You’ve seen them, those crazy balance-a-holics who stand on Bosu balls on one foot and the really crazy ones who stand on stability balls! (Side note: I’m one of those crazy balance-a-holics). So what’s the point? Do we do it just because it looks cool? Well that certainly doesn’t hurt, but no.
We do it to build our balance and postural stability.
“Postural stability is the ability of a person to control the position and action of their body against the demands put upon it.” -Jackie Owen and Emily Bosson
Postural stability affects our most basic movements like standing and walking. Most of us can attest to the fact that our balance becomes increasingly worse as we get older. Balance also affects sports performance. Better balance = better sports performance. Balance and postural stability (BAPS) training has been shown to reduce injury, especially in athletes and older adults so it is important to begin BAPS training before an issue arises.
So you may be thinking, “do I have to do one-legged squats on the Bosu ball to build my postural stability?” The answer is no. Start small. Try standing on one foot on the floor for 10 seconds, then 20 seconds, then one minute. Try standing on one foot with your eyes closed (this is harder than you may think). Maybe try standing on one foot and reaching for an object on the ground in front of you. The bottom line is, start wherever you are and build from there. If you’re ready for the Bosu ball, great. If not, start small.