Balance Training: Definition and What it is
Medically and clinically reviewed by Jonathan Lee, MD and Dylan Peterson, PT, DPT
Balance Training Definition and Meaning
Balance training uses specific exercises to improve one’s ability to stay upright, whether moving around (dynamic balance) or standing still (static balance). Balance training exercises focus on strengthening muscles and enhancing coordination to reduce the risk of injury, particularly from falls.
Balance Training Exercises
Balance training exercises include a range of activities that challenge the body's ability to maintain its center of gravity. You can practice them almost anywhere and no equipment is needed for most exercises. Balance training exercises include: single leg balance, heel-to-toe walks, sit to stand, and tandem stance. Practices like yoga and tai chi also focus on balance. They include many poses and moves that help improve overall body strength and can lower fall risk.
Benefits of Balance Training
Challenges with balance can make even basic activities (like walking, getting out of a bed, or standing up from a chair) challenging. Balance training can counteract changes in your balance and mobility as you age and make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable. The benefits of balance training are numerous, including reduced fall risk, improved posture, stronger bones, and enhanced joint stability and mobility.
Balance Training: A Hinge Health Perspective
Movement is critical to maintaining good balance, especially as you age. When you slow down or aren’t moving as much, whether due to an injury, a health condition, or too much sedentary living, you’re not activating the sensory feedback loop between your muscles and joints and your brain. This, in turn, can impact how well you’re able to maintain your balance.
Inactivity also causes declines in muscle strength and flexibility, essential components of balance. As a result, you may be less steady when you move and less confident in your stability. When that happens, you may further limit your activity. This is an understandable reaction, but it can make the problem worse and can lead to impaired function, frailty, and injuries. It can also have a negative snowball effect on other aspects of your health.
That’s why it’s important to ease into movement with balance training exercises instead of avoiding activity. Working with a physical therapist (PT) can help you safely practice balance exercises. A PT can help you build the strength, stability, and coordination necessary so you feel confident incorporating these moves into your daily life.
You can see a physical therapist in person or use a program like Hinge Health to access a PT via telehealth/video visit.
How Hinge Health Can Help You
If you have joint or muscle pain that makes it hard to move, you can get the relief you’ve been looking for with Hinge Health’s online exercise therapy program.
The best part: You don’t have to leave your home because our program is digital. That means you can easily get the care you need through our app, when and where it works for you.
Through our program, you’ll have access to therapeutic exercises and stretches for your condition.
Additionally, you’ll have a personal care team to guide, support, and tailor our program to you. See if you qualify for Hinge Health and confirm free coverage through your employer or benefit plan here.
This article and its contents are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice or professional services specific to you or your medical condition.
Balance Training Seems to Prevent Falls, Injuries in Seniors. (2013, October 31). Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/balance-training-seems-to-prevent-falls-injuries-in-seniors-201310316825
Lesinski, M., Hortobágyi, T., Muehlbauer, T., Gollhofer, A., & Granacher, U. (2015). Effects of Balance Training on Balance Performance in Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 45(12), 1721–1738. doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0375-y