BY MARLENE ROYLE
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
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Land exercises for balance training will help you improve your skill, rhythm, and stability on the water. This sitting balance exercise is performed with a large inflatable physical therapy ball that you can find in most gyms. Choose the size that allows you to sit on the ball with your hips square and thighs level to the floor so there is a 90-degree angle behind your knees. Keep all your movements slow and controlled. Focus on maintaining a solid core and firm lower back. Sit on the ball with both feet placed on the floor—sitting up tall as you would in the boat. With your eyes looking straight ahead, extend your arms out to the side at shoulder height. Raise one foot off the floor, straighten out your leg, and keep balance for a count of 20. Balance with the lower body only, and try keeping your upper body quiet and shoulders level during the exercise. Next, try the other leg for a count of 20. Once you have mastered steady balance with one leg off the ground, try balancing with both legs up—parallel to the floor—as if you are sitting in a boat. Focus on your center of gravity and on keeping your hips square. Work up to a count of 20. Repeat three times. Practice this exercise three to four times per week.