If you ever watched Simone Biles perform a balance beam routine and wondered how a mere mortal can flip and twirl so beautifully on such a thin plank, you're not alone. What exactly does it take to do that? Determination. Years of relentless practice. Superhuman abilities, maybe? But, perhaps most practically, Biles has unbelievably strong core and ankle stabilizer muscles. Though most of us will not be challenging Biles for the gold at the 2021 Olympics, those balance-building muscles are important for everyday people, and something we can train with the TRX Suspension Trainer.
Unlike the Instagram-famous muscles—we’re looking at you, glutes, biceps, and abs—ankle stabilizers, aka peroneals, are the body’s unsung heroes. Accidents happen all the time. You could slip on a wet floor or stumble on a sidewalk. Your ankle stabilizers help you to recover and catch your balance so you don’t actually fall. Similarly, a strong core can help you correct to regain your balance.
So balance is a good thing, and core and ankle stabilizer muscles can help, but how do we actually train those muscles?
Core work is frequently focused on your abs, so the Suspension Trainer is a natural fit for developing core strength. That’s because every move in Suspension Training automatically engages the core. Looking for more something more specific? When in doubt, plank it out. TRX Planks will work your entire body from your nose to your toes.
If you’re new to training ankle stabilizers, start by standing on one foot. (It’s absolutely fine to hang onto your TRX straps while you do this.) As you place all your weight on the planted foot, try wiggling your toes to sense how it affects your balance. For an added challenge, close your eyes so you can feel how sight impacts your stability.
As you progress, focus on moves like the TRX Hinge, TRX Lunges, and TRX Muscle Ups. All three moves require you to ground one foot and move your second leg on a separate plane. Don’t forget to repeat each of these moves on the other leg!
Strength training can improve bone density, burn fat, and promote your overall health, but it also has more practical perks, like helping you avoid injury. If you’ve ever felt clumsy or complained that you have two left feet, you probably just need to work on your balance. The TRX Suspension Trainer can simplify training for the core and ankle stabilizers, so grab your straps and get to work.