Improve balance part 2 – vestibular and proprioceptive training
If you haven’t seen part 1 of our balance training trilogy check it out here
Eyes Closed Head Movement Drill
In this drill we are going to get straight into working our vestibular and proprioceptive systems.
To do that we will close our eyes to take vision out of the equation, then choose a challenging balance position, and finally go through various head motions while trying to keep our balance.
Step 1) Find a challenging Balance Stance
- Sitting – start here if you have a lot of trouble with nausea or dizziness
- Standing wide feet
- Narrow feet or feet together
- Tightrope position – (as if standing on a balance beam) if this is too difficult you can do an offset tightrope
- 1-leg standing – make sure to switch legs
- Walking or 1-leg sports positions (such as kicking a soccer ball or martial arts kick)
*Pick a stance that challenges you but that you don’t have to take a step every time you move your head.
Step 2) Close Your Eyes
Step 3) Do the following head movements w/ a 2-sec pause at the end of each one
- Rotate Left
- Rotate Right
- Look Up
- Look Down
- Diagonal Up / Left
- Diagonal Down / Right
- Diagonal Up / Right
- Diagonal Down / Left
- Tilt Left
- Tilt Right
- At the end of each movement wait for a count of about 2 seconds. This allows the fluid in your inner ear to stop moving before doing your next direction plus gives you an extra moment to find your balance.
- Return to center before changing directions. So if you just turned to the right and are about to move your head up, come back to the center before you move up.
- It is ok to wobble a little bit but if you lose your balance each time then pick an easier stance.
- Your goal is to progress to more challenging stances as your balance improves.
- About 2 – 5 reps of each head movement will suffice.
As with the VOR drill from part 1 this takes less than a minute to do so it is a great quick warm up or can be part of a morning or evening routine.
And just like the VOR drill expect to see improved balance, athletic performance, posture, and possibly even digestion and eyesight improvements.
Until next time go do the Eyes Closed Head Movement drill and develop superb balance!