The Grounded Tightrope Walk

“In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking on a tightrope”. (Henri Matisse)      http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/tightrope.html

 A Balance-Improving Exercise from Point ‘A’ to Point ‘B’:

  1. “Place your right heel directly in front of your left toes, forming a straight line.  Next, step your left heel in front of your right toes.  Continue to place your back foot ahead of your front foot until you reach your destination.  This exercise challenges your balance by creating a narrow base of support.
  2. Want an extra challenge?  Close your eyes for five seconds after every third foot placement.  Make sure to engage your abs first so you don’t fall over”. 

 Quoted from: Stealth Workout by Kathleen Trotter (http://www.kathleentrotter.com/),  Globe and Mail, January 7, 2013.

Footballers at the Barre

Image

Football and ballet? 

There are more similarities to the footwork than you would think.  Both activities use the same muscle groups and require similar skills.  They even share some of the same injuries.

 What can football players gain by practicing ballet?

  • Flexibility – to avoid tackles and make catches
  • Speed and Agility – to recover speed after changing direction or spinning to avoid a tackle
  • Strength – to increase muscle without bulk, especially important for kickers and other offensive players
  • Balance – to land on their feet after leaping for a catch and to stay on their feet during a tackle
  • Mental Focus – to follow complex plays, track the position of the ball in the air and make decisions on the fly.
  • Endurance – to strengthen their heart and circulatory systems enabling intense muscular work with less tiring.

http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/ballet-football-1747.html

 

For a testimony on a 320-pounder who straps on the slippers, check out:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/22954120/steve-mclendon-ballet-is-harder-than-anything-else-i-do

 

Picture source:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=football+players+doing+ballet&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=UMhuUveVDM-QyQHJhoDIDA&ved=0CC8QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=566