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Balance issues- Please help

Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:19 pm
by dboogie62
I have extremely flat feet and very bad balance, especially when standing on one foot. I have attempted training on "unstable surfaces" and balancing with one foot on bosu balls and nothing helps.


Can anyone think of something I could be over looking?

Could weak muscles in my feet be the culprit?

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:49 am
by Ironman
I have the same thing. It's probably neurological. Being flat footed might do it too. Working on unstable surfaces will just make you fall. What you need is single limb training. Then some core stuff like planks, or the ab wheel, or something called a Turkish Getup. It's hard to describe, better look it up on youtube. But it involves getting up from a laying position with a dumbbell, barbell, or kettlebell in one hand.

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:46 am
by Nevage
I have flat feet but don't really notice any difference. I tried one legged squats with one leg behind me elevated and actually couldn't do it, I was wobbling all over the place. But then I just changed to split squats and was fine.

Re: Balance issues- Please help

Posted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:30 am
by KenDowns
dboogie62 wrote:I have extremely flat feet and very bad balance, especially when standing on one foot. I have attempted training on "unstable surfaces" and balancing with one foot on bosu balls and nothing helps.


Can anyone think of something I could be over looking?

Could weak muscles in my feet be the culprit?
I don't have flat feet and am a beginner, so take this with a grain of salt, but here is my experience.

I experience distressing balance issues on my right foot but not my left. I discovered this doing Bulgarian split squat. As I have no reason to believe there is anything seriously wrong with me somewhere, I decided to continue with the split squats, reducing the weight until I could maintain balance on my right side.

*IF*, and this is an if, if my balance issue on the right foot is an issue of strength, I'm hoping the Bulgarian split squat will help correct it. I have had some results, encouraging but not yet really exciting.

Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:15 am
by Jungledoc
I think balance comes from strength issues, but it is also a specific "skill" that can be practiced and improved. So you should do unilateral strengthening to get strength up on both sides, but you should also do things that challenge balance, like standing on one leg for prolonged periods of time, doing lifts while standing on one foot, etc. I doubt that having flat feet affects your balance very much.

Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:54 pm
by Stefan 93
Hi, I don't have flat feet but maybe this can help you.
I had the same problem like you before I started exercising. I had 6 kg (13.2 lbs) more but I had very very thin waist (like women who have hourglass figure, except I had much wider shoulders than hips). Then I started doing side bends with dumbbells and now I have almost straight waist. Maybe (front) lunges helped, too, because I had problems with balance while I was doing them.
Now I can stand on one leg and do everything... Now I'm adding unilateral exercises so results will be great, you should try this, too. It won't take too much time...
Just find some exercises for obliques.

Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:18 pm
by taifun
I don't remember the reference offhand (let me know if you really want me to dig it up), but bosu ball training and other unstable balance training doesn't improve single leg balance (and in fact impairs it). However, training single leg balance with your eyes closed does improve "normal" single leg balance (measured in terms of time to dabbing).

The usual caveats about these sorts of studies apply: the study was probably done on a small group of relatively homogeneous subjects, and despite that, there was probably significant intra-group variance, so who knows if the result is valid for you? Can't hurt to try, though.

Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:58 pm
by stuward
Turkish get ups certainly require balance but you would do better starting with split squats. Start with relatively stable and work towards less stable.

http://www.strengthcoach.com/public/1219print.cfm

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:16 am
by Haffy13
I was just reading about something that may be of help to people with flat feet. There's a little blurb on it in this article http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ed_in_2010

It's called a Strasburg sock.

Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:50 am
by KPj
There's a few things I do that may help...

I build strength and propper movement on 2 legs first (the majority of the time, anyway). I'll still use some kind of step up at this time though, normallly starting on a low box. I think the biggest value here is just getting comfortable being on one leg. I'll increase step height as they improve.

So, this is what takes place in the actually resistance/strength portion of the session. However, I make everyone do a dynamic warm up. Here, i'll work on more difficult movements. In the example above, i'll work on a static lunge (unless it's painfull). So we'll just do 5-10 reps per side, with b/w. It generally doesn't look pretty at first but we work on it. When they get competent, I then move it into the strength/resistance training part of the session, and we "train" it. So we learn more difficult movements in the warm up, and when they're mastered with bodyweight, we then train them.

When I have people "training" the static lunge, i'll get more dynamic. The warm up will now include reverse lunges, and I'll add some kind of single leg deadlift (i normally use either bowler squats or reaching DL's). Again when the movements are mastered in the warm up, then we'll start to train them during the session.

I find that doing this means that the actual training session is always intense enough to get a good training effect and, the warm ups are progressively improving movement patterns giving way to more variety and challenging movements for the actual session.

I'm a big fan of Pallof Press variations and I find that half kneeling Pallof press can help enforce and improve the stability required to lunge. To imagine the relevance, this is similar to sitting in the bottom position of a lunge and have someone try to push you over. Half Kneeling Pallofs really just train you to me more solid/stable in this position, fighting against the urge to fall.

KPj