By Erwan Le Corre, MovNat Founder
Ever found yourself balancing on a fallen tree over a river, only to realize it wasn’t safe to go all the way across?
You may want to start stepping backward, which is not the safest option. A better alternative is to take a brief moment to reverse your orientation before you switch direction.
The pivot-reverse is the swiftest of all balancing reverse techniques, but also the riskiest. Indeed, you will shift all your bodyweight on the ball of both feet, drastically reducing your surface of support and greatly increasing the risk of losing your balance. That is why this particular technique doesn’t fit very narrow or slippery surfaces, as one of your feet might slide off the surface, making you not only fall off-balance instantly, but fall down instantly.
Here is a demonstration of the Pivot Reverse technique.
Note: Though it is technically possible to pivot relatively slowly, doing so increases friction and causes instability, defeating the purpose of choosing this technique over others for the sake of speed. If you can’t do it fast, reverse safely by going for the cross-reverse instead.
Here are some instructions to ensure your technique is both effective and efficient.
Start in a standing split stance.
Keeping your body weight evenly distributed between each foot, slightly lift both heels at once to shift your weight onto the balls of your feet, just enough to reduce friction. Elevating too high will make balancing more challenging.
Start turning your head first. Turning your head first gives your vestibular system a faster sense of direction and position in space, and where to stop your motion once your head and vision are aligned with the direction of the balancing surface.
Swiftly rotate your hips, making you pivot. Your body weight must remain evenly distributed between both feet during the turn. Keep the arms relaxed allow them to swing naturally and follow the rest of the body.
Your head should fully face the opposite direction before the rest of your body does.
You can now bring the rest of your body to align with your head. Once your whole body is lined up facing the opposite direction from the one you started, lower your heels to the surface of the beam and resume moving either in the same direction while oriented in the opposite direction, or in the opposite direction with your body oriented in that direction.
- Start at ground level, using a real or imaginary line to balance on, and progressing to higher obstacles as your skill improves.
- Maintain a tall, relaxed posture and breathe into your diaphragm.
- Initiate the change of direction by turning the head first, followed by the hips.
- Check the area where you are balancing for any dangers that may be present (e.g. sharp, slippery or abrasive objects or surfaces).
- 8 Natural Movements For Better Balance
- Balancing Basics: Avoid These Common Mistakes
- From the Ground Up – Part 3: Balancing
- From the Ground Up – Part 9: Balancing Reverse
- From the Ground Up – Part 12: Balancing Progressions
Note: This article contains excerpts from Erwan Le Corre’s upcoming book, The Practice of Natural Movement.
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