Balance and Coordination of Movement

Hey T-Men. Im a wrestler / runner and im darn quick and strong enough but i lack in coordination and balance. I want to know if these attributes can REALLY be improved and if so, HOW? I would hope that balance and coordination aren’t just 2 things that you are born w/ and gain regardless of athletic training but who knows

The answer is YES. There are many programs that can accomplish this and there a many training tools. Do a search on balance training using yahoo, then find one that matched your goals. Best of Luck.

Renegade rope training is what you are after. My balance and hand and eye cord. improved dramatically from it. Take it easy the first few times though, it’s quite a challange, but the payoff is well worth it. Best of luck.

Just a note: Ian King will be writing about this topic in Friday’s edition of T-mag.


You can always count on the coach. I'm still limping through Renegade Bodybuilding. Damn those Thursdays are killers.

So, what kinda magic is it to have an article given to you - one week - after you ask a question?

Ken has a good idea, but also balance boards are great, wobble boards, ladder drills … Coach Davies has a fantastic movement called the Rx squat … just what the doctor ordered. I presume he’ll be writing about it shortly … hard to do, and with eyes closed make sure no one’s around!!

So I was right with my future articles prediction ;-)“Upcoming articles, Make spandex your friend by Dave Tate, Swiss Balls and Balance Boards a 12 week specialisation program by Ian King, How a weeks fasting cleansed my system by John Berardi, Iceland Rocks! my visit to Reykjavik by Chris Shugart.” Can’t wait to read the others, how was the trip?

Ian doesn’t address this question exactly, but he does touch on it. Note that Ian generally thinks balance training is a joke and often makes cracks about wobble boards and Swiss balls.

Tell you what, I’ll give the readers of this thread a sneak preview of Ian’s next Heavy Metal column where he addresses (sort of) this issue:

Balance Training

Q: I read somewhere that if you don't develop a sense of balance as a kid, then you won't be able to improve it much as an adult. Any truth to this? Is "balance training" worth it? It would seem that strengthening the stabilizers would help with balance. What do you think?

A: I don?t like these black and white statements, and I don?t support any statement that limits the human potential to change.

However, in the ideal world, you should optimize the physical adaptations that occur during the first twelve years of life. The athlete who’s exposed to more physical play during these years will exploit more of his human potential as a result of this opportunity.

So yes, I believe the first twelve years is the most critical period of physical development. The crazy thing about sport in the Western world is that the quality of coaching is low when it's needed the most (young athletes) and highest when it has the least potential to change (older athletes).

If you ever read my Winning and Losing book, you’ll see I believe there are five people or factors more deserving to take credit for sporting success than the strength and conditioning coach of the adult athlete. These include:

* The parents of the athlete (for the genetics)

* The parents again for the environment they brought the kid up in

* The society or culture (for the values it placed on play)

  • The early stage coaches (for skill development)

  • The mental toughening experiences of the child

The strength coach of the adult athlete is a long way down the food chain, which is one of the reasons I downplay my contribution. I’m happy for others to make a fool of themselves by bullshitting about their contribution to the medals won by their athletes!

As for specific balance training, I see this as a typical North American solution to sport. What non-specific yet apparently specific training program can I implement (or what device can I buy) that will suddenly create a superior athlete? Just play the game for fuck?s sake! Let the child play!

Forgive the questions marks. I think this is caused by pasting into the forum a document that was originally written in Word.

I was wondering where those question marks came from. They’re all over the board when I read other people’s posts. Often instead of apostrophies.

Here’s a great way to develop balance: Practice standing on one foot with your eyes closed. Most people can’t do this for more than ten seconds! Work up to 5 minutes on each foot.

Goodness that’s weird! I’ve just started doing that - this week! I read an article about expanding neuron connection by trying new things - and I realized that throwing in more ‘non-standard’ activities should help (driving with no shoes on, walking down stairs with your eyes closed, opening doors with your off hand).

Actually, I started standing on one foot with my eyes closed when I brush my teeth.

Yeah, the great thing about it is that it activates a ton of independent motor and balance systems, just for that one simple act. Once you get good at keeping your eyes closed, try adding in slow leg extensions (with the leg you aren’t standing on, of course), or Tai-Chi like movements.

Areas of balance and coordination are different depending on the task at hand. Just because a gymnast is good on a balance beam doesn’t mean he/she can quickly scale the steep mountain face that the experienced mountain climber can. Both involve balance and coordination though.

You’ve gotten some good recommendations already. Another thing than can help develop balance for wrestling is to practice with a friend by closing your eyes after the tie up.

yes, there are a wide array of methods i use in training my athletes to enhance coordination and balance. Jumping rope, ladders, olympic lifts etc.

Try this. Stand on one leg and begin to abduct either leg. Do not hold anything for support. This is great for balance and dynamic range of motion.

Coach Hale

For all you MA’s try doing your katas with your eyes closed. Lots of fun. Best of Luck.