Answer the following 4 questions to test how well your balance exercises measure up (total your "YES" answers and score at end of post):
- Do your balance training sessions include at least 30 minutes each visit? Principles of "specificity of training" state that if you want to improve at a given skill, then you must spend time practicing that specific skill. If balancing is the skill you want to improve, then spend at least 30 min. per treatment on exercises and activities that challenge balance.
- Do you including static, dynamic, and reactionary balance exercises in each treatment? There are different types of balance, e.g., standing still, moving about, and reacting to one's environment. Each of these 3 types of balance requires different skills. As such, devote time (5 to 15 min.) to each group of balance exercises. See blogs titled "3 Key Types of Standing Balance" and "3 Reactionary Balance Training Tips" for more information.
- Does your balance exercise intensity consistently achieve a 20:20 ratio (at least 20% unsteady AND 20% steady during exercise time)? Balance exercises can be fluid, meaning it is possible to feel steady (no unexpected movements) for part of an exercise, AND unsteady (unexpected movements) for part of the exact same exercise. Unsteadiness, in the correct amount, is good when exercising as it a sign of being challenged - which is needed to make training gains. See blog post "20:20 Clarity on Balance Training" for more information.
- Are you progressing exercises when patients demonstrate 50% steadiness with current level of exercises? As patients improve, exercises need to be updated and progressed. Exercises can be progressed to more challenging ones, or combined with other exercises, stances, surfaces, movements, etc. to overload and improve balance. See blogs titled "Keep Balance Training Progressive" and "5 Ways to Progress Balance Exercises" for more information.
SCORING (total number of "YES" answers):
4. If you can answer "YES" to the above 4 questions, congratulations you are a balance expert and undoubtedly are providing high-quality balance treatments!
2 or 3. Two or three "YES" answers means you are on your way to being a balance expert. Keep up the good work and fill in the gaps to elevate your treatments to the next level.
1. You might be new to providing balance treatments. No worries, you on on a worthy journey. Keep building your balance skills and experiences.
0. You make have struck out on this survey, but don't fret, balance training can be learned. Carve out some time and build your balance knowledge. A good starting point is our FB group "100+ Balance Exercises."