Balance Training Can Improve Cutting

There's been a lot of flak given to unstable surface training on objects like the TeraCore by @vicorefitness lately within the rehabilitation community that we think is quite unfair. Balance training on stable and unstable surfaces alike CAN and SHOULD be implemented into your athlete's programming and this recent article from the Nov 2017 of JOSPT is enough to affirm why (article link in IG story) . In short, the authors looked at a 90-degree cutting task on a moving surface which is meant to simulate the change of direction a player must make on a grass (unstable) surface. The balance training group underwent 6 weeks of balance specific exercises, many of which are included in the video above. Balance exercises were progressed from stable surfaces to unstable surfaces and incorporated challenging all 3 subsystems of balance: visual, propriceptive, and vestibular. They did this by having subjects close their eyes (visual), stand on unstable surfaces (proprioceptive), or move their head back and forth (vestibular). Their findings included: ➡ Significant reductions in knee abduction moments during cutting. The experimental group did NOT EVEN PRACTICE CUTTING over the 6 weeks and demonstrated a significant improvement in lower extremity alignment. ➡ Significant alteration in motor modules, or muscle recruitment patterns, in the phase right before landing. ➡ Increased external oblique and rectus abdominus firing to control trunk position in cases of perturbations to balance during whole-body motion. ➡ Increased and longer duration glute med and glute max firing to control femur position and increased knee joint stiffness in preparation of an unexpected event. I have been doing this EXACT same balance circuit with all of my later stage ACLs at the end of our sessions. Balance and proprioceptive training is a big part of my early stage rehab, but after self-reflection I've realized I've neglected it in the later phases. After just 3 weeks of this, it's cleaning up many patients' single leg plyometric drills. Improved balance = ⬆ power output!
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