Balance is one of those things that you don’t notice you need until you lose it. Like anything balance needs to be trained. When we don’t train balance, we can be more susceptible to falling, when you are training if you don’t have good balance it can create undesirable loading patterns on the joints which can cause injuries over time.
When we balance, we use our eyes, our ears, and our body awareness to keep ourselves upright. If we take one of these systems away our body has to work harder in the other two areas to stay upright. Try standing on one leg with your eyes open, then try doing it with your eyes shut, it is much hard because our bodies can no longer see so we have to use our ears and body awareness more to maintain an upright position.
In the performance realm balance helps to keep the muscles working efficiently. If we have good balance that we train regularly and challenge by increasing the load that goes through the body during balance, then we are assisting the efficiency of our muscles and joints during movement. This will improve the body’s ability to maintain good form over a long period of time, it will help the body maintain a relaxed state, and it will help you catch yourself if you trip or fall. Balance has so many benefits so make sure you start practising today. Try starting with some of the level 1 balance exercises from the exercise library to start improving your balance and performance outcomes.