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Stay Steady & Strong With Balance Training

man standing on balance boardThough people are often not aware of it, balance is a fundamental part of all human movement. As we age, the ability to balance typically is compromised and lost over time. Maintaining the body’s ability to balance is crucial to overall health and well-being.

Why Does Balance Matter?

Balance is defined as an individual’s ability to control his or her center of gravity. It is integral to movement because it improves joint stability, internal focus, and the body’s ability to stabilize itself. It’s important to challenge the body’s balance system to keep it in good working order. Research also shows that balance training is highly effective in increasing confidence in older adults, optimizing performance, decreasing risk for injury, and enhancing rehab.

What Does Balance Training Involve?

Balance training involves exercises that focus on improving your ability to maintain your body’s equilibrium while standing or moving. It is a type of physical exercise that helps improve coordination, flexibility, and stability.

What Are the Main Benefits of Balance?

Balance training has many proven powerful benefits for the body including performance enhancement, injury prevention, and rehabilitation optimization.

Some ways balance creates better performance in the body include:

  • Improved static and dynamic balance (standing still and while moving)
  • Better brain-to-muscle (neuromuscular) communication, control and
  • coordination in lower extremities
  • Increased strength in the lower body (especially when combined with resistance training)
  • Increased athletic power and agility
  • Improved performance in athletes, such as vertical jump height
  • Better ability to perform tasks for daily living in older adults

Balance can help prevent injury by:

  • Improving mechanics for landing, reducing risk for lower extremity injuries, such as ankle sprains and ACL injuries
  • Reducing the risk of falls
  • Reducing self-reported injuries in older adults

Balance has been proven to optimize rehabilitative efforts by:

  • Helping patients recover faster from injury
  • Minimizing effects of muscle imbalance due to compensation from single limb injuries
  • Increasing the body’s ability to orient itself in space (proprioception)
  • Enhancing rehab of single limb injuries in athletes.
  • Enhancing rehab to decrease falls in older adults
Balance training is suitable and appropriate for all fitness levels, and can easily be incorporated into existing training plans. A certified professional can customize a program to meet your goals while minimizing any risk of injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some benefits of balance training?

Regular balance training will reduce the risk of falls, reduce the risk of injuries, improve posture, strengthen muscles, improve neuromuscular (brain-to-body) communication, build muscle coordination, enhance athletic performance, increase walking speed and improve physical function. Balance training will also improve standing balance, movement coordination, and walking mechanics in older adults.

What types of exercises should I do for balance training?

The most common balance exercises involve variations of single leg stands and movements in all three planes of motion. As with all types of training, it is important to use modifications or balance assistance in addition to a progressive, science-based approach to avoid injury. It’s a good idea to consult a professional to assess your abilities.

How often should I balance training?

We recommend doing balance exercises at least three times a week with best gains resulting from daily practice. It is very important to start slowly and gradually increase as you become more confident and comfortable with the exercises.

Do I need any special equipment for balance training?

You don’t need any special equipment to start working on your balance. However, if you want to progress safely and efficiently, you will need to continue increasing the difficulty level of your exercises. There are many inexpensive fitness tools available designed to help challenge your balance as you become stronger and more confident with exercises. Some of these include stability or fitness balls, wobble boards, and balance discs.

Schedule an Appointment

Regular balance training keeps your body in good working order and leads to a healthier you. Interested in learning how to incorporate balance training into your routine? Call us to book an appointment with our Corrective Exercise Specialist.

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