Keeping you Body Wise: Balance Board Training

A Balance Training Program

As young athletes return to school and begin fall sports, it’s important to encourage proper training practices. Participating in a well designed sports training and conditioning program not only increases athletes’ strength but also helps to prevent injuries during the season.

The sprained ankle is the most common injury causing lost playing time, particularly in football, basketball, volleyball and soccer. Once an ankle is sprained, it is twice as likely to be sprained again. Targeted ankle strength and balance training can help keep athletes in the game.

During physical activity, the ankle is placed under enormous stress, making is all the more important to strengthen this vulnerable joint. The entire body’s weight rests on an area not much bigger than a cue ball, where the leg bone meets the foot. The ability to run, cut and jump depends on an athlete’s ability to balance his or her body weight over this small surface. If the soft tissue structures around the ankle are weak, the foot may turn in, stretching or tearing the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. If the supporting structures of the ankle are strong, it can reduce the risk of injury by half.

Dr. Phillip Parr, along with the Physical Therapy Center of The Orthopaedic Institute developed a balance training program to protect athletes from ankle injuries. The program is based on a compilation of published programs and can be performed both pre-season and during the season. All exercises should be performed for 30 seconds, alternating legs and progressing through the program weekly.

Click HERE to view the Balance Training program.