"Balance, coordination and agility equals grace.." - Radu Teodorescu – Radu's Physical Culture
Do balance board training, strength & fitness exercises work for men and women over 40?
The last of the baby boomers hit 40 in 2000. This generation is nothing like the generation before it when it comes to physical activity, health and nutrition. They're staying more active, more fit and they're doing it with strength, balance and cardio exercises, eating healthier and actively participating in sports and recreational activities.
I'm going to tell how and why balance board training and fitness exercises work for men and women over 40, as well as give you some basic balance board training and fitness exercises to get you started. But first…
We need to touch on the aging process. The human body is an amazing piece of machinery. With the slightest movement and even when sedentary, cells are continuously dying and reproducing themselves. As we age, our body's ability to repair and rebuild not only slows, it just doesn't do as good a job as it did before.
Unfortunately, there are parts of the aging process that you have no control over like genetics. But there are some things that you can control, like your environment and your lifestyle. A few of the most common lifestyle variables are diet, exercise and stress management.
What GOD gave you, Mother Nature slowly takes away. Sorry kiddo, but left unchecked, here's a short list of what Mother Nature does to us over time.
- Muscle mass decreases and body fat percentage increases
- Strength, energy and reflexes decrease
- Eyesight and hearing capacity decreases
- Aerobic capacity decreases
Basically, your body loses its ability to turn oxygen into energy which slows activity and metabolism, increases body fat and cannibalizes muscle tissue. Here's what you can do to stem the tide and in some instances, like strength training, even reverse it.
- Get regular exercise, even if it's just walking
- At a minimum, exercises to strengthen the muscles you use for walking and lifting
- Eat a healthy anti-oxidant rich diet
- Minimize stress with lifestyle or activity changes if necessary
Since revolutionizing the balance training market in 1990 with the introduction of the World's first patented multi-axis dynamic balance boards, the magic of balance training to heighten balance recovery skills continues to grow and pave new roads.
Not only has the balance board grown from a sport-specific balance training tool, today's Vew-Do balance boards are so versatile, they also provide capabilities for strength training, plyometrics, aerobic and anaerobic fitness training, body weight exercises, rehab, physical therapy as well as just plain fun and recreation.
They are used at gyms, training centers, physical therapy centers, hospitals, the home, rehab centers, in the military and more.
Users are comprised of almost every age, gender and physical capability including trainers, coaches, professional and amateur athletes, persons with learning and physical disabilities, the entertainment industry, action/extreme sports enthusiasts, recreational users and others.
How balance board training helps men and women over 40
The human balance system is design to transmit feedback for out of balance situations (balance recovery feedback). As we age, decreased muscle mass, strength, agility and aerobic capacity all contribute to naturally decreasing balance recovery skills. To regain some of the lost capacity to recover balance through the aging process, incorporate a balance board training routine with an overall strength and fitness program. Here's how a Vew-Do balance board will help.
When the rider activates the Vew-Do Balance Board with movement, the board continuously disrupts your center of balance forcing the use of dynamic and multi-directional planes of motion. This puts you in "balance recovery" mode and forces you to use and develop all three of your body's balance systems in all three planes of motion (frontal, sagittal and transverse planes).
As you achieve a higher skill progression, you're body will store this information as muscle memory and use the stored information in a balance recovery situation when it is recreated in another environment. In reality, it's really an "unbalance" board for training balance recovery skills. That's because the skill enhancement for balance recovery is gained by disrupting your balance or base of support (BOS), and not by trying to maintain static states of balance. Balance training is training to go from an unbalanced state back to a balanced state.
In addition to improving balance recovery skills, proprioception and other benefits, balance boards also add physical conditioning, strengthening of muscles, tendons and ligaments, calorie burning and enjoyment to your training routine.
Below, you'll find a short list of balance board exercises for men and women over 40.
Balance Board Strength, Balance and Fitness Exercises
Basic Balance Training - The key to balance training is to keep your center of balance (belly button) over the rock at all times. Mount the board and center the rock underneath it. Keep both knees slightly bent, your back straight and your head up to start. Set the board in motion by straightening one leg and increasing the bend of the knee on the other leg, thus shifting your weight over the board. As you reach the "stop ends" of the board, repeat the process with the other leg.
Once you get the hang of this it will become sub-conscious. Then increase the progression by drawing imaginary shapes, writing your name, tossing a tennis ball from hand to hand, having a partner play catch with you etc. The more you progress, the less conscious you will be of your balance recovery strategy.
Static Sea-Saw Squats - This exercise is safe when using a teeter rock. Position yourself on the board in a downhill skier's racing tuck. In other words, squat down until your knee joint creates a 45 degree angle. You'll have one side of the board against the floor and the other side off the ground spanning the teeter rock.
Stay in your static squat, keep the rock centered and shift your weight slightly to the elevated side of the board, then begin pushing into the board with downward pressure while maintaining a tuck position. Repeat this motion with the opposite leg. This creates the sea-saw motion while maintaining a static squat or tuck position. Increase the velocity of the sea-saw motion and you'll start to feel the burn in your thighs.
Balance Board Negative Push-ups - In strength training the term negative means applying more resistance to the gravity friendly portion of the lift. In our negative balance board push-up exercise, you'll add more weight to the lowering portion of the push-up by shifting most of the resistance to one arm.
The way to do this is to assume a push-up position on the board, hands flat on the board, slightly outside of shoulder width, with the rock centered underneath. Perform a push-up, and then roll the rock to one arm underneath the board by pushing the board towards the opposite arm. Then transfer all your weight to the arm positioned over the rock (negative). Lower yourself to the board.
While you are still lowered over the board, slide the board so the rock is repositioned in the center of the board. Push up with your weight evenly distributed over both arms, and then repeat the reloading sequence by moving to the opposite arm. You can enhance this exercise by performing a full cycle one arm push-up (up and down using one arm).
Now that you've got the skinny on balance training for adults over 40, why not add balance board strength, balance and fitness training to you new lifestyle with a Vew-Do Balance Board?
By: Rick Contrata