Slacklining is a fantastic sport that integrates core strength and balance coupled with laser sharp concentration. Slacklining benefits you on a primal level. It requires holistic attention from your body and mind.It challenges your neuro-musculo-skeletal system like no other exercise out there! If you aren’t connecting to your breath, feet, and core…prepare to meet the floor. Have fun and be safe!
So how do you begin? First, go barefoot. Then, when you’re first on the line, lean back slightly so that as soon as you step forward, you don’t commit until you fully shift your weight onto the ball of your lead foot. Look to a fixed point at the end of the line, keeping your upper body still and your knees bent. Lead with the hips, not the shoulders.
One of the coolest slacklining benefits occurs when you stand up on one foot. Balancing on your foot becomes the focus. This concentration requires you to find the perfect weight distribution for that moment in time. The leg becomes a lightning rod. From the connection to the slackline you root and rebound upward. Another slacklining benefit is connecting lines of energy. It sounds like an abstract concept but when you connect to different points and centers in the body you learn how to stand tall, fully connected to your core.
Scientific Studies on Slacklining Benefits:
In 2010, the International Journal of Sports Medicine published a paper (Granacher et. al, 2010) investigating the effect of slackline training for balance and strength promotion. While the study found no direct evidence that slacklining made strength training more effective, it did find that slacklining increased the rate of development of a muscular contraction. In other words, the given strength tasks were able to be performed faster by participants involved in slackline training.
A study published in 2011 (Hüfner et. al, 2011) found that slacklining led to an increase in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for navigation and memory. While nobody pretends to understand the exact workings of the human brain, this study is backed up by numerous others that show that exercise and complex movement is good for the brain and helps with learning.
The final study that we will discuss here was conducted in Switzerland (Keller, 2011) and found that participants in slackline training improved communication between sensors and the spinal cord, resulting in better postural control. This may come as a surprise to some, who may have seen many a slackliner with a hunched back and terrible posture, but keep in mind that most slackliners today were originally (and probably still consider themselves primarily) climbers, a group notorious for over-development of certain muscles and ignorance of others, resulting in terrible posture.
About the Vide0:
In this video, Dr. Jeremy Brook, a Los Angeles Holistic Chiropractor ( www.spinechecker.com ), shares one of his balance training methods for peak conditioning….slacklining. If you desire to get the most from your holistic fitness training program add exercises that “hit” the “total body.”
Watch the Slacklining Benefits video here:
Beyond Slacklining Benefits: The Indo-Board!!!
For more advance balance training, watch the video where Dr. Jeremy Brook balances on his Indo-Board while weight training!
Dr. Jeremy Brook is a Doctor of Chiropractic who provides care for the communities of Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Venice, Brentwood, Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, and other surrounding areas.
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