Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another reason NOT to stand on a scale

A friend of mine went to an equestrian Pilates class last week. As part of a demonstration, the instructor brought out two scales and had participants (volunteers) put one foot on each scale. They were asked to stand as they normally would. Apparently most of the participants placed significantly more weight on one scale than the other. Even when they tried to balance the numbers, most had trouble making the numbers on the scale match closely. The teacher was demonstrating that most people aren't perfectly symmetrical -- most of us have skeletal anamolies, muscular "one-sidedness," or something else.

I took a similar class and it did make me more aware of my own tendences to be crooked. Simple behaviors like always cocking the same hip or cocking your head in the same direction can be indications of which you prefer. Alas, I'm very one-sided.

Does anyone hae two relatively identical scales? Can you test the theory?

BTW I took a short workshop on Pilates with Betsy Steiner and bought this book after the class. I can recommend it in terms of readability and format. I haven't been a good practicer of Pilates so I can't vouch that it's improved my riding. But that's not Betsy Steiner's fault!


  1. I had a wonderful clinic with Betsy Steiner at the USET Headquarters years ago. She is a super teacher.

    My chiropractor has two scales for just such testing. Most of us are one sided, just as suggested. As a result, we tend to ride one sided, and make our horses one sided. The challenge is to uncover those faults and correct them.

    Not always easy, but it can be done. Patrice Edwards, a trainer from Britain is fabulous at working riders to become concious of their crookedness and has all kinds of exercises to correct it.

  2. Never tried it with scales, but there is an entire balance program with the Wii Fit that's pretty cool and accurate.

  3. Yup, I was also going to mention the Wii Fit! Oh, geez, now I'm envisioning a "balance board for riders" that looks like a saddle stand, but has all the sensors in it...mmm, dressage in my living room, that would rock. :o)

  4. I was ALSO going to mention Wii Fit! No matter how hard I try, it is almost impossible for me to balance my weight equally... Interesting, isn't it?

    Renee :)

  5. Ah Ha! I too was going to mention Wii Fit! When I first tried the balance exercise - oh boy. The little dot was so far off center.

    I have scoliosis though. So I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. I got to have an xray taken of my back once too. Gross. It looked like the letter Z.

    Pilates sounds fun. I've always wanted to try it.

  6. Ha, me too ;) Lots of the games are balance-oriented (and as it turns out mine kind of sucks). Every day when you weigh in, it also checks your center of balance, and sometimes it asks you to do it with your eyes closed, so you're working on an innate "balance consciousness."

    There is a LOT they could do with the balance board to expand on Wii Fit; I think it left a lot out. A riding game would've made an awesome balance game instead of THREE skiing games (and another game that that's all it is)!

  7. I know (from photos) that I always seem to tilt my head to one side. I also carry more weight on the left side of my body, because of pain and numbness in my right foot.


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