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Science Of Training

Need a little more of scientific reason to get on a balance board and add a third dimension to your training? We put together a summary articles with experiments related to balance. View the article titles here.

ACL And Lower Leg Involvement:

  • Patients with ACL reconstructions show decreased muscular activity on balance board tests.
  • Patients without ACL ligaments display more postural sway and less control when standing on injured leg.

Ankle Injuries:

  • Elite field hockey players with previous ankle injuries had decreased ability to maintain balance and had weaker dorsiflexors.
  • Tibialis Anterior (shin muscle and dorsiflexors) may be a better source for balance feedback compared to calf.
  • Training group that strengthen dorsiflexors (shin muscle) show greater ankle stability with less postural sway.

Differences Between Women And Men:

  • Hip abductor strength is more important for knee control when landing from a jump compared to men.
  • Obese women had less static posture balance in the anterior/posterior axis.
  • Obese men had less static posture balance in anterior/posterior and medial/lateral axis.

Effects Of Fatigue:

  • Trunk muscle fatigue was significant for decreasing static and dynamic balance.
  • 24 hours after intense plyometric jumps showed impairment of balance ability.
  • Lower leg fatigue impaired postural sway and control after 10 and 30 min of exercise.
  • Lower leg fatigue caused disrupted stability and posture control for subjects with chronic ankle instability.

Game Time Injuries:

  • Elite field hockey players with ankle injuries occurred on turf and 75% of them were during a game.
  • High school athletes were 3 times more likely to receive a shoulder injury during competition.

Baseball And Softball Players:

  • Throwing fatigue protocol for baseball had failed recovery of sensorimotor system acuity of arm cocked position after 10 min.
  • Softball players had better throwing velocity after a closed chain exercise program 3 times a week for 12 weeks.

Body Weight:

  • Increased weight was directly correlated to static posture balance in the anterior/posterior axis.
  • Body weight fluctuations of bulimia nervosa patients may affect patients in the anterior/posterior axis.
  • Extremely obese individuals show greater postural sway and decreased balance. Weight reduction and balance training showed better results that just weight reduction alone.

Spinal Health:

  • Spinal position affects stability and functional exercises should be muli-planar with strategic contraction rhythm for spinal stability. Whole body training is better for fall prevention.
  • Whole-body program designs are effective to reduce falls and improve functional mobility in older adults.
  • Strength training individual spinal muscles in a single plane may not help in "functional exercises" that are multi-planar because multi-plane exercises need a balance of all 3 spinal axis for spinal stability.

Elderly And Sedentary:

  • Lumbar kyphosis and osteoporosis had more postural sway and may increase risk for falls compared to thoracic kyphosis.
  • Static postural control was positively effected with training and would be good for low physical activity populations.
  • Balance training is effective for symmetry of weight distribution for sedentary subjects after 4 weeks.

Core Strength:

  • Balance training will improve reactive ability to reduce lower body injury, core training should be in post-season and can be tested with endurance tests.
  • Swiss ball prone bridges or planks increase rectus abdominis and external oblique activation.
  • Push-ups on a swiss ball show increased rectus abdominis and triceps activation when the feet were on the ground.

Balance Training Effects For High School Athletes:

  • Balance training programs are effective in reducing reoccurring ankle injury for male soccer players.
  • Soccer players who balance trained after practice improved more than the group training before practice.
  • High school soccer and basketball players on a balance training program reduced the rate and risk of ankle sprain by 50%
  • High school football players with previous ankle sprain and high body mass index showed 77% reduction in non-contact ankle sprain after balance training.

Dynamic Postural Control:

  • Dynamic posture controls were better in the morning using the Star Excursion Balance Test.
  • Static postural control did not differ during time of day using the single limb stance.
  • Collegiate female basketball players lacked postural control compared to gymnasts and soccer players.


  • Children with postural instability of the head and shoulder showed drawing inaccuracy.
  • Baseball players had compromised postural control with external stimuli of sideline vs clinic balance testing.