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Webinar with Dr. Cobb

Simple, Effective Balance Training Hack- Episode 416

Video Highlights

- Introduction to eyes-closed balance training
- Progressions
- Safety reminders and recommendations

What I want to cover today is a quick addition that you can add into almost any training session to enhance the activity of your vestibular and proprioceptive systems.

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So our inner ear and basically the information coming in from our muscles, joints, tendons, etc. The simple way to do this is to take the eyes out of the equation. So, normally what I do with clients is, I’ll start them with doing a little bit of just up and down work of some kind, whether that’s a squat, a lunge, or getting down to the floor and coming back up. So for our purposes. I’m just going to have you keep your eyes open. Do a few lunges. You can do forward or backward lunges. What I often find is that the backward lunges are a little bit more challenging for people when we go to an eyes-closed position.

So after you’ve done five or ten lunges and you feel a little warmed up, what I want you to then do is close your eyes.
Now, if this freaks you out, you can always grab a stick or a dog or something tall. We need anything that you can hold onto. So you begin eyes closed and you just use the stick and you ensure, that you’re nice and comfortable. In this particular case. I’ve touched down. So that I’m feeling safe and I can come back up.

Now, as you improve with this, you start to let go of the device or the tool and you move slowly. So eyes are going to be closed, you get back, you feel set, you go down, gentle touch and come back up. Most people are fascinated by how much their balance is challenged when we remove the visual system. So the things that I like to have people do. Number one- eyes closed with the tool. Nice slow, get down to the ground and feel safe. Then ditch the tool,  ditch the support. Eyes closed. Very, very slow movement. After lunges feel good I then want to increase the challenge a little bit more by asking you to go all the way down to the ground. And then, back up. You can choose whatever way you want to do that.
Normally what I have people do in our system because we like to do a lot of spiraling movement. Eyes closed. And begin kind of a nice knee spiral, spiraling down to the ground. To here. And then figuring out some comfortable way to come back up to a standing position. Just adding in this eyes closed work will often, as I said, enhance your body awareness. It will also challenge your vestibular system in kind of a unique way.

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I recommend that you do not use a blindfold for this, just open and closed eyes. It’s much safer because what we don’t want is for you to have a blindfold on, you’re going down, you start to lose your balance, and you open your eyes to catch your balance, and you still have a blindfold on and can’t see. So, we don’t want you to fall. We don’t want you to hurt yourself. So just be smart and sensible about this, but consider adding in a few repetitions to most of your training sessions. I think you’ll see a huge benefit.

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