When it comes to standing on one leg — balance is critical to injury prevention and, ultimately, performance. And no, this kind of activity isn’t just for acrobats. You already do it more than you think. Soccer players and football kickers, for example, balance on one leg all the time in order to demonstrate their kicking prowess. Maintaining your lower limbs’ peak kicking condition means ensuring that your standing leg has a stable and strong hip, knee, and ankle, while keeping the kicking leg limber and your hip mobile. Practicing this coordination challenge in a controlled setting will maximize your chances of being able to do it at game time. Try it: Single leg balance
This pose improves your ability to stand on one leg, stabilizing the joints on that leg while the other hip, not to mention your core, go to work.
- Find even balanced standing and bring your hands to your waist
- Exhaling, engage your core as you draw your navel toward your spine (as if you’re cinching up your waist)
- Keep your core engaged as you lift your right knee up to waist-height, bending your knee to a 90-degree angle
- Hold here as you find your balance on your left leg, keeping that standing knee slightly bent
- When you feel steady, straighten your right leg as much as possible
- Continue to engage your core and hold the leg up for 5+ deep breaths — think about taking as much work out of that lifted right leg as possible by supporting the weight of that extended leg with your core strength
- Switch sides
For added challenge, add this pose to the end of the Jasyoga hip mobility and stability sequence for soccer players as a grand finale!