (Remember to keep the knee on your standing left leg soft- refer last month’s article on soft knees).
  4. Now draw your belly into your spine, tilting your hips slightly under. Notice how your lifted knee raises up just a little higher and some of the weight comes off your standing leg. 
  5. Now contract or squeeze the muscles in the butt cheek of your standing left leg. Notice how your right knee lifts even further and drives your hips forward, taking the weight off your standing leg and your lower back, and bracing your balance.

This exercise made a huge impact on Linda. It was more than the fact she could now balance confidently. Linda also attends a boxfit class and had always been quite “loose” in her body with poor control and power. She wanted to add another class to her exercise regime so decided on SuperCue. This is a class specifically designed for older adults. Within a few sessions I noticed how much better she looked and moved, and when I saw her in the boxfit class again, I could hardly believe the difference. Her moves were so much more compact and powerful. Her body had “pulled in” to better support her frame. It was so rewarding to see. By practising this balance exercise, she has learned how to better activate the muscles in her belly, butt and mid back and this is changing the way she looks and moves in everything she does.

If you’re keen to find out more, check out our website www.supercue.nz . You can purchase our Discover You programme with its tutorials and choreographed workouts for just $39 and start your journey to better balance today.

As published in Seasons Magazine - September 2022

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