Balancing on a rail.
Ok it will not make you better at handstands since balancing does not transfer this way, but it will considerably improve the stability of your landings, it will strengthen your feet’s intrinsic muscles giving you the touch of a black panther.
It will also help you coordinate and reorganize all your body segments in faster and more efficient ways if you are about to fall in other daily practices and activities. And much more. I will post some more reflections later on, but now it’s time to get practical.
So let’s get started - Flat, weak, jelly feet? NO MORE!
My idea here is to give some quantitative ideas and circuits to practice as first timers or as intermediates. We will jump into something more qualitative while looking at more advanced variations of rail balancing.
First timers - Circuit 1
A1. Forward walk x 50 steps
A2. Backward walk x 50 steps
A3. Side position isometric holds + 10 breaths standing + 10 breaths half squat + 10 breaths full squat
A4. One leg front position kicks x 25/25 (start with little kicks)
Try and complete A1-A4 in one go without coming down. Done this, rest a couple of minutes, shake it out and get back on that rail.
A5. Quarter turn walk x 5/5 steps
A6. Low rail forward precision jumps (adjust to your training level – focus on the quality of the landings) x 25 reps
A7. Kong into side position – hold 3 sec at top position x 10 reps
A8. Step vault into side position - hold 3 sec at top position x 5/5 reps
Perform A5-A8 in the least amount of time possible.
Go from A1-A8 x 2-4 total sets - drink some water in between.
This work will not exhaust you since it is made of a lot of small neuromuscular refinements, I suggest high frequency training. Minimum 4-6 times x week for at least a 3-4 weeks period to start getting some good results. Don’t underestimate rail balancing, something great can grow out of this.
Some more notes and details to partially care about if you never ever balanced on a rail:
- Your forefoot is the most intelligent part of the foot, don’t take your ankle joint out of the equation by pressing onto your heel.
- Shift the weight from one foot to the other and don’t step forward going from 100% of the weight on your back foot into 100% of the front foot - go gradual.
- Keep your feet facing forward while walking forward. Do it.
- And look at the bar or you’ll never know where it will end!
- Wear minimalistic footwear or you will take away some great training food from your feet.
Note: If you are practicing balance as a form of active form of meditation, don’t focus on the progressions. Just do it and enjoy it - for a very unique and particular experience try to stand on it for > 30 mins.
Music in video - Barbatuques: Do Mangue a Mangá.
If you have any questions feel free to write to me.
Soon the intermediate and the advanced variations on this topic,