I actually used my balance skills in a real way last Sunday while kayaking. We had paused to apply sunscreen and grab a snack on the steep bank of Fish Creek in the Adirondack Mountains. I got out of the boat just fine but when returning I needed to balance as I crawled from the bow to the seat. The half-foot thick mud would not look good on my shoes or in my boat so I used my inner balance to make the 4-foot stretch to the seat. My husband was kind enough to remind me of my swiss ball skills and I focused my mind in the same way. Yes, I made it without any falls or muddy parts!
These swiss ball skills are truly not for the odd times that I need to crawl over my kayak. They are for the 180 steps I take each minute while I am running. Yes, running requires balance. The better balance you have the more efficient you will be as a runner.
So here is how I do it. After my post run exercises (see last post for those gems), I roll my ball to the center of the room.
1) Don't be afraid! You will only fall a foot or so and you will know when it is happening. When you fall, just roll with the motion.
2) As you are bringing your hands and knees to the ball, find a focal point about 2 feet in front of you to focus on. use your abdominal muscles as that is where balance strength lies.
3) Calm yourself and say "I can do it. I can do it."
4) Keep trying for about 5 minutes.
5) Practice balancing on the ball each day for only 5 minutes each. Your neuromuscular system will build pathways to improve your balance. After a few weeks, you will see great improvement.
7) Try challenging yourself with lifting one knee and straightening the leg while on the ball. After you have reached that level go on to only kneeling on the ball. Add a twist while kneeling to get yourself to the highest level!