Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"How Do you Incorporate Balance Training into Your Clients' Workouts?"

Some clients—usually athletes, individuals who are in postrehabilitation and the elderly—understand that they need balance training. With them it’s acceptable to block out 15–20 minutes of each workout to specifically train balance. With athletes we will probably work on the beam and wobble boards doing sport-specific drills and a lot of single-leg exercises. For clients in postrehabilitation for low-back injury, we might spend that time working on foam rollers, stability balls or other unstable apparatus to train posture and stabilization. With seniors I like to do a lot of dual adjustable pulley work from standing. We add steps to their pushing and pulling exercises. We also do multidirectional mini lunges and walk through drills on the agility ladder. 
Name of model: Isokinetics Deluxe Balance BoardImage via Wikipedia
For other clients the workout goal is to look better. They need balance training as well, but they aren’t really interested in it. So I sneak balance work into the program. We might warm up for 3–4 minutes by walking and moving on the beam. The clients’ focus is on carrying themselves with their best-looking posture, but my focus is on making sure they get in some balance work. Then, before we do squats, we might do one warm-up set without weights on the balance board. We might do abdominal work on the stability ball that day as well. While their focus is on the “fashion” gains from these exercises, I’ve slipped in some “function” in terms of balance.
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