What is balance/stability?

- the body's ability to evenly distribute weight, enabling someone to stand upright and steady under their own strength.

- it does not matter how high you can jump, how fast you can run, or if you are an expert skiier;  if you neglect stability training, injuries are inevitable.

- the absolute foundation of any exercise program should revolve around maintaining balance and stability in your joints at all levels of training. (This can not be overstated.) The more stability you possess, the more potential for strength and power!

Various forms of balance:

1) Static Balance

  • the ability to maintain equilibrium, posture, and coordination while remaining in a stationary position.

2) Dynamic Balance

  • the ability to maintain equilibrium, posture, and coordination while moving through space at either a slow or fast tempo.

Training for balance and stability:

1) Goals

  • improve neuromuscular efficiency

  • increase joint stability

  • improve muscular endurance

  • improve flexibility

  • enhance postural control

  • improve coordination and awareness of body's position in space

2) Strategies

  • I will not place sets and rep ranges here. There are endless variations of balance oriented exercises.

  • My suggestion to you to see immediate improvement in your joint stability and overall strength is to practice your balance MULTIPLE TIMES throughout the day:

    • Stand on one leg as you wash dishes​ and/or cook

    • Walk up steps 2 or 3 steps at a time

    • Go down steps slowly and stay conscious of your body's ability to decelerate your mass. (Most non-contact joint injuries occur due to the body's inability to decelerate momentum.)

    • Stand on one leg as you pick something up off of the floor

    • Stand on one leg as your play tug-of-war with your dog

    • Perform single leg 'yoga' poses as you are watching TV

    • If you play sports, practice certain skills while maintaining an athletic stance on one leg.            For example:

      • hockey:  stickhandle​ a ball or puck around your body

      • lacrosse:  throw and catch a ball against a wall

      • volleyball:  pass to yourself or against a wall

    • During your workouts, implement more single leg exercises in multiple planes of motion.

      • example:  walking lunge w/ rotation, single leg single arm shoulder press, split squats, box step ups, lateral lunge to balance, single leg squat jumps, speed skater jumps, etc.

    • A good thought to have when practicing your balance, static or dynamic, is to imagine a small bowl of water on your head that you don't want to spill. This will keep your head and sternum steady and naturally help to improve your posture and coordination.

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