In the last ten years, “functional” training has become quite popular, and suddenly every health club has all kinds of balance training
of this equipment involves something that you stand on that wobbles in
one direction or another to challenge your balance. The most common are:Airex Pad
– a square of foam that is about 2 inches thickHalf Foam Roll
– a 3 foot long foam roller cut lengthwise down the middleDynadisc
– a Frisbee sized inflatable circleBosu Ball
– an exercise ball cut in half with a flat baseWobble boards
– flat boards with a small ball or fulcrum under them
objects range in price from $15 to $130. But before you go buy one of
them or try them at your health club, understand this: you do not need
a crazy balance device to stand on in order to challenge your balance.
fact, I believe that for the over-60 population some of these devices
are actually dangerous. Most of these things are best used for athletes
or young adults who not only have better balance, but can also catch
themselves if they fall off.
I should mention that the Airex Pad
is the safest to use of all of these, and I do use it regularly with my
clients. Just make sure you set it up next to a railing to hold on to.
Use the railing while you’re stepping up onto the pad, and keep your
hands near the railing as you balance.
We have to remember that doing balance exercises
can be dangerous, especially if we’re standing on a very wobbly piece
of equipment. I developed my system of balance exercises with safety
first and foremost in mind. You can do all my exercises standing on the
ground and still challenge yourself adequately.Learn how to do my balance exercises here
Common Questions About Balance TrainingSenior Exercise Tips