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Balance Beam Basics 
by Gerald S. George, P.h.D. 
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Dr. George
Dr. George

The act of balancing is basically a matter of maintaining the effective weight of the body directly over the base of support. Keeping one's center of mass within the confines of one's base of support to maintain equilibrium appears to be a relatively simple task, at least from conceptual perspective.

However as most performers and coaches will agree, the accomplishment of this feat "reads easier than it lives"! In fact, many performers execute skills on the Beam with "a hope and a prayer" that Lady Luck might somehow prevail. While it might be argued that "good luck beats skill every time," always keep in mind:

Consequently it would be wise to spend some time strengthening and "sensitizing" key muscles which serve to control, guide and regulate the lateral functions of the performer's pelvic girdle. Or to put it another way, improper pelvic girdle alignment during skill execution is one of the most
common causes specific to loss of balance in Beam work.

Pelvic Girdle Alignment Protocol

The following training protocol will go a long way in helping the performer maintain proper pelvic girdle alignment before, during and after skill execution:

1. Weight-bare on one leg and balance for 3 seconds while maintaining a horizontally aligned pelvic (illustration A);

2. Raise-up the opposite side of the pelvic girdle laterally as high as is mechanically possible and hold for 3 seconds while maintaining balance (illustration B);

3. Lower pelvic girdle laterally to below horizontal and hold for 3 seconds while maintaining balance (illustration C); and

4. Step forward on opposite leg and repeat Nos. 1 through 3. Perform 5 repetitions on each leg after each beam training session.

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Gerald S. George, Ph.D.
760-458-4993 (M-F 9-5 CDT)