Balance Training In Your Dynamic Warm-Up
We commonly lift weights in order to over load our muscular system in order to create muscular strength gains that carry over into your specific sport being trained. We do squats to increase speed and power on the bike, core strength to increase run and swim economy, and we practice our speed/form/technique skills to improve our efficiency in sport (running, biking, swimming, golf, you name it.) It is often a given that our strength training will transfer over to functional strength in our desired sport. And it does... or else we wouldn't do it. The same goes for flexibility training as well as technique training. However, there is one component that is neglected. Balance Training. Have you ever noticed that when you first began bench pressing your "strength" increased dramatically in those first few months of training. Of course your "strength" was increasing but your balance and ability to "handle" the bar with weight may have really been what was increasing. Getting the movement down first when bench pressing is vital to throwing-up larger amounts of weight in the future. The same holds true to all the olympic lifts as well. Why don't we see more athletes balance training in addition to flexibility training, strength training, and technique training? Incorporating balance training into your workout is easy. Actually balance training, if done correctly, can be all three forms of training rolled up into one. Balance training incorporates more muscles which leads to greater strength. It also requires improved flexibility in order to perform the various movements and it ultimately will allow greater gains during technique/speed skill work due to a greater sense of body awareness in the various planes of movement. If this were not enough, balance training has been proven to significantly reduce sports related injury. Plus, 10-15 minutes of balance training can be done as your dynamic warm-up prior to more intense exercise or strength training. So get on the ball.