The Secret of Balance and Stability Training

Training balance & stability is a forgotten secret

Balance keeps you on target

Balance is key to success in life

Martial arts is a very popular way to train for fitness. Anybody that has trained in a martial art knows that it gets the heart rate up, and improves flexibility. Muscle is also put to the test.

Building core strength, as well as other muscles, and training the mind, improves balance and stability.

Balance is described as the state of equilibrium characterized by the cancellation of all force by equal opposing force. Sounds like science, huh? That’s because it is–We’re talking Newton’s Laws of Motion.

The basic idea here is that for you to stand in one place, your muscles activate, and deactivate based on feedback from the nervous system. As your body senses that it’s leaning one way, your brain tells the appropriate muscles to tighten in order to keep you from toppling over. I don’t care who you are, that’s just cool!

The first part of improving balance is to build core muscles. We’re talking abdominal, lower and middle back, and hips. This is your center.

As these muscles are improved, you’ll find that your posture improves. It’s also been shown to make improvements in the bedroom.

Are you a clumsy person? Some people just are. Most people that are considered clumsy are this way because of poor balance and coordination.

This would be fixed through balance and stability training.

I personally don’t care for exercising on a Bosu ball. They may have their uses, but I feel that too many trainers rely too much on them.

There are plenty of exercises that can be performed that don’t require taking a chance of rolling an ankle on a Bosu ball.

  • Single-leg squats
  • Front leg raise
  • Side leg raise

In addition to these, you can stand on one foot and do various upper body exercises using dumbbells. A few examples would be:

  • Curls
  • Shoulder press
  • Bent over rows

Yoga is a fantastic way to train stability. The various positions requires muscle strength throughout the body in order to maintain balance.

Whatever you choose, adding various balance and stability training into your routine is a smart move.

Photo: Stephanie Berghaeuser

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “The Secret of Balance and Stability Training”

  1. Balance is the key, indeed. The exercise you mention here to increase balance and stability are spot on. I would even go a step further and mention 4 basic, “get ridiculous results”, core exercises everyone should be doing almost every day:

    1. Planks
    2. Side planks
    3. Bird dog
    4. Bridges/laying hip extensions

    Although they are core training exercises I usually use these as part of my warm up. Nothing gets your muscles firing like a nice plank!

    Awesome reminder, Todd, that getting back to basics and working on balance and stability are still important.
    Susan@Home Workouts´s last [type] ..How To Lose Weight Quick and Easy

  2. Anne says:

    Todd, you mentioned that your not a fan of the bosu ball. Is there a reason why? What about exercise balls in general?

  3. Todd says:

    @Susan, great core exercises! Thanks for adding those.

    @Anne, I’m a back-to-basics kind of guy. My opinion is that you can build all of your core/balance training through traditional movements. The bosu and exercise ball is over used. I look at it as more of a crutch than a tool. That might just be me though. :)

  4. Julie Downey says:

    Excellent post Todd, and I completely agree.

    For any stressed out readers, practicing balancing poses in yoga/martial arts also helps decrease stress.

    Because as you mentioned, if you loose your focus you’ll fall over, and so the mind/body is occupied with keeping you upright, rather than on your to-do list.

    Thanks for the great reminder!

    ~Julie Downey

  5. Todd says:

    “if you loose your focus you’ll fall over, and so the mind/body is occupied with keeping you upright, rather than on your to-do list.”

    @Julie, I don’t know why, I imagined falling on my to-do list, and it made me laugh. :)

  6. I’m tellin’ ya, without the Wii Fit I’d have no posture or balance. The yoga and balance games on there changed my life.

  7. Rick Kaselj says:


    I don’t care for Bosu balls either.

    Rick Kaselj of

    Rick Kaselj´s last [type] ..The Rise of Tendinosis

  8. Greetings Todd!

    I studied tae kwon do for several years, so I know exactly what you’re talking about!In my circle people focus so much on strength, and sometimes flexibility,that balance is often treated like Cinderella forgotten and left at home.

    There’s a reason why so many football running backs take ballet, and it’s not because they think they’ll look hot in tights. :)

    One thing that in my opinion has really helped my balance is the Wii Fit. It’s made me much more conscious of my standing posture, and seems to have made my body a lot more competent at making quick adjustments when off balance. I guess the snowboard park will be the test!

    Julie – I still need to put the weights down for a day and try Yoga! :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lean Muscle Matt´s last [type] ..10 Easy Ways to Increase Your Metabolism

  9. Todd says:

    @Julie, (Hey, there are two Julies now) You’re connected to that Wii, aren’t you? ;) That is what makes you THE Wii Mommy though.

    @Rick, Thanks for stopping by. I’m sure that there are uses for bosu balls, but I don’t have any. :)

    @Matt, you and Julie@Momspective (and Wii Mommies) should get along. She’s a huge Wii and EA Sports nut.

  10. Greg says:

    Love this post. I’m a fan of the Bosu, but the disadvantage of doing exercises that require fine muscle control is the risk of injury. Great reminder.
    Greg´s last [type] ..Are Your Couch Potato Habits Killing You Health Effects Of A Sedentary Lifestyle

  11. Todd says:

    @Greg, Thanks man. I think that the reason that I’ve never been a fan of the bosu ball, and exercise balls in general, is that I’m such a huge proponent of compound exercises, especially the “Big Three”. I tend to focus more on these types of movement for the body as a whole.

  12. So love this post – I wouldn’t have really thought this was important before, but my trainer has shown me the light. Even things like walking lunges + chop requires so much balance and core strength. Really, everything we do requires core & I’m so grateful to learn that. I found myself at the top of stairs with my hands full & tripped – it could have been really bad. I found myself 2 stairs down, on my knees & my body was spot on vertical – if there were judges, they would have given me a 10 for sure. But I’m convinced that having a strong core & good balance saved me from really hurting myself!
    Kris @Krazy_Kris´s last [type] ..Join Us for the First Workout Swap of 2011

  13. Todd says:

    Well, the French judge might have only given you a 7, but he’s been suspicious for nearly a decade now.

    Seriously, Kris, you’re absolutely right, our core plays such a vital role in everything that we do. To ignore it is to not be setting yourself up to win.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge