Slacklining is a trend that has really caught on within the past 4 or 5 years. Living in Boone, I see it everywhere, as long as the sun is out and the temperature is at or above 50 degrees. I’ve seen people slackline on campus, along the streets downtown, at music festivals and in their front yards. I’ve even seen a guy slackline across the top of Hebron Rock Colony. No easy feat.
Among the best things about this growing trend is the health benefits that come along with slacklining. It improves your posture, focus and, of course, balance. It especially aids in strengthening your core. Simply walking (or in my case, wobbling) across a slackline requires the use of all your major muscle groups to help stabilize you.
According to an article on JustOneWheel.com, doctors encourage slacklining because it improves proprioception. This is one’s sense of the position of the neighboring parts of the body in relation to one another, as well as the strength used in one’s movements. In other words, proprioception training “builds up muscle to support the rest of the body”. Strengthening of the spine, lowering the risk of twisted ankles, back and stomach muscle building and additional support of hips and knees are just some of the physical benefits of slacklining. Physical therapists are also known to use slacklining methods in rehabilitation. And it’s not just useful for your physical health – since it requires strict mental focus, slacklining can be used to improve concentration and clearing of your mind.
If you have the means to hang up a hammock (i.e. if there are two trees a good distance from each other), then you can string up a “slackline,” like ENO’s 49 foot SlackWire. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s beneficial.