Advanced Balance Training for Athletes – Tactical Athletes Too!
Stew Smith, CSCS
I recently wrote an article on Adding Balance to Your Life, but it was aimed more at beginners and for those who are losing their balance as they age. People fall everyday due to loss of balance muscles that accompanies a sedentary lifestyle. Spending your 40s, 50s, and 60s not exercising regularly can lead to a variety of broken bones and even death. So by simply standing on one leg everyday for a few minutes can help you build the lower leg muscles which will help with your reaction time to catch yourself if you stumble.
This article is inspired by an email from a 17 year old skateboarder who plans on serving in the military and asked if I thought his advanced ability to balance and be agile would help him in performing his job in the military.
I have used balance training with athletes using Balance balls, Bosu Balls, and one legged exercises. After doing some research for some local athletes who play sports like hockey, lacrosse, football, and basketball, I found a device that is hardcore and will help any athlete better stay on their feet during competition. If you have ever stunt biked, skateboarded or surfed, you will see the benefit of the Indo- Board Balance Trainer. Personally, I think these extreme sport athletes are perhaps the strongest in core strength and balance than any other athletes. See www.indoboard.com for more information and for some crazy videos go to YouTube.com and do a search for Indo-Board. After watching some videos of people falling, I realized that a bicycle helmet would be a good addition for both kids and adults alike, especially when learning how to stand on the Indo-Board. When I first stepped on the board using the cylinder, I thought, no way am I going to do this. Then after watching the instructional video that came with the Indo-Board both my 11 year old daughter and I had it down and could balance it on the cylinder for more than 3-4 minutes.
Now after only two weeks, I can add dumbbell exercises, full squats, even lunges on the board and there is plenty of room to grow and become even better on the balance board. The addition of balance training with sports is starting to get traction with top trainers of professional athletes. Balance is a neuro-muscular stimulator that involves every facet of movement and coordination from your feet to your core and to your inner ear as well as hand eye coordination. All of these are critical to athleticism and fast team movements as made by athletes and special ops teams.