The Increasing Popularity of Slacklining

For athletes who enjoy testing their limits and trying new things, slacklining is very popular. Do you know what it's all about?
The Increasing Popularity of Slacklining

Last update: 11 March, 2020

Slacklining is an exercise that’ll improve your concentration, your health, your abdominal strength, and your balance. The fact that it trains all of the muscles in your body is one reason for the increasing popularity of slacklining. Today, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this new sport.

Basically, slacklining is the art of keeping your balance and walking along a strap or rope. It’s fairly easy to learn, it’s really fun, and it has a lot of benefits for your body.

Most people think slacklining started in the climbing camps and communities of Yosemite National Park (California) in the early eighties.

Today, some people use it as a form of meditation, to improve their balance, or to help them with their ability to concentrate. All of that can also help you improve your performance in other sports as well. Others do it because they find it relaxing and stimulating at the same time.

Your sense of balance is ultimately what determines how fast you can learn to slackline.

The increasing popularity of slacklining

In its purest form, slacklining consists of walking along a strap that’s stretchy and dynamic. Essentially, that’s what differentiates it from tightrope walking. The slackness of the line activates different muscles in your body and makes it challenging. Consequently, a lot of training is required to have the skills to be a successful slackliner.

A slackline set is a piece of line or a strap and a tension system. Freestyle slackliners usually anchor their slackline between two trees.

Some people like to practice slacklining with shoes, as they offer a layer of protection for the soles of their feet. Other people prefer the freedom of going barefoot. They feel that their increased sensitivity helps them keep their balance.

A woman with a harness doing slackline.

There are all kinds of actions, movements, and tricks that slackliners do, and the list is growing as the sport gains popularity. Another thing that makes slacklining so attractive is that you can do it almost anywhere. The equipment is very portable.

While it might seem scary at first, it’s actually something that anyone can try. Not only that, but it has some important health benefits, such as improving your balance, posture, and concentration.

Why the popularity of slacklining is increasing: benefits

1. Improves your balance

This sport is perfect for improving your balance. Remember, the slackline moves and bounces as the weight of your body moves along it, so a good balance is absolutely essential for this sport and for practically every other aspect of your life.

2. Discover the popularity of slacklining: it’s good for your posture

Balance work is great for strengthening your abdominal muscles. In addition, the constant work required to stay balanced on the slackline can also help with your posture and also strengthens your back muscles.

3. It improves concentration

As you might imagine, this activity requires a lot of concentration. You have to carefully calculate each step because even the tiniest mistake can make you fall right off the line.

A guy practicing slacklining.

4. It’s a full-body workout

Balancing on a slackline works your entire body. All of your muscles (including your brain) work together to keep you from falling off of the strap.

5. Practicing slacklining can help prevent injuries

Unlike other sports, the muscle relaxation that can happen during slacklining can also help avoid some common leg injuries.

Before we finish, we’d like to reiterate the increasing popularity of slacklining and the fact that it’s an accessible activity for all kinds of people. You don’t have to be in amazing shape to start. If you want to improve your balance, strengthen your core, and prevent injuries, slacklining is a great option. So, are you ready to try it?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

    • Donath, L., Roth, R., Rueegge, A., Groppa, M., Zahner, L., & Faude, O. (2013). Effects of slackline training on balance, jump performance & muscle activity in young children. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 34(12), 1093–1098.
    • Donath, L., Roth, R., Zahner, L., & Faude, O. (2016). Slackline training and neuromuscular performance in seniors: A randomized controlled trial. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 26(3), 275–283.
    • Granacher, U., Iten, N., Roth, R., & Gollhofer, A. (2010). Slackline training for balance and strength promotion. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 31(10), 717–723.
    • Schärli, A. M., Keller, M., Lorenzetti, S., Murer, K., & van de Langenberg, R. (2013). Balancing on a Slackline: 8-Year-Olds vs. Adults. Frontiers in Psychology, 4.
    • Thomas, M., & Kalicinski, M. (2016). The effects of slackline balance training on postural control in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 24(3), 393–398.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.