What is balance?

Balance is defined as “putting something in a steady position so that it does not fall” (Oxford Languages) and balance has traditionally been studied and trained with stillness in mind. However, as we observe everyday life or sport, we begin to understand that human balance is anything but trying to remain still. The Gray Institute defines functional balance as “successfully displacing one’s centre of gravity for the purpose of returning back to where one started or to transfer into another direction”. If we put this into real-life context, this means kicking a ball without falling over, taking a jog through the woods without a face full of mud or simply walking down stairs with confidence. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” (Albert Einstein)

Balance must therefore be analysed and trained as a combination of movement-based mobility and stability. Stability without mobility would have us back at the beginning, still and rigid. And mobility without stability would have us prone to injury.

Let’s take an example from a structure other than the human body and look at modern buildings that are built upon the Earth’s fault lines. Buildings that are built to withstand the uncertainty of earthquakes are built in such a way as to not stand rigid, but to receive, transfer and dissipate the energy and movement of a quake through the structure, allowing the building to move without cracking, crumbling or toppling. It’s the ultimate model of what we know as tensegrity and of balance (mobility and stability).

More balance = more ability to train and gain strength, fulfil functional flexibility and put the yards into endurance with decreased risk of injury

Functional balance spectrum

Looking at balance as a functional goal, we should begin by considering the programming principles below:

  • Moving at a variety of speeds or with short bursts of stillness combined
  • Performing balance training in natural environments, with natural body positions, at a variety of levels – floor/standing/transitional
  • Moving specifically related to joint motions, muscle functions or desired goals and tasks (tasks move joints, which turns on muscles that provide balance)
  • Moving in 3D/360⁰
  • From being additionally supported to unsupported
  • From being unloaded to loaded

Balance with ViPR programming applied

At ViPR, we always believe in starting at a point of success and then, through smart programming and challenges, building upon this to ensure our community and clients achieve their goals safely and swiftly. Remember, every person is unique and requires their very own strategy.

In our videos, we shall be using the principles above combined with the programming foundations below to build a strategy for better balance.

  • Body moves
  • ViPR moves
  • Body x ViPR moves
  • Eyes fixed to moving (dependent on task orientation)
  • Variety of points and angulations of contact
  • Degrees of load
  • Variety of load through different series, holds, handprints and footprints

ViPR shift and hip hinge

  • Combination progression
  • Gaze options
  • Load progressions
  • Shift angulation options

ViPR on-end anterior foot reach

  • 3D tilt options
  • Wall ward vector progression

Half kneeling ViPR rainbow shift

  • Stance width options
  • Transition to standing progressions

ViPR skaters

  • Speed progressions
  • Distance options
  • Single-leg progression
  • 3D footprint options

ViPR A-skip uppercuts

  • Arms driver options
  • Hold options