There is ongoing debate about the purpose of stability training devices. Tell us about your experience with wobble boards, Bosu trainers and stability disks. Did you experience improvements in fitness that were reflected in your/your client’s everyday function? Should these devices be used by everyone?
Like LaRue, I’ve often used balance training with clients who have had previous knee, hip or ankle injuries. I have found that most of my clients received some type of therapy for the previous injury, but stopped once they started “feeling” better. As a result, there may be some type of a muscle imbalance now. Using unstable surface training allows the weaker side to strengthen at its own pace, engaging the smaller ligaments and tendons.
I also work with a lot of runners. We use balance training to strengthen the ankle. As one runs from one leg to the other, out on trails or the road, runners deal constantly with changing surfaces and conditions. Balance training helps to prepare them for these encounters in a safe environment
I’ve also used it to add a bit of a challenge to my well conditioned clients. Fallls contribute to numberous injuries each year, some that eventually lead to other complications and death. By training the body to work on an unstable surface, they’re already conditioned to handle changing surfaces and less likely to fall. I’ve had numberous clients who have come to me saying “I’m such a clutz.” or “I have no coordination.” One of the first things they recognize, is that they’re not tripping as much as they used to before initiating a training program. They see the results for themselves.