Put Your Balance to the Test: Step Up to the Slackline

Are you bored with your current workout routine? Cut yourself some slack. No, really! There’s a new activity called slacklining that’s helping people get creative and break out of their exercise ruts. Here’s how to get started:

What is Slacklining?

Slacklining is an activity where a one-to-two-inch-wide nylon band, called webbing, is suspended off the ground between two sturdy anchor points, like trees. You can simply walk across it like a tightrope (the line is super close to the ground, so it’s not dangerous) or take a more advanced route and attempt yoga poses or tricks (a.k.a. tricklining). It started out in the rock climbing community as a fun way to use traditional climbing gear, but has since gotten a lot more mainstream.

Does it Have Health Benefits?

Just because slacklining is fun doesn’t mean it’s easy. The webbing is stretchy, so when you try to stand on it, it bounces and wobbles. This forces you to engage your core and other muscles as you move across it. And by adding a slackline to moves like planks or lunges, your muscles have to work that much harder to keep you balanced. It engages the same stabilizing muscles that can help improve coordination and prevent injuries. Aside from the physical benefits, slacklining has also been shown to support concentration, focus and learning.

How Do You Get Started?

Whether you prefer getting outdoors and slacklining among the trees or are looking to try it in your home gym, you’ll need webbing and proper fasteners. There are a variety of kits on the market—see some options here—and it’s important to follow instructions for the safest slacklining experience. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always inspect your webbing and anchors before each use
  • Never leave your slackline unattended
  • Always back up your slackline
  • Keep your webbing dry
  • Make your slackline visible to those around you with hanging markings to avoid passerby accidents

Have you ever tried it? Let us know what you thought!

 Photo credit: ReflectedSerendipity

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