Slacklining is awesome fun for the whole family and it’s great exercise. Just balancing and walking on one will make you use muscles you normally wouldn’t! Some mamas take it a step further than that. Lacey Doboszenski, an outdoor mother and “yogini” comes to us from Minnesota and she’s got some great moves using a slackline as part of a fitness routine. (Another way to have fun with our TBA slackline, which is perfect for this. Just sayin…) Here’s Lacey!
Slacklining is an excellent way to get in shape while having a ton of fun. As a stay at home mother to two young children I am always looking for ways to incorporate my fitness into their play. Today I am going to share five exercises I can do while playing outside on the slackline with my kids.
Balancing on your knees on the slackline is a great workout for your whole body. It will specifically target your core, arms, and legs. You will feel this in your muscles almost immediately. For this pose I recommend starting on the ground. Find a line, or imagine a line on the ground. Face the line and place your knees side by side, about 6 inches apart on the line. Then lift your feet off the ground behind you. Keep your arms straight and your arms firmly pushed into the line just outside your knees. Work up to be able to hold this for 10 breaths, Then, begin experimenting lifting your opposite leg and arm, as pictured. When you move this to the slackline, lower the line so that if you fall you can easily put your hands on the ground in front of you. Also, feel free to use your top line to help your balance.
Plank holds are excellent for your upper body and core. They also help to provide muscle control and stabilization. To perform a plank hold on the slackline you will want your line set up about a foot off the ground. Place your feet on the slackline and your hands on the ground. Your shoulders should be directly above your wrists and keep your arms straight while being careful to not lock out your elbows. Slightly round your shoulders and back into a hollow body position. Hold for 10 breaths. To make the plank more difficult you can try raising one leg at a time, or you can add movement by doing pushups. Also, try switching this one around and place your hands on the line and your feet on the floor. Your kids will love trying this with you, or they can climb on your back and go for a fun ride!
Much like the forward plank the side plank targets your core and upper body. In side plank the emphasis is on your oblique muscles. This is a pretty difficult one that will likely include both falls and laughter. Beginning in your forward plank shift your weight to one arm and turn your body sideways by extending your lifted arm towards the sky. Stack your feet on top of each other or place one foot behind the other for help balancing. Aim to hold this pose for 10 breaths.
Slacker stance is basically standing on one foot. Press firmly into your standing leg and use your arms and free leg to adjust your body to balance. This is great for your ankles and legs. It is also a great pose to work on meditation and concentration. In slacker stance you want to concentrate your focus on something that is permanent, like a spot on a tree trunk. In yoga we refer to this as a drishti. You then stare at this spot as you breathe and balance. Kids, of course, can make this concentration tricky! I have my four-year-old daughter count how many seconds mommy can balance and she really enjoys it!
As mothers we are warriors, so why not play with warrior two pose on the slackline?! For this pose start with your feet together in a “T” position, front foot parallel to the line and back foot perpendicular. Then, slowly slide your back foot back until you achieve full warrior two position. Keep control of your arms by raising them parallel to the line and keep your focus on a permanent object like in slacker stance. This pose is a great leg workout and also another workout for the brain. Keeping your focus is key to achieving this difficult pose! You will likely fall a lot, and getting into this pose even just for a second is a great accomplishment. It is a very fun one to try, just make sure you don’t land on your child! 😉
I hope you enjoy playing with these poses! Anytime you spend on a slackline will be a great workout for multiple muscle groups due to the movement that slackline adds. Slacklining is not only a workout for your body it is also great for your brain! So, turn your focus to the trees, get outside, and make fitness fun!