House Call: Balance Basics
Balance is an essential skill for curlers. If you find yourself wobbly and unstable during your delivery it’s time to go back to building your balance skills. Try doing one or all of these exercises each day. You need not spend an hour at it; 5 – 10 minutes is plenty. Think of keeping your core strong and your upper body straight throughout.
- Stand on one leg. Do not let your calf touch your knees; keep your legs separated slightly. Focus on stability throughout your supporting leg. Try to hold this position for ten seconds, increase gradually until you’re able to hold for 30 seconds. Try closing your eyes to make it more difficult or try standing on a pillow or couch cushion. Repeat on each leg several times.
- Stand on one leg; take a few seconds to find your balance. Now begin to swing your leg back and forth, start off low and gradually build up to swinging your leg higher and higher. You can swing your arms also. Without putting your foot down switch to swinging your leg back and forth across the front of your body. Start with swinging your leg back and forth five times and increase from there. Remember that these movements should be controlled not fast and choppy. Think about pulling up through your core to gain stability.
- Get down into your curling slide stretch. Make sure your front knee is over your toe. Think about getting your trailing leg right behind your front foot. Try to get the shoelaces of your trailing foot flat on the floor. Your trailing foot should either be straight behind you or turned in. If your foot is turned out your hips will not be aligned properly. Think about pushing your hips down towards the floor, ground down through your front foot. Now take your arms out to the side and try to balance there for several seconds. Your weight should not be on your back knee, your front foot should be what is holding you up. Remember to do both sides, not just the side your slide on.
Remember the feeling of stability you were able to find in these exercises the next time you get on the ice and use it. You can be stable and balanced you just need to work at it.
Watch next week for more beginner tips.
Written by Kim Perkins
Thursday, 3 February 2011 08:40
About Kim Perkins
Kim Perkins is the Head Curling Professional at the Calgary Winter Club. She has been teaching adults and children how to curl for 20 years. Kim wrote a children’s book about curling called The Adventures of Trefor the Curling Rock and is the proud inventor of Broom Charms www.trefor.ca.