From the very first time you step on the slackline, you can feel your breath changing and your heart rate increasing.
A minute in, and you can feel yourself actually working out. And you are kind of just standing there. Either standing on the ground or trying to stand on the slackline.
If you can’t do any of that? Dangling from it is fun, too!
Picture tightrope walking. Now picture that only being knee height off the ground, and you are on a truck cargo strap, tightened down by a simple ratchet between two trees or other anchor points.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It kind of is, in the fact that all you have to is keep trying and you feel yourself starting to figure it out pretty quickly…which is impressive considering you are only up for a few seconds (you know, unless you’re good)
Interesting Note: The balance you use here (which you already have, inherently) is very similar to unicycling….slackline being the only other sport I can think of to practice unicycling that is not a unicycle.
The Science? Tension, Compression, Torsion, Shear, Friction…Just pick one. Or several.
Slacklining allows a person to quickly and consistently experience and work against a range of stresses and forces that our bodies are fighting against all the time…without the advantage of the ground’s stability! One of the reasons you don’t really pay attention to all these forces throughout your day is because the ground you are walking on or the chair you are sitting in is stable. The ground is pushing up on the chair with the same force you are pushing down on it…but on a slackline, what you are pushing down against is flexible. And wobbly.
TENSION: When two forces pull in opposite directions on an object causing it to be thinner and stretched out.
COMPRESSION: When two forces are pushing on something causing it to be shorter and thicker.
TORSION: Twisting forces along an object’s longitudinal axis…Picture if you are swinging a golf club…you can picture the how your spine twists through the golf swing, that’s torsion.
SHEAR: Parallel but opposite pressure; like scissors (or shears). Picture standing on one leg. The ground is pushing up on the supported leg with the same pressure gravity is pushing down on your unsupported leg. You don’t fall over because your centre of balance is constantly moving depending on what your body parts are doing and where they are.
These stresses and forces work on your body. And also on the slackline. And your body on the slackline. Woah.