Standing Balance: Important for Injury Prevention and Sports Performance

By Dr. Bradley Cipriani, DPT, OCS, Cert TMM, HKC

Standing balance seems to be a frequent weak point for the majority of the general population for a variety of reasons. It is not something that has been historically emphasized in strength and conditioning programs or the typical gym related work out regimen. There are no “balance machines” at the gym and if you take a moment to look around, you will probably see very few people doing any type of exercise standing on one leg (without upper body support). In the rehab/physical therapy world, we focus much of our attention on balance to improve trunk stability, reduce fall risk, and progress athletes back to competition. When you review the current research that examines various interventions and their impact on improving patient function, balance exercises are supported by numerous studies in their ability to reduce risk of recurrent injury. The following progression may be utilized to enhance your current balance/trunk stability to reduce falls and reduce risk of injury. Exercises are listed from easiest to hardest. Feel free to comment to let me know how you do.

  1. Step Balance Progression
    1. Heel Raise in Hip Extension Supported VIDEO
    2. Heel Raise in Hip Extension Unsupported VIDEO
    3. Dynamic Movement 3 Planes Balance VIDEO
  2. Single Leg Progression
    1. Sagittal Plane Stability VIDEO
    2. Frontal Plane Stability VIDEO
    3. Transverse Plane Stability VIDEO
    4. Multiplanar Stability VIDEO
  3. Bosu Balance Progression
    1. Phase 1 Static Balance VIDEO
    2. Sagittal Plane Stability VIDEO
    3. Frontal Plane Stability VIDEO
    4. Transverse Plane Stability VIDEO
    5. Single Leg Deadlift to Single Leg Squat VIDEO
    6. Multiple Plane Stability VIDEO


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