Hi, David Weck here. Today, I'm going to teach you an exercise with the BOSU Elite we call the Zen10. The Zen10 is a sequence of eyes closed movements on the BOSU Elite and we use this here at the WeckMethod Performers Training Center as the very first thing that we'll do before we begin the workout. Now, the reason why we do this is because we really want to train balance at the most reflexive level and we want to learn to take tension and drop the tension down [Tensional Balance Training]. A trained athlete figures out balance lower in the body than someone who is untrained. When you lose your balance, the first thing that happens is the tension shoots up in the body and what we want to do is we want to reduce the proclivity to trigger that reflex and essentially create more time where your body is figuring out how to solve the problem rather than protect yourself from the problem. You're never going to lose the protective reflex but what we want to do is we want to not trigger that reflex too soon. And athletically, this will give us better reaction time, it's just better all the way around. And the benefit of doing it before your workout is that you're really get in tune with your body so when you come down after this sequence you feel very grounded, very centered, you feel very ready to move, at a very fundamental level.

So let me go through the sequence: We have the power zone on the BOSU Elite and when you practice you're going to put your feet behind the power line and be in that dynamic dorsiflexion with inversion and that's going to spring load and make this even more effective. But to begin with, we begin with the feet just on top, splitting that power zone somewhere just behind the balls of the feet. So you're on top neutral, rather than tilted back in that power zone.

Here's the sequence: We close the eyes and we get centered. You're going to notice me having to fight for balance significantly more than when my eyes are open [Balance Training]. Your body is constantly, through your eyes, scanning the horizon line for horizontal lines, and then vertical lines. Those are the trees, those are the walls. And that provides a grid that you use for balance. So the eyes, the vestibular system in the ears, and the proprioception are the three principal aspects of how we maintain balance. And by removing the vision, we really dive into that proprioception and it's relationship to vestibular. And these movements will challenge the vestibular so that we're really integrating our proprioceptive awareness and the ability to drop tension down. So I'm going to try to really breathe and relax as I do this, let the reflex happen as it will, but just really relax and try to drop that tension down. You can step off at any time.

So here's what I do: Close my eyes, and I just get myself centered, and I feel all of that subtle complexity, where's the weight shifting, etc. We begin with a one, two, turning the head to the side, and turning the head to the side. So that's sort of our one and two. You're going to notice that your toes will start to grab, your body will start to tilt and lean, and just that much stimulation will be challenging and more challenging than just keeping your head in neutral here.

Now the next, three and four, is a tilt down, and then a tilt up. The tilt up is an incredible challenge, it will take practice for most people to really master that head up but even myself, who's very practiced in these movements, I'm still working and I'm still weening away that extra activity that I want to just be centered so my proprioception is so finely tuned, that I can just move like a cat.

So we had one, two, side-to-side, three, four is here, now five and six is shifting the weight. So I'm lifting up one foot. So that would be five, and six,. You can even lift it off, and lift it off. And so we just get that very slow and controlled, shift the weight to one side and balance. Shift the weight to the other side and balance. So that's our five and six.

The seven and eight involves turning the whole torso. So I want to keep my navel pointed straight ahead, and I'm going to turn and look behind, so it's a significant side turn. And turn here. So that's seven and eight, those turns.

Now, number nine is a run in place. So now I'm going to take that shifting of the weight and I'm going to run in place. And it's just small, little steps, until I can go fast. Eyes are closed. And that's a big challenge for number nine. And number ten is we jump. So eyes are closed and I'm going to jump and land, jump and land. And you can see how challenging that is. Jump and land. And you want to land nice and soft, really absorb everything so that the tension, again, is dropping down.

Now, after you finish the Zen10, it should take you a minute or two to do it, you come off and you just feel so integrated with your balance that the next thing that you're going to do, you're going to perform it better. So let it sink in, boom. Everything is essentially freer to move, with less restriction, and now we go into our next movement within the workout.

So we recommend Zen10, start it out with the best foot forward. Balance and the reflexive level, tension dropping down, makes the workout more productive, and practicing the Zen10 over time will really help you be a better athlete at the reflexive level.


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