exercise ball stability vs. ski stability?

7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #16904 by 1xsculler
I saw on youtube
where the paddletofitness guy states that balancing on an exercise ball helps in learning to stabilize on a ski.
Of you guys and gals who are at the point where you almost never even think about stabilizing your elite ski anymore; how many of you can sit on and balance on an exercise ball without having to catch yourself for a number of minutes or maybe even indefinitely?
Have any of you found that learning to balance on an exercise ball really is beneficial for improving one's balance on a tippy ski? It sounds like a good idea but will it really speed the learning curve up or is time in the bucket the only way?
Have any of you accelerated you stability skills on a ski by using a ball?

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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7 years 1 month ago #16905 by Physio
I cant balance on one without one other point of contact.
I def believe there is some benefit, i occasionally do a drill were i sit on the ball with my feet on a stool/chair at similar height and do trunk rot or paddle stroke with broom handle, can also tie a light bungee from each end/hand to a point in front.
My stability over the last yr is hugely better, ive also been paddling constantly 3/week

The training that has made the most difference to my balance has been doing our training in the harbor at night.
This week we had about 3-4 ft swell/wind chop hitting from 45 deg behind and were doing 2 min sprints, by the forth effort i was starting to feel when the boat was in an accelerating position and when it was about to get swamped and could manage the full 2mins without any brace type strokes and the same back into the waves, nothing gets your heart rate up like getting smacked in the chest by a wave you cant see.

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7 years 1 month ago #16908 by Kayaker Greg
I've said it before and others seem to disagree, but in my case core strength has delivered more stability than a couple of years of paddling skis. I've never had a problem with balance, actually always had very good balance and I don't believe my balance is any worse than when I was younger. With it being what I call my off season period and my focus on off water strength training and core exercises I've been doing, my stability has increased noticeably over the past six weeks. I've been out in my least stable ski my SES a couple of times in conditions I would have struggled in not so long ago and been quite comfortable.
A swiss ball will work your core strength if done correctly.

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7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #16909 by 1xsculler
My core strength, or lack thereof, is what limits my paddling sessions which are only up to thirty minutes at this time. Towards the end of my 1/2 hour I struggle with my core to keep it all together because when your core goes, stability goes with it. I'm not overweight and am generally very fit for a guy my age. I started this sport to tighten my core to reduce lower back injuries while rowing and have now completely abandoned rowing because I'm finding paddling so much more challenging and interesting to say nothing about the 6-pack abs I'm developing for the first time in my life.
Since I paddle a couple of times most every day I can't imagine adding additional core exercises except, maybe practicing balancing on a Swiss Ball.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #16914 by Goldcoastkiwi
I'm a firm believer in using a balance ball, its the best $25 you can spend. I used to struggle to stay up for a few seconds unsupported, but only weeks later I can sit on it watching TV , and actually mimic a paddling stroke while doing it.
I think not only does it help physically, but also it trains you to let your subconscicous do the balancing for you, and that means out on my ski i just no longer think about staying upright.
And it's good for a laugh watching cocky friends fall off the ball thinking it would be easy....that's priceless!

Skis past and present : New Epic V10 Ultra, Fenn Swordfish Carbon,
Stellar S2E Excel double, PRS 570 , V8 Club, V10 Sport Club,Stellar S2E Advantage double, Epic V10 Sport Performance, Think EVO II, Fenn Swordfish Vac Glass, Fenn LS, new model Stellar S2E double, Fenn Bluefin S Carbon Hybrid

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7 years 1 month ago #16916 by CyberSki
Ok GCK and KG - I would ask if you inflate the exercise ball alot to make it firmer and do you sit on it with feet in the air or on another ball? Also these things come in different sizes so is a larger one better for this type of skill training?

Thanks.

Fenn Swordfish and Epic Midwing.

Past skis include Stellar SR and SEL, KC Zeplin, Think EVO, and in-between version of Epic V8 Ultra. Jantex Gamma is my sword of pain..though my elbow may force me to a smaller blade now. :-(

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7 years 1 month ago #16917 by Goldcoastkiwi
I use a large one ,(75 cm I think) with my feet in the air , out in front of me as if you are sitting in a ski.to make it easier for a start you can have it slightly softer, and maybe use it on carpet or a mat...this tends to dampen the movement a little, but the harder the better and on a hard surface makes it much more lively.

Skis past and present : New Epic V10 Ultra, Fenn Swordfish Carbon,
Stellar S2E Excel double, PRS 570 , V8 Club, V10 Sport Club,Stellar S2E Advantage double, Epic V10 Sport Performance, Think EVO II, Fenn Swordfish Vac Glass, Fenn LS, new model Stellar S2E double, Fenn Bluefin S Carbon Hybrid

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7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #16923 by Kocho
I just tried it for a first time, pretty much, and, with one additional point of contact, say my feet next to each other on the floor, extended forward, it is easy. With both feet off the floor, mostly extended forward, it is tougher - on thin carpet, I managed maybe 10 seconds, but I feel now how it works. I guess, I would need to hone the balance better, so I can do it without leaning back - my stomach muscles get tired before I lose balance as I am leaning back...

God exercise though. I will try to do it more often.

There is another simple device that native folks in Greenland use - a board with oval feet that wobbles from side to side. That is very similar to a kayak and the instability can be dialed-in by making the "feet" taller and with a sharper bend...

Edit: on a separate note, the guy in the video above must have really short legs - when seated on the largest balls they sell here, my knees are higher than my butt, where he dangles his legs freely... ;)

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7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #16925 by Kayaker Greg
I had a few different sizes until the dog ate the smaller one. Now I only have a fairly large one inflated quite hard, probably 75cm, preferred the smaller one when I had it and never used the big one until the smaller one got eaten, I don't really use it a lot as per the video as I paddle 4-5 times a week anyway, use it more for bench press and other core exercises sometimes and just rolling around to stretch the back etc, but I have played around on it at times with a stick to replicate paddling, I have a foam roller that I can use for my feet and vary it from position to position, rolling towards the ball, perpendicular to the ball, on end, also have a coffee table I can put my feet on, just vary what I do with my feet to where I feel its giving the core muscles a bit of a work out, but its not my main exercise tool for building the core. Sometimes I just sit on it at my desk or watching TV, its always there ready to be used if I feel like using it.

I think a wobble board would be quite good too and might get one sometime.

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7 years 1 month ago #16927 by Michael Smedley
I think it works well.

I carry one round the gym with me and sit on it for 1 minute between sets.

When the ball is at rest it finds its neutral point of balance. When you sit on it make sure the ball is NOT on this point (usually with the valve facing out to the side is the best). By doing this it makes it more difficult to sit on. This position gives the ball primary and secondary stability so to speak and when it goes past a point it goes quicker, just like a ski or kayak.

Personal I think balance is something you have to work on all the time no matter what level you are at.

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7 years 1 month ago #16928 by PaddleFaster
I personally feel that for the individual just getting into ski paddling, even in the more stable boats such as the V8, the balance ball is the single best tool you can use.

The main thing I noticed when using the ball the night before a paddle is that when I first got into my ski the next morning, I no longer experienced the beginning of the paddle jitters and shakes when I first got into the boat.

Before I used the ball, I always seemed to have a few minutes when I first got in my ski where I had to adapt from going from land to water. It didn't seem to matter that I was paddling just about every day for endless miles. Every time I jumped in the boat, for the first quarter mile or so, I was sloppy and wobbly until I got into my rhythm.

It was at that time (and the very end of my paddles when I was tired) that I had the best chance of going over.

Within just one week of using the ball that problem seemed to all but disappear.

At first I couldn't stay on the damn thing, but now I can sit on the ball, feet off the floor and watch TV for as long as I wish to, rolling myself about back and forth.

I also like to use the ball to put my toes on and raise my lower body in the air to do "ring push-ups" with straps I have hanging from a dip bar. The instability of the two can really give all of the small body balance muscles a bit of fun.

I use a 65cm ball pumped up as hard as I can get it on hardwood floors. It only took a few minutes a couple of days a week for me to see major results when I first started.

I can sit on it and rock around as long as I wish now.

You don't realize how much it does for you until you are tired at the end of a paddle and end up in annoying confused chop in current.

The little jerking moves you do on the balance ball when you are about to fall off get committed to muscle memory and help you flick your hips unexpectedly very quickly without you even realizing what happened.

Come to think of it I think that is what I think the ball does that helps your balance in the ski. It loosens up your hips teaching you to use them to balance yourself instead of using your upper shoulders and upper body.

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7 years 1 month ago #16931 by AR_convert
Just take it easy. I went a bit too hard too soon on a balance ball rocking all over the place and ended up with very sore lower back and IT Bands. Just sitting in the ball in front of TV or while at the PC would be enough for most people.

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

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7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #16934 by Hiro
found on the web

Great way to improve stability and core strenght.
I agree with AR_convert Just sitting in the ball in front of TV or while at the PC is a good thing : you can't slouch when you sit on a ball, you have to keep your back straight.
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7 years 1 month ago #16936 by smilicus
Swiss ball exercises have definitely improved my core and stability on the water. I do a variety of swiss ball exercises (most of those on the pic Hiro posted).

One thing that I found is when you just concentrate on keeping your balance on the ball one forgets that when in the ski you are actually busy paddling, looking at waves, etc. For this reason, always end off my session with a distracting swiss ball exercise:

Take a medicine ball of a weight you can manage to throw around, get a partner and two swiss balls. Stand on your knees on the swiss ball a few meter apart and the through the weighted medicine ball to each other (best to throw to the other persons side). This way you get distracted from thinking of keeping your balance and your muscle memory kicks in.

Well, thats my 2 cents worth.

P.S. Great tip from a trainer in the gym, always do some abs before core, since core exercise works best when you abs is tired.

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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7 years 1 month ago #16938 by CyberSki
I picked up a 10lb padded bar to work out my shoulders while doing a paddling stroke - so will try this with a balance ball. I am in Kayaker Greg's camp in that I have a very active dog (Vizsla) who will no doubt take a liking to it so am hopeful it won't become the victim of attack or become his new "girlfriend"...

I have built and used the Greenlandic "balance board" that Kocho spoke of for some time. While it can be useful - you have to constantly "re-cut" it to make it more challenging as you use it more - and if you stop using it and go back to it a month later then it is too challenging. With the ball I can simply add/remove air to make it more difficult I think.

I am hoping this helps - as my Huki deserves a more balance paddler.

Fenn Swordfish and Epic Midwing.

Past skis include Stellar SR and SEL, KC Zeplin, Think EVO, and in-between version of Epic V8 Ultra. Jantex Gamma is my sword of pain..though my elbow may force me to a smaller blade now. :-(

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7 years 1 month ago - 7 years 1 month ago #16940 by PaddleFaster
I have taken the Greenland Rocker concept a step further and designed and built what I call a "paddle trainer".

Though it may not be something an expert paddler would want to use, it does helps the less experienced paddler improve their technique and an intermediate paddler get a moderate cardio workout. My heart rate hovers around 138 when I use it.

The simple way I set my trainer up forces the use of of leg drive and proper rotation and strongly discourages arm paddling.

It also gives a good enough off season balance and cardio workout to make the beginning of the season easier for those of us that have a long lay over.

I guess you can say that it is a poor man's ergo, but unlike the ergo, it is has little resistance and is more about using good form.

I use it during the winter in my attic for an hour in the mornings before I get on to the treadmill.

The way I designed it is it can be easily switched from just paddling with no balance training, or paddling with a balance orientated workout.

Once I got the idea pictured in my head it was inexpensive to make - probably less that $50 U.S. - and became a low impact workout I really enjoyed doing during the off season.

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7 years 1 month ago #16941 by 1xsculler
I'd like to see a photo or a description of the "paddle trainer."

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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