Often I see exercises directed at balance whereby the individual is asked to walk with narrow base, or balance on one leg. Usually balance deficits are provided with exercises that mainly challenge the legs or lower extremities. Let’s remember a few key principles concerning balance and how this may influence exercise selection to more efficiently address balance deficits.
Balance is the confluence of 3 systems
- Visual Input
- Inner Ear Input
- Receptor Input
Information is processed to produce a righting response whereby center of gravity is oriented over base of support.
Therefore if I most efficiently want to challenge balance, what region of the body must I incorporate dynamically? Let’s ask this question. What region of the body allows me to challenge visual input, inner ear input, as well as contains the greatest density of receptors in the body? The head!!!
When challenging balance don’t forget to incorporate visual depth challenges, looking left and right, producing real and reactive head/neck movements. This is a paradigm allowing for more efficient pursuit in affecting balance.