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  muscle spindles Proporioceptive sense, and consequently balance, is available largely because of muscle spindles and other sensory organs or proprioceptive receptors. Sensory organs relay information via the central nervous system, and provide a sense of body or limb position in space. This is also referred to as kinesthetic awareness. Sensory organs, located in muscles, tendons or joints, for example, allow a person to predict the degree of elbow flexion or extension even if t..
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  Balance represents an ability to stabilize and maintain a desired body position. Balance can also be thought of as correct, or efficient, positioning of a body part or the entire body.  Natural and functional movement is directly related to the harmonious work of joints, muscles and the neurological system. The neurological system interacts with the musculoskeletal system in a coordinated and complex manner. Using stability or balance training, and CCE, is the perfect way to..
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  Secondary fitness traits can be represented by the acronym CARBS = P. With a base of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility fitness established, an important training goal becomes one of transitioning this less functional health/ fitness/aesthetically oriented fitness foundation into integrated movement ability. It must be noted that some secondary fitness traits can be trained simultaneously with primary components, but regardless, it is important to “change­up” your program at ..
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  7. Challenge joint motions in a manner that acknowledges the degree to which sport and daily life movements are similar. Developing general movement capabilities that have a high transfer and relevance to sport and daily life provides a clue that functional training approaches are generally not trying to create sport specific movement. This generalist approach views most activities as more similar than different and focuses on commonalities of daily activity and..
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  The BOSU® Balance Trainer is a piece of fitness equipment that facilitates functional balance training. Thus, it is important to understand what functional training is and how it fits into a total fitness program.  functional training defined  Functional training is purpose driven or intentional training. One can begin to think of functional training (FT) or functional fitness as a methodology and form of movement that is used to expose an individual to integrat..
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  By: Amanda Vogel, MA human kinetics Thinking about trying barefoot running or barefoot walking? Start training with these exercises for creating stronger feet, whether you plan to go completely barefoot or wear barefoot running shoes. If you already enjoy running and walking, you might have heard..
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  By: Amanda Vogel, MA human kinetics Imagine stepping out for a run without any shoes on—it’s called barefoot running, and it’s an emerging trend in the running and fitness industries. For most people, running barefoot goes against conventional wisdom. Besides the “freeing” feeling of kicking off your shoes, what’s so compelling about running barefoot? It turns out that despite advances in shoe technology meant to make run..
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  by: Anthony Carey, MA, CSCS, CES I realize it is called the BOSU® Balance Trainer (BT). Of course it provides an environment in which to challenge balance mechanisms in a variety of ways. However, the same design and materials that have become synonymous with balance also have a hidden benefit. At Function First, we work with a population of clients that deal with long-term musculoskeletal challenges such as joint, soft tissue and/or neuro..
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  By: Justin Price, MA The foot and ankle complex is extremely important to the overall function of the human body. Since it is the only structure that interacts with the ground while in an upright position, the foot and ankle complex is directly responsible for the distribution of weight and pressure throughout the body when the forces of kinetic energy, gravity and the ground collide. Therefore, it is imperative that the foot and ankle complex is fully functional and doing its ..
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By: Justin Price, MA The human body is designed to be upright. Whether you believe in evolution or creationism, the same runs true. We are bipedal creatures designed to stand erect with the spine on top of pelvis, and the pelvis on top of the legs. Our bodies have two very important elements to assist in maintaining an upright posture. First, large gluteus maximus muscles push the hips forward into extension. Secondly, a curvature in the lumbar spine arches the spine upward and backward t..
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  by: Justin Price, MA Research into recreation habits around the globe have shown that walking is rated as the most popular form of physical activity on the planet. Yet many people experience discomfort and pain during the movement. Consequently, individuals may choose to find an alternative form of getting around, such as driving a car (for errands within walking distance), or continuing to walk despite the pain. Thereby, as movements become more imbalanced and compensatory, mo..
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By: Justin Price, MA Many people suffer from mild to severe knee pain that prevents them from engaging in activities they enjoy such as hiking, playing tennis, or simply walking. They blame the knee for their woes, yet the cause of their problem may not be the knees at all. The muscles that help stabilize the knee as it moves all originate from either the foot and ankle, or from the lumbo-pelvic hip girdle. Hence, if the foot/ankle or hip complex is not working correctly, then the sof..
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  By: Justin Price, MA In today's world, people spend increasing amounts of time sitting. Whether driving, working on the computer, or watching television, these seated postures are often characterized by a rounded upper back and shoulders. Over time, this stooped position in the thoracic spine can cause alignment problems and pain in both the upper and lower back. How a Sagittal Plane Deviation (Forward Bend) of the Thoracic Spine Affects the Lo..
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  by: Josie Gardener & Joy Prouty As one ages, many physiological changes take place. This is a natural part of the process, but many of the physical changes (biomarkers) that negatively affect personal wellness can be minimized with physical activity. One key biomarker is loss of muscle. As an individual ages, muscle is lost and has a profound impact on an older adult's well-being. Exercise can have a definite positive impact on maintaining a high quality of life. Weight..
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  by: Josie Gardener & Joy Prouty The inclusion of fun, effective and safe balance training in programs for seniors is critical. As the older adult population increases exponentially, the health care costs associated with a lack of balance and resultant falls totals a staggering 19+ billion dollars. For the most transferable and useable functional balance training, exercises need to engage multiple muscles and stimulate the body's response in a manner that requires both t..
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  by: Becky Langton, MA, ACSM-HFI, NSCA-CSCS, ACE-CPT All too often fitness instructors are faced with the challenge of providing prenatal clients safer or better alternatives to common exercises performed in the gym that become somewhat challenging or contraindicated during pregnancy. This article identifies safe and appropriate alternatives for your pregnant clients that use the BOSU® Balance Trainer (BT) in four (4) different exercise modalities: static stretching, y..
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  by: Per Lundstam, U.S.S.A. Sport Science Department Improvement of mobility in elite U.S. Ski Team athletes is essential for high level performance and on-snow safety. The following article provides a sample workout and introduces methodologies which are part of the U.S. Ski Team conditioning approach. Integrated into many complex training situations, the BOSU® Balance Trainer (BT) is used to increase performance and decrease the risk of injury. The pro..
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  by: Kevin Kearns Functional training fits perfectly with the rigors of MMA. Not only will it aid in reducing potential injuries, but it will assist in rehabbing current injuries.  From my perspective, the marriage between mixed martial arts (MMA) and functional strength training is an easy one. Many of these athletes train like bodybuilders instead of fighters. The MMA industry has simply been unable to anticipate the unique training needs..
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  by: Douglas S. Brooks, MS, ACE, TSCC-L3, Exercise Physiologist & Peter Twist, MSc, BPE, CSCS, TSCC-L3 PTS The systems, strategies and tactics in tennis are best described as organized chaos. During a match, no competitor—even those with great on-court intuition—knows exactly what will happen in the next second. Multi-directional sports are a read-and-react game where success hinges on individual tactics, conditioning and game play experience. A well-rounded tennis player ne..
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  by: Shannon Fable Fitness professionals should attempt to integrate balance training into all components of fitness. Participants are more inclined to try balance training when combined with core work or strength training as our strategies tend to be more methodical, easily progressed and regressed and slower moving. One area that is often overlooked, or thought to be so challenging that only athletes or skilled participants will partak..
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  by: Fred Hoffman, M.Ed. In recent years, core training has become an essential component of most physical fitness and sport conditioning programs. From group exercise instructors and Pilates teachers to personal trainers and coaches-most fitness professionals agree that an emphasis should be placed on strengthening the 'core.' The core connects the upper body and lower body and often is referred to as the power center. Core conditioning is important whether a participant is sta..
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Douglas S. Brooks, MS, ACE, TSCC-Gold, Exercise Physiologist According to the 2010 IDEA Personal Training Programs & Equipment Survey, 95% of personal trainers offer balance training to their clients. Furthermore, use of small, portable equipment is favored. Ten years after the introduction of the BOSU® Balance Trainer, 87% of fitness professionals are choosing to use a variety of balance training tools to help clients achieve their goals. It is undeniable that balance is becoming a c..
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  by: Brian Justin, MHK, CSCS and Gregory S. Anderson, PhD There are many biomotor abilities crucial to sport performance and everyday activities. However, one of the most important is balance. Balance is the maintenance of equilibrium, or the ability to maintain the center of gravity (COG) over one's base of support (BOS). It is a component of all movement whether strength, speed, skill, or flexibility dominate that movement. In order to..
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by: Douglas S. Brooks, MS, ACE, TSCC-Gold, Exercise Physiologist What do schools, corporate workplaces and home offices all have in common? Each is experimenting with jettisoning an "old-school" concept to replace traditional chairs with exercise balls. Generically known as a stability ball, these pieces of exercise equipment have been popular in homes and clubs for more than two decades. It has been one of the most widely used pieces of exercise equipment by personal trainers throughout ..
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Dr. William D. Harrison Performance Fundamentals Inc. - Laguna Beach, CA "As a sports performance specialist for 30 years, I believe the BOSU® Balance Trainer will become a required "necessity" for every team, motivated athlete, etc. to use in their training. Because of the important role of "body equilibrium" in all human performance, I've always recognized it was the limiting skill for most athletes that prevented them from reaching great heights. Well, that won't be the case any mor..
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  Jeanne F. Nichols, Ph.D. Dept. of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences San Diego State University - San Diego, CA "Researchers in the Department of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University conducted a pilot study to determine the efficacy of the BOSU® Balance Trainer for improving muscular strength and balance in adults of various ages. Field measurements of static and dynamic balance, as well as abdominal strength, showed improvements ranging up to 31% ..
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  Andy Walshe, USSA Director Sport Science & Scott Higgins, USFST Physiologist U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association "The BOSU® Balance Trainer is an invaluable tool for U.S. Ski and Snowboard team members at all levels. It's a key tool for the United States Ski and Snowboard Department of Sport Science and Conditioning. The versatility and application of the BOSU® Balance Trainer is so great our teams travel with them year round."   Fernando Montes, Founder of KAIZEN..
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  Amy Dixon – Group Fitness Manager Equinox – Santa Monica, CA “The BOSU® Balance Trainer is one of the most versatile and effective pieces of equipment I have ever used. I love to use it as the basis for a large majority of group fitness programs that I design. It has truly revolutionized how fitness professionals work on balance in conjunction with strength and cardio.” Dean Brittenham, Director  Elite Athletic Training Scripps Clinic - La Jolla, CA “Athletes ..
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Even Spiderman marvels over the benefits of training on a BOSU® Balance Trainer. Here's Part 2 - with exercise video clips - of our interview with Spiderman actor Chris Tierney and his kinesiologist Dr. Edythe about the unexpected benefits of BOSU. (Read Part 1 here). BOSU: Can you show us some of the BOSU ball exercises you do at Revolution in Motion with the Spiderman performance crew? Jump and Stick for shock absorption on BOSU Balance Trainer at Revolution in M..
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An enlightening interview with Spiderman actor Chris Tierney and his kinesiologist Dr. Edythe about the unexpected benefits of BOSU. Have you heard? Even Spiderman marvels over the benefits of training on a BOSU® Balance Trainer. We’re talking about Christopher Tierney, a stunt actor playing the superhero in the Broadway musical performance of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.” To prepare his body and core stability for the aerial stunts required of his Spiderman role, Tierney bega..
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