Though commonly used, traditional, static tests and exercises where you stand still on one leg provide limited information and have little carry over to function when the fundamental truths about balance are understood. In fact, standing on single leg actually causes the body to ‘shut down’ to maintain balance. Balance is dynamic and three dimensional and thus balance needs to be trained in motion.
Balance is our body’s ability to integrate the information from all of our body systems
during a functional task and use that information to displace our center of gravity. The
system must then decelerate that motion and either bring the body back or, more likely, move
in a completely different direction. Three of the main systems that feed the body information
are the vestibular system, the visual system, and the proprioceptive system. Though there is a
minimal amount of information generated to those systems in a static position, it is motion
that truly “turns on” and feeds these systems the information required for function.
Balance requires the ability of the neurological system to successfully receive information, process that information, and then convey an appropriate motor plan for task completion – all while controlling the center of mass against gravity. Balance requires range of motion and strength. If a body segment lacks motion, then not only do accommodations of additional motion in other areas need to be made to complete a task, but proper muscular loading and exploding at the restricted joint can not occur.
Balance requirements are determined by the functional task the body is being asked to perform. In order to ensure successful task completion, the individual should be able to control three dimensional motion beyond that required of the functional task. Balance rehabilitation and training programs should reflect that goal.
If you would like a training program to help improve your balance, your ability to move and be free, I can help. Contact me now.
Reach out to me today for a consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org
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