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Why should I incorporate balance into my workout?

Jun 23, 2014

Bruce Kelly
FT Media

"Regarding balance, research has shown that it is very task specific.  So for example, doing one leg press while standing on a BOSU will have little carryover to real life.  It must be remembered that on all ground-based activity we are moving over a stationary surface.  So exercises like split squats, lunges, etc. will have more carryover to "real life" than using so-called balance tools and tricking things up."

Chavanne Scott
FT Ballantyne

"Enhanced proprioception is "the body's ability to interpret and use information about your position in space." When the information received is too complex to translate, the system gets overwhelmed and you lose your balance. But with practice and experience -- i.e. balance training -- you can master what once seemed like impossible tasks. For example, like you did when you first removed the training wheels from your childhood bike or skied to the bottom of the bunny hill the first time without falling.  This can be helpful for everyone from children to elderly and even professional athletes.

"Balance training will lead to improvements in coordination, athletic skill, and posture. This in turn will result in fewer injuries and greater stability as you age, which can help prevent falls and keep you both strong and independent."

Carrie Burr
FT South End

"Balance is a fitness component that is often passed over and rarely talked about.  However, I personally think it is one of the most important contributions to overall health and fitness.  When we focus on balance it requires all those stability muscles -- not to mention ligaments -- to be used that aren’t normally used when exercising large muscle groups.

"Also, when someone gains better balance they gain better self-perception.  Meaning when someone goes to place their foot on a bench while working out or reaching for something in the kitchen, their body can easily deal with the demands without second-guessing itself.

"I recommend yoga or barre classes if you are really looking to improve overall balance."


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