In the previous article I showed you 3 exercises about how to train balance with Indian clubs, and laid out the variables you can play with.
This time, we are going to look at more Indian club exercises to improve your balance.
As mentioned in the last article, challenging your balance is as simple as playing with eye and head movement, and stance while moving your arms.
Balance is the ability to reach our hand(s) somewhere in three-dimensional space, and then return to a stable posture.If you do not like this definition, go and argue with the movement specialists from the Gray Institute.
If you have some weight training experience, you know there is a direct relation ship between stance and stability. The more you reduce your base of support, the harder it becomes to maintain your balance, and the less weight you can move.
I am not suggesting you should only train balance from now on, and neglect strength training or swinging heavy clubs. You can do a few balance exercises in your warm up or cool down, or on your recovery days.
Change your normal swinging stance by assuming a narrow stance, or even a split stance before you attempt to stand on 1 foot. See how it goes.
Similarly, standing on tippy toes provides a great challenge. If your knees can take it, try the deep knee bends as demonstrated in the video below with both heavy and light clubs.
Locomotion simply means moving from place to place. Your stance shifts with every step.
If you have limited training space, lunges are a great option.
Lunging backward offers more stability as 1 foot is static and remains flat on the ground, providing good stability. Lunging forward is more tricky, as you go from a flat foot to forefoot until you position the other leg on the ground.
You can really challenge your balance depending on what type of swing you perform. Swings where the clubs stay close to the body or move in the same plane as the lunges are easiest.
If you can squat and do heart shaped swings at the same time, you can easily figure the timing for lunges.
Heel to toe walking
Heel to toe walking is commonly used in physiotherapy to train balance. We’re going to swing Indian clubs at the same time.
The trick when doing inner and outer heart shaped swings in front of the body while walking (and moving in general) is to avoid whacking your knees. It comes down to timing. I recommend you to first practice with the Pahlavandle since they are soft!
Make sure to walk real slow to challenge your balance!
Give walking backward a go too.
When you want more of a challenge, do parallel heart shaped swings instead. Both clubs going in the same direction create a different pull that is harder to resist.
Swing your clubs as you walk on uneven terrain, uphill, downhill, side to the hill. Walk on a sandy beach. Try blind folded. You get the idea.
In most real life situations, the surfaces are stable but the actual weight you may have to move might be unstable (ex: an unconscious person).
To keep it short, you do not need unstable surfaces to challenge your balance, but it sure is fun. Come to think of it, I have even swung Indian clubs while inline skating!
If you have wobble boards and what not, great, use them!
And since we filmed the video below, we’ve inspired a few people to give stand up Pahlavanding a go!
Simple options to unstable surfaces
Training and improving your balance on steady ground works. The simpler it is, the more you likely to do it on a regular basis too. But sometimes, new props are just what the doctor ordered!
Throw a few bricks in your driveway and avoid touching the ground, as if playing ”the earth is lava” while swinging your clubs.
Or place one (or a few) 2*4s on the ground and use that as a makeshift balance beam, and perform the heel to toe walk. Balance beams had their place in classical physical education for a good reason! They provide fantastic opportunities to challenge body awareness, the vestibular system, and core stability.
I am lucky to have playgrounds nearby where I live that provide me with fun ways of how to train balance with Indian clubs.
Use what you have, be creative, and happy training!