In this article, we’re going to look at the top 3 Indian club exercises for better balance, and how to train it in a playful way.
Balance, like coordination, is the basis of any skillful movement. And since Indian clubs are rooted in Martial Arts (as in training warriors for battle, Mars being the Roman god of war), it might make sense to look at balance as a decisive skill for victory and survival.
In today’s world, avoiding falling over and breaking a bone is a big deal for many people.
We used Indian clubs in a 6 week study for Parkinson’s patients, and they all had amazing results with their balance with only 10 minutes of training a day. You can get an overview of the Parkinson’s study here.
The take away is that the better your balance is in a controlled environment, the more likely you’ll be able to maintain it in an uncontrolled, unpredictable environment.
Like with every topic, there are ways to train balance that are more effective than others. So if until now, you’ve been using unstable surface or standing still on one leg to improve balance, you’re missing out on better ways to achieve this…
Top 3 Indian club exercises for better balance
The idea in the top 3 Indian club exercises shown below is to add layers of complexity to common swings, so that we address balance in the form of play.
As you swing Indian clubs, you create a long lever that moves your center of gravity all over the place. As long as the center of gravity is within the base of support, all is well…
The swings by themselves create perturbations, which challenge your body stability and balance to some degree. But depending on the type of swings you’re doing, the weight of the clubs and the stance or footwork involved, this perturbation effect can go from slight to quite dramatic!
What keeps you in balance?
Your eyes, ears and feet constantly communicate information to your brain to take appropriate measures and keep you in balance. To some level, your midsection allows you to control your body’s position as well.
How to stimulate the vestibular system to improve balance
It’s quite simple, really.
You can play with the variables mentioned above: eyes, ears and feet. Follow the clubs with your eyes, turn your head from side to side, and change your base of support. They are all simple things that you can do when performing Indian club exercises for better balance.
Dr. Gary Gray, is known as the “Father of Function” and is a leading pioneer and authority on rehabilitation and training.
He has been encouraging movement specialists for decades that balance should be “studied in motion, not in stillness.”
He goes on to say that “static balance is not functional balance. Being able to stand on one foot without any appreciable motion will not improve a patient’s balance during functional activities. The Principle of Motion tells all movement specialists to study, test, and train balance with three-dimensional movements. Balance is the ability to reach our hand(s) somewhere in three-dimensional space, and then return to a stable posture. “
Check out how all those tips are put to use in the video below.
In the next article I’ll cover more strategies to help you challenge your balance with Indian clubs.
If you have really poor balance, or are recovering from a stroke, the exercises in this article might be inappropriate. Get our Parkinson’s program instead.
Also, as good as the Indian club swinging is, you won’t suddenly be able to walk a tightrope or slackline without putting time into that specific activity.