What Is Balance Training?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Balance training is a type of exercise which is designed to improve balance and proprioception, the sensation of knowing where the body and its joints are in space. Regular balance training can be beneficial to people of all ages, and it can provide a wide range of benefits which make it an excellent thing to integrate into a regular athletic routine. Most exercises can be easily performed in an assortment of environments, from the home to a woodland trail, and they can be learned from books or an instructor who specializes in balance exercises.

Balance training may help people become more flexible.
Balance training may help people become more flexible.

In balance training, the goal is to increase the body's agility, and to get someone in touch with his or her center of gravity. One of the most immediate effects of training is a reduction in the risk of falling, because falls are caused by a lack of balance, and someone with a good sense of proprioception will be less likely to fall. People are also less prone to injuries caused by minor balancing problems, such as ankles twisted by a careless descent down a flight of stairs.

Standup paddleboarding may help improve balance, as the paddler must balance on an unstable surface.
Standup paddleboarding may help improve balance, as the paddler must balance on an unstable surface.

Regular balance training can also make someone more efficient and more flexible. Learning about one's sense of balance and body can help someone to move more efficiently, ensuring that energy is not wasted in ineffective movements. A runner, for example, will find that he or she runs more cleanly, is less prone to ankle injuries, and experiences fewer falls with balance training.

Balance training is important for developing coordination and motor skills.
Balance training is important for developing coordination and motor skills.

Some exercises are conducted with the body alone. For example, someone might stand on one leg and throw alternating punches. The punches throw off the center of balance, forcing the athlete to correct his or her position in space to avoid falling. Over time, this exercise strengthens the body's sense of balance. Props like weights, balance balls, trampolines, straps, and so forth can also be used to test the body's balance and push the body to work harder.

Balance training can help deter the likelihood of incurring a twisted ankle as a result of poor balancing skills.
Balance training can help deter the likelihood of incurring a twisted ankle as a result of poor balancing skills.

Older adults are often encouraged to engage in balance training to improve their overall health. The training can also be combined with yoga, pilates, swimming, and other gentle forms of exercise to promote overall muscle tone and core strength. Athletes often benefit from this training, and they may notice a significant improvement when they use balance exercises tailored to their sport. Younger adults may also find the experience productive and rewarding, as it can make everything from walking on heels to recreational biking easier and more comfortable.

Exercise balls work the core abdominal muscles and help improve balance.
Exercise balls work the core abdominal muscles and help improve balance.
Balance training also helps strengthen proprioception, the mental sensation of knowing where the body is in space.
Balance training also helps strengthen proprioception, the mental sensation of knowing where the body is in space.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

mutsy

The exercises are really fun and you don't even realize that you're exercising. Training for balance exercises requires you to walk a tightrope like if you're in a circus.

There is another exercise that has you walk in a certain way to avoid getting hit by a boulder. At the end of each game you are given your score along with the high score.

It is really addictive and my kids love it. There is also another exercise that tests your ability to use a hula hoop.

Your hips simulate the same movements. The system tests your right side and then the left and it gives you a rating. If you succeed in the levels you are given more challenging work which makes it more fun to continue playing. This form of muscle balance training is good for the whole family.

icecream17

Going on a balance training program really helps you with your posture. The Wii Fit video game

offer a balance test you first get on the machine. It'll have you stand on one leg and balance her arms and then switch over to the other leg. He will give you a numerical value based on your coordination and balance for the right side and the left sideof your body.

It'll also calculate a chronological age that you scored closest to. I have very poor balance and I am 41 years old and scored as if I was the 65-year-old woman.

This balance board training program that Wii Fit offers will help me gain a better balance by offering a lot more training exercises in their menu.

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