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Dec 28

Tip of the Month – December

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How good is Your Balance?

Athletes in general and coaches as we get older should test their balance ability

Balance is one of the fundamental components of physical literacy (the ABCs = agility, balance, coordination, and speed) in the LTAD model (long-term athlete development). However, ‘balance training’ is often neglected or not considered as important power, strength, speed, and flexibility, for example.

Try This Balance Test Series!


Series 1

  1. Stand comfortably near a wall, holding the arms in any position
  2. Lift one foot an inch or two off the floor so that you are balancing on the other foot… you can fold one leg, bending the knee facing forward, and placing it on the opposite knee
  3. Time the duration of balance before having to put the raised foot down or touch the wall for support
  4. If you can’t stand on one leg unassisted, lightly touch the wall or hold the back of a chair with one or both hands for support
  5. Use less support as you improve your balance
  6. If you can hold this single leg stance for 60 seconds or more, you have excellent balance
  7. If you can’t hold it for more than 10 seconds, you could be at risk for a fall

 

Series 2

  1. Perform the same test as above…but rise to toe balance on both feet maintaining the toe balance point 15-30 seconds
  2. Perform the same test as #1 in Series 2 and rise to toe balance on single leg/foot maintaining the toe balance point 15-30 seconds
  3. Perform the same test as #1 in Series 2…rise to toe balance on both feet, close your eyes, maintaining the toe balance point 15-30 seconds
  4. Perform the same test as #2 in Series 2…rise to toe balance on single leg/foot, close your eyes, maintaining the toe balance point 7 seconds

storkstand

Simple Stork-stand Test – Knee Forward – Knee Sideways

 

  • If athletes encounter balance difficulties, implement additional Core and Balance exercises in daily programming.
  • Daily 5-minute exercises at home or assuming balance position while brushing teeth will help!
  • Coaches lacking balance as a fitness component:
  • In addition to the Balance tests, ask your doctor for ways to improve your balance and to prevent falls. Osteoporosis and weak balance are the cause of major injuries as we age (hip and knee injuries).

 

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