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Balance Functional Stability Protocols

Static Balance Protocol

Balance Control: The Self Check Program That Nobody Can Afford To Do Without

We can employ this protocol to ensure that balance control is improving. In the world of sport players must make critical decisions instantly and at high rates of speed. Therefore, loss of balance control and impaired reflexes, whether caused by neurological, anatomical or a metabolic impairment, can produce damaging results. Loss of balance control, which covers dizziness and impaired reflexes, is the key whether sub clinical or blatantly obvious. To help with understanding loss of balance control the static balance protocol has been devised. Done in stages the subject must finish a stage fully before proceeding to the next.

    Stages of Static Control
  • 1. Stand on both legs with eyes open facing forward.
  • 2. Stand on both legs with eyes closed facing forward. This is also known as Romberg’s or the drunk driving test.
  • 3. Stand on one leg with eyes open for 15 seconds. If you do not complete the full 15 seconds note the time of ability.
  • 4. Repeat on opposite leg.
  • 5. Repeat steps three and four with eyes closed.

REMEMBER we do not allow advancement to the next level unless can fully complete the previous level. If the environment warrants it and there are spotters for the person being tested we can repeat the above stages employing additional instability at the same time. Such as using a BOSU ball flat side up or instability pads to perturb the individual. This protocol is simple and would take less than five minutes to complete. By only allowing advancement to a successful stage, we can monitor the individual to see the effects of their training and play. If we see more and more advancement is being made to more difficult levels, enhancement in balance control can be noted. However, if the reverse is true, then questions must be asked as to why. If a condition is developing and loss of balance is starting to be noted we must act accordingly. Many of the reasons will be simple but we cannot afford to overlook those that may be more serious. By employing the above protocol we will have one more simple, effective approach to protect our youth. Knowing that life is not static we can now move to a more dynamic evaluation of balance control by employing the march in place test with the OptoJump/ OptoGate system.

March In Place Balance Protocol

Balance Control: The Self Check Program That Nobody Can Afford To Do Without

We must all remember that balance and coordination is controlled and influenced by, visuo spatial ability, vestibular/inner ear, and tactile sense/proprioception.

The March in Place test is done first with eyes open so that we can get a baseline for the participant. We then perform MIP with eyes closed so that any changes can be recorded. When you think about it the participant should be able to be as effective with their eyes closed. Differences seen are the result of body imbalances that could not be compensated for by proprioceptive ability. It is these imbalances, that can only be seen with dynamic testing, that prevent participants from reaching optimal performance. Once identified, these imbalances are corrected with our BFS training program

  • 1. Start in a jump stance, mark your starting position and concentrate on the 6 absolutes.
  • 2. Start marching in place with your eyes open. March aggressively.
  • 3. March for approximately 30 seconds.
  • 4. Check your ending position and compare to your starting position.
  • 5. Repeat Steps 1-4 with your eyes closed. Again check your ending position and compare to starting position.
  • 6. The difference between your end position with eyes closed and your ending position with eyes open is your hidden imbalance of your body that is being compensated by your vision.

Home Work: 3 minute balance and coordination practice, always focus on the 6 absolutes.

  • 1. Stand on one leg with eyes open with other leg holding thigh parallel to the ground.
  • 2. Try to hold this position for up to 15 seconds, when you lose balance control or you reach 15 seconds take a deep breath and switch legs.
  • 3. Do this for 3 minutes.
  • 4. When you reach 15 seconds with each leg follow steps 1-3 with your eyes closed.
  • 5. To make the exercise more difficult change the surface that you stand on. Example: Bosu Ball

Download a pdf Protocol Card Card to print and share with your students and atletes here.

Learn about using the OptoJump one meter system to measure your march in place test with Olympic level accuracy. Read more about the importance of accurately measuring your students and athletes progress through out thier development.

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