Why Balance Train? Do you need big muscles?

I follow several handstand and muscle-up types on Instagram. The men in these Instagram post like to have their shirts off. I can't do a muscle-up or a walking handstand. Funny how people feel a handstand is about balance. Well, maybe it is balance but balance for what? Just like the big muscles are for what? 

For instance, the photo in the header above looks like a push up but it is an incredibly difficult balance plank. A massively difficult upper body and core balance challenge.

I live my life on my feet, sitting or laying down. When I sit or lay down there is zero risk of falling. So as I get older I want to keep my balance above all else. I developed the SlackBow training system so that I could play my sports well into my 90's.  Ninety year old skiers don't have big muscles. 

My rambling point is this. I don't workout in the gym. All I do is SlackBow Balance Train. I am not a runner. I mountain bike, take short hikes and alpine ski. The video like the one below is meant to demonstrate that fitness does not come from big muscles. Maybe one day I'll take off my shirt but what my pecs and abs look like have nothing to do with my fitness.

The facts are:
The best athletes have the best balance. 
Deaths from falls have doubled in the last 15 years.
Big muscles don't make you stronger. You can lift more but are you stronger. Strength is the symphony of your muscles working together.

Remember, I am 63 year old. 
Be Balanced!

THE KEY COMPONENT TO ALL ATHLETIC BALANCE TRAINING

Find out the key component to all athletic balance training.

“Really? One key component.” I can hear everyone say. Yes, one key component.

A little background. When you are standing perfectly still, or so you think perfectly still, you are not in fact still. Little stabilizer muscle all through your body are contracting and releasing in little tiny ways to keep you upright. When I say “all over” I mean all over you body from your neck to your arms to your feet. It ain’t just your core!

If you have good balance and someone were to push you hard from the side you would throw your arms out to the side and move them to help get your balance back. If you have bad balance, your arms will immediately go out in a straight stiff position to break your fall. Most likely breaking a wrist, arm, elbow or shoulder. The body is designed to sacrifice any of those to protect your chest cavity of major organs or your head during a fall.

I have clients who come in with great looking bodies of nicely shaped gym built mobilizer muscles. When I put them through their first balance challenges, they can not engage their upper bodies while trying to balance. They have bad balance. Once they can release their upper bodies their balance gets better. This sometimes can take weeks.

So when you do a true balance challenge exercise you need to feel your arms and upper body move. You need to keep them free. No weights. Balance Is Power!

THE SLACKBOW IMPROVES STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION AND FLEXIBILITY

Find out how SlackBow Balance Training can alleviate pain in your life.

I brought a SlackBow to our annual Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (ACEP) retreat in Oracle, AZ.

One of the board members, Dr. Greg Nicosia took to the SlackBow in a big way. He spent much of his time during the breaks using our protocol to train on the SlackBow.

At breakfast the next morning Greg excitedly reported to me that in the last several months he has had pain and tightness on the upper hamstring on left leg and that over the months he has been constantly trying stretch those muscles out with no success.  His effort to stretch the hamstring was attempting to touch his toes but could only reach to 6 inches above his ankles.

After telling this story and right in front of the breakfast buffet, he bent over and almost put his palms on the floor.  He said this morning, the tightness was gone as well as the pain.  Wow!

I got to thinking, “What happened?  How could one hour of training on the SlackBow help someone with his condition?” I know when I train athletes that their muscle and neurological systems have to go into balance to be able to balance on the SlackBow. In Greg’s case, it may have been that he had begun that structural rebalancing process. Once his neurological system started to go into balance, his leg muscle released.  It could not have been stretching the muscles or any changes in muscle strength. The time on the SlackBow was too short for that.
Somehow there was neurological re-education of his muscle firing patterns after balance training on the SlackBow.

Balance Training. Whether it is shoulder or low back pain, or evenheadaches, balance training is very important. You can train your body by lifting more, or by stretching until you can wrap your legs behind your head. But what happens when you get off balance and your back goes out? What happens when your knee is strong when you walk straight, but it can’t handle a quick change in direction to the side? That’s why balance training is just as important as any of the other rehab strategies. The basic balance progression involves doing things on stable surfaces first and then moving to unstable surfaces.