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True balance training requires the head and eyes to be in motion

We talk about balance all the time. But what is it really? And how do we actually train it?

Balance is a symphony of reflexive actions that stabilize the body while your head and eyes are in motion.

Your ability to keep your balance is largely mediated by your vision and vestibular systems.

The vestibular system is like your onboard balance system. Like a carpenters level, movement of the level causes the fluid to move inside. Movement of our head and neck creates excitation and inhibition of fluid filled canals of the vestibular system which sends information back to the brain to be interpreted and compared with other information coming from the visual and proprioceptive systems. If all the information matches, movement outcomes are solid and accurate. If the information doesn’t match movement can be compromised in many ways including having poor balance!

The vestibular system reflexively communicates to spinal musculature and extensor musculature of the lower body. Many people refer to this as the posterior chain. All the muscles that help keep us upright against gravity! And all of this happens reflexively. It’s not voluntary!

It is a common misconception that standing still on one leg is training balance. This would be more of a proprioceptive challenge. The missing key element to training and improving balance is integrating head and eye motion into different positions, stances, walking and running all relative to what you want to be good at!


Cheers!

 

About the Author:

Taylor Kruse, recently featured in Men's Health, is dedicated to empowering you with the truth and tools for improved health and performance.

His inspiration stems from more than 10 years of education and coaching through systems like Zhealth Performance, The Burdenko Method, and various movement practices.

In 2013, he co-founded The Movement Project with girlfriend, Alisha Hale. Both are dedicated to inspiring people, coaches, and trainers into their best health and performance. 

GETTING STARTED WITH BRAIN-BASED TRAINING:

Practice FIVE Neuro-Performance Drills

Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!

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GETTING STARTED WITH BRAIN-BASED TRAINING:

Practice FIVE Neuro-Performance Drills

Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!