Slacklining has developed into a real trend sport in a short period of time. At the beginning of the 80s, the elastic bands were used by recreational athletes of all ages, but for rehabilitation purposes. As the name suggests, the band is looser and bouncier than a tightrope. This means that the weight of the slackliner is more of a factor, and you have to balance as the band stretches with every movement.
Slacklining – fitness for body and mind
The difficulty varies based on the band and the environment – the versions of slacklining are diverse and range from simple exercises to challenging tricks. But professional slackliners don’t see themselves as rope-dancing artists, because the focus of slacklining is less on dangerous feats as it is on training for concentration, coordination, and balance. Slackliners have to be at one with themselves and focus on the line before them. Beginners are advised to start their first slacklining attempts on a stretch of about eight to ten metres at a height of between 30 and 50 centimetres. The width of the slackline should be adapted to the person’s skill level: the lines range from 25 to 50 millimetres. Before stepping on the Slackline, the correct tensioning is crucial. Often, the Slackline is fixed to trees, which need to be covered with mats or protective material to prevent damage to the trunks. Once you’ve found the right position and height for your slackline, and it’s securely fastened, you’re ready to go. Start about a third of the way down the slackline and put one foot up on the band. Position it straight ahead and push the other foot off the ground with as much control as possible. The second foot should be positioned behind the first on the slackline and can be angled. Make sure that your knees aren’t locked so you can better absorb the oscillations of your weight on the slackline. You should be facing forward with your hands in the air. The movements of your hips are crucial to your balance, and your arms can also compensate for the vibrations.
Just don’t give up!
Even if every start is hard, don’t give up! You’ll see progress after only a few hours of practise time. If you need additional assistance, a thin rope can be hung above your head so you can hold on when your balance gets shaky. Basically, your arms should always remain as free as possible – they will influence your balance. As soon as you feel safe on the slackline, you can try out different things, like exercises that train coordination, concentration, and even deep muscle groups. In addition to these advantages, you can see an improvement in your posture – one of the many benefits of slacklining. Balancing on the elastic band benefits other athletes too, and is often used as supplemental training for sports requiring similar skills.
Those who want to try out slacklining for themselves have an excellent opportunity at the TUI BLUE hotels. We’ve installed lowlines for you with different widths at suitable locations, on which you can learn step-by-step balancing. Lowlines are just slacklines set closer to the ground. So you can practise slacklining at a jumping height first, before going on to the next challenge: sitting, standing, walking backwards, twisting, and even jumping are all possible. We wish you lots of fun!