Coach Liz"Constantly work on improving your balance, because the coordination you gain is crucial to inline skating."

Liz Miller

Good balance means coordination and agility when it really counts, and the ability to sustain the long glides of technically proficient stroking. That may seem obvious, but what many people don’t realize is that balance continues to improve over your lifetime based on what your body experiences. The more you stimulate the little balance mechanisms in your inner ears, the more your balance improves. Sport-specific work is great, but you can be improving your balance a little bit every day without much extra time or effort.



This entry-level balance work is fun and easy. During your leisure hours (you won’t be truly balanced if you don’t have at least some free time!) begin incorporating these one-foot balancing acts into your daily lifestyle.

Don’t forget to practice on both feet, or even spend more time on your “bad” foot. A full minute is a good goal to shoot for. If that's too easy, put a pillow between your foot and the floor.

Tree PoseEither barefoot or in supportive shoes, stand on one foot while you:

Also consider buying a large exercise ball to sit on while working at your computer. This helps you build core strength and balance at the same time.

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Use your own creativity to expand on the beginner balance moves above and increase the challenge with more difficult variations. While skating, see how far you can coast on one foot, extending the other skate ahead, to the side or behind you.

Use the following two balance poses to begin your current Yoga routine. (I also like to do these in front of the TV, between sets at the gym, or during a quick outdoors break at my day job.) These poses require concentration and strength as well as balance. Do them barefoot on a hard floor with your gaze fixed on a stationary mark. For more challenge, do them on a plush carpet or on a wobble board (see below). If you’re looking for less challenge, face a nearby wall and reach for it.

Start each pose as tall and erect as possible with weight equally balanced over both feet. (This is called Mountain Pose.) Try to hold the pose for 30 seconds or more on each side.

Dancer PoseDancer’s Pose (Natarajasana)

Warrior 3 poseWarrior 3 Pose (Virbhadrasana 3)

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From the ORBIT archives, learn how balance works by reading Understanding Balance.

Surf the web for articles, aids and training tips to improve balance. For example:

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