Updated: Apr 12, 2020
In three steps of a reel, an Irish dancer jumps off and lands on one foot almost 200 times! To safely push off and land on one foot that many times, it requires a ton of single leg stability and strength. This is an often overlooked area of training but one that is quintessential for an Irish dancer. Follow along with the below single leg stability exercises to perform both alone or with a friend.
TRAINING SINGLE LEG STABILITY
Step 1: Begin standing on one foot. If you can hold your balance on one foot, progress to step 2. If this is challenging, repeat for 30 seconds on each foot.
Step 2: Stand on one foot and look side to side 10 times, then up and down 10 times. All while maintaining your balance. Repeat on other foot.
Step 3: Stand on one foot and close your eyes for 30 seconds. All while maintaining your balance. Repeat on other foot.
If you can progress through all three of these steps, challenge yourself further by standing on an unstable surface like a balance pad, Bosu ball, or pillow. Then repeat all three steps.
Training with a Partner
Grab a weighted ball. If one isn't available, a basketball or soccer ball will work. Stand about 10ft away from your partner.
Step 1: Each partner stands on one foot. Toss the ball back and forth 10 times then repeat on the other foot.
Step 2: Now turn to the side and toss the ball sideways to your partner.
Step 3: Repeat Step 1 & 2 while each partner stands on an unstable surface.
Step 4: Stand on an exercise wedge with the wedge facing forward and back, then side to side.
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