All About Core Balance Training

All About Core Balance Training

Core balance training sometimes referred to as core stability training is the kind of training that focuses on the core muscles which functions as stabilizers while performing activities that challenge the musculoskeletal system.

This type of training and more importantly, this type of strength is important to all sports as the ability to transmit large forces either through the arms or through the legs, is dependent on the trunk and its associated deep and superficial musculature being the anchor from which efficient movement is produced.

Core balance is different from core strength (learn more about core training). The former refers much more to the body’s ability to stabilize the trunk for force production. The later refers to trunk muscle being able to transmit and absorb force itself.

So for instance, core balance will be needed by the running back that needs to produce large amount of force to sprint and for sudden changes in direction as he sprint. As these subtle changes are made, the spine and hip must maintain their integrity to allow force production to happen optimally.

However, core strength will be needed by the wide receiver, who while catching the ball, receives a crunching tackled in mid-flight. Core strength is needed to absorb the forces going through the body on this occasion. All top athletes know that core balance training makes them perform better.

All the best fitness experts and coaches know that a strong core and good balance is required to achieve optimal performances.

Here are some core balance exercises to help you maintain or improve your core balance and fitness levels:

Basic Balance

The purpose of the basic balance exercise is to promote a sense of awareness between the feet, hip and upper body to eliminate any unwarranted muscular activity. Once you have mastered this basic exercise, you can close your eyes to increase the difficulty.

  1. Stand up right with your feet hip width apart
  2. Lift one leg and move your arms directly above your head – make sure your knees are flexed ever so slightly
  3. Move one arm down to your side and back up
  4. Move both arms out stretched in front of you, move one arm to the side and back to the starting position
  5. With both arms out stretched to the side, maintaining the slightly bent knee and turn your trunk one way and then the other
  6. With both arms out stretched to the side, bend your upper body until one arm is pointing up and the other is pointing down
  7. Repeat on the other leg

Compass Balance

This exercise provides good balance, and should form part of your core balance training routine.

  1. Stand on one leg and imagine that you are standing on a compass with the north in front of you the south to the rear, the west to your left and the east to your right
  2. Bending at the hip and the knee while keeping your knee in line with your hip and feet, bend forward to touch the ground with the opposite hand of your supporting leg in the north position and return to the starting position
  3. Try to keep your head up and your back straight as you bend your hip and knee
  4. Using the same hand, repeat the actions for touching the floor in the west, east and south positions, you should stand up between each movements
  5. Repeat on the other leg

Single Leg Balance with Medicine Ball

This part of the core balance training can be completed with the aid of some type of load and in this example I am suggesting a medicine ball for this exercise. Stand on one leg with your hip and knee ever so slightly bent while holding a medicine ball above your head with both hands, perform the following variations

  1. Holding the ball above your head, move it in a circular fashion
  2. Start with the ball above your head and move it in a figure of eight
  3. Starting with the ball at waist height, rotate your upper body to the side
  4. Starting with the ball at waist height, lift the knee of the non-supporting leg higher and take the ball across the body, rotating your hip and shoulders in opposite directions
  5. Repeat on the other leg

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