Retired UFC legend Georges St-Pierre shared a new fitness challenge to his followers on Instagram this week, and thankfully it doesn’t involve any Rocky-style theatrics in the snow.
“Challenge of the week guys, this is a great one for stability and balance. I want you to stand on one foot, eyes closed, for 10 seconds,” St-Pierre says in the clip. “It’s not that easy, you’ll see.” (Confirmed.)
After demonstrating the deceptively difficult move himself, St-Pierre gives his fans a small piece of advice: “Try to spread your arms, it’ll help you keep your balance,” he says. “If you’re too narrow, you’ll make it harder for yourself.”
If you struggle to stay fully upright during those 10 seconds, however, you’re not alone. “The blind single-leg balance is tough because we rely more on visuals than we realize to hold that position,” says Men’s Health fitness director and certified trainer Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS.
“There’s a general idea in fitness that the alignment of the spine follows the head, and if you have your eyes open and you balance on one foot, there’s a good chance you’re looking straight ahead.”
A post shared by Georges St-Pierre (@georgesstpierre)
Close your eyes, and suddenly it’s harder to find that reference point. “You’re completely reliant on your muscles to find stability and create tension. It’s very very challenging, and worth doing,” Samuel says, adding that it’s a good test to try barefoot.
You’ll actually create more of a challenge for your intrinsic foot muscles this way, Samuel says—it’s a great way to start to understand how to create a tripod base with your foot. “Think of gripping the ground with your heel, base of the big toe, and base of your pinky toe. You can work on this with the blind single-leg balance test, and it’ll translate to a better, stronger squat position too.”
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