By Bob Wells, CPT, PES
Whether you are on a soccer pitch, BOSU, or simply walking flights of stairs, you need balance. In fact, maintaining balance is key to all functional movements.
Still, many of us think of balance as a static process. In reality, functional balance is a dynamic process involving multiple neurologic pathways and numerous muscles.
The physical and neurological efforts required to maintain balance can result in leaner, more athletic bodies. In other words, balance training helps us look and perform better.
Balance training is therefore a vital part of any training program. This training program must be systematic and progressive.
Progressing too quickly can lead to injury, while going too slowly can lead to boredom and non-compliance. In either situation, training results are delayed or not achieved.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) provides a great protocol for balance training progression. They list three ascending levels of balance training: stabilization, strength, and power.
In balance stabilization, exercises involve little joint motion. The primary objective at this level is to increase joint stability. Some exercises include: single-leg balance and single-leg lift and chop.
|single leg balance|
|lunge to balance start|
|lunge to balance finish|
|box hop-down start|
|box hop-down finish|
Special thanks to Broadway Artist Sarah Silverman for taking the time to stop by and demonstrate some great balance exercises.