When it comes to balance, I think of a few things:
1. Yin and yang.
2. Eating a banana and chasing it with a cupcake.
3. Meditating then jamming out to Metallic.
Balance should be a priority when it comes to fitness and performance and every day living. Otherwise, we’d be living under extremism and not experiencing the richness of life.
Today, I’m going to touch more on the performance side of balance.
When programming these exercises, there must be a healthy medium of neuromuscular and strength work so athletes can adapt and progress. I’d argue they can benefit from both, especially athletes who are in the “transition phase” of performance (ages 12-15).
During this time, kids are still developing motor skills (neurological changes) and strength (hormonal changes), so it would be wise to sprinkle in neuromuscular exercises with instability and strength work with external load.
Here are 5 balance drills you can do with your athletes:
1. Offset Balance
2. Transverse Hops
3. Chaos Balance
4. Heavy Bulgarian Split Squat
5. TRX Lateral Lunge
Never underestimate the power of balance work.
But also don’t forget balance can be found in both whacky neuromuscular training and more heavy strength training (single leg work with load). Exposing your athletes to new challenges and stimuli improves their stability and strength.