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Mel Siff
08-07-2000, 11:48 PM
There is a great deal of emphasis on so-called functional training in the
commercial world, especially regarding enhancement of balance. Thus, a
plethora of balancing devices such as the physio Ball, 'wobble' boards,
balance trainers and sponge cylinders, are being promoted to assist in this
regard.

The important issue is whether or not these various methods of improving
balance actually transfer the skills gained under these therapeutic
conditions to the conditions required in complex sports manoeuvres. While
there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that there seems to be noticeable
transfer, as well as improvements as measured on a force plate or dedicated
balancing testing device, has anyone come across convincing evidence that
generalised forms of balance training transfer significantly to the
"functional" actions of sport, as shown by assessment under actual sporting
conditions?

There are several references (such as the following) showing that simple one
or two legged balancing exercises without such devices, especially if
combined with dynamic exercise, but it is difficult to find any references
that prove the claimed superiority of balancing devices over the most basic
drills on a solid surface.

Judge JO, Lindsey C, Underwood M, Winsemius D Balance improvements in older
women: effects of exercise training. Phys Ther 1993 Apr; 73(4):254-62;
discussion 263-5

Dr Mel C Siff
Denver, USA
mcsiff@aol.com
http://www.egroups.com/group/supertraining

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