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PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (43,236)
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1/23/12 12:34 P

Just to note my comment is not that it is only the vestibular system, there were conditions as well.

1) Muscles that were sufficient to actually carry the load.
2) How we learn to use the muscles.

It is also not to suggest that muscle development is and additional strenth is not of any value, it is that you could have very strong muscles but still not have good control, or have other issues that interfer with your balance.

For example I practice Tai Chi Chuan, and there are some old master who do not have big muscles, but who have exceptional balance.

Edited by: PAPAMIKIE at: 1/23/2012 (12:36)
NORIGREY SparkPoints: (2,505)
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1/23/12 10:55 A

Muscle definitely makes a difference.

Not just leg muscle though, a strong core and back will also improve your balance. I'm a pretty clumsy person, but I find the more I work out, the less I stumble. I'm also more aware of my body in general.

JONESINATOR Posts: 1,837
1/22/12 11:18 P

You could have perfect inner ear balance and be unable to stand on one leg if you're 350 pounds.

So yeah, muscle matters. So does fat and so does training. I can do one-legged squats, a lot of them, where before I could maybe hash out one. And I can do them on a bosu ball, where I couldn't before. All that's from training.

NEWKAREN43 SparkPoints: (45,972)
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1/22/12 10:33 P

I have no ear issues, I can focus on a particular place and it helps my balance, HOWEVER, my knees and legs are not strong enough to hold me up. I was just told this by a personal trainer yesterday. She told me that my knees, the way they "knock" together when I'm trying to balance, is an indication that they are weak and need strengthening. I have to say that I agree. My knees are probably the weakest part of my body at this point. When I stand on one leg...I literally DO NOT have the strength to stand there! My knee wobbles back and forth and it's only a matter of time...so, make sure you are strong...it's important in the whole body working together to balance you...

SERGEANTMAJOR Posts: 6,418
1/22/12 9:19 P


While balance is a function of the inner ear the eyes also have a role. In general when one sense is impaired other senses strength and become more acute to compensate. Strength does in fact improve balance in many since an improvement in neuromuscular function improves proprioceptive function leading to an improved awareness of the body's position in space.

ALLISONAZ SparkPoints: (19,083)
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1/22/12 9:05 P

I am deaf so I know first hand that balance and hearing go hand-in-hand but I've been noticing an improvement in my balance so I guess it's just a fluke.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,277
1/22/12 7:37 A

Potentially yes, through 3 mechanisms.

* stronger muscles may help you recover from overbalancing, where before you mightn't have been strong enough to pull yourself back to a stable position.
* one of the benefits of strength training is that your nerves 'learn' to better control your muscle fibers, which helps them to better make the micro-adjustments necessary to keep stable and balanced.
* some strength exercises explicitly require balance (eg. single leg squats), and the more you do them, the better you get at it.

M@L

edit: I agree with the comment that balance starts in the inner ear, rather than the muscles.

Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 1/22/2012 (07:39)
SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 56,651
1/22/12 7:28 A

I'd agree that stronger muscles don't automatically equal better balance. But doing regular balance exercises can help improve it.

Coach Jen

PAPAMIKIE SparkPoints: (43,236)
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1/22/12 6:27 A

Balance happens in the inner ear first, and then translates out into the body. Having stronger muscle won`t necessarily mean more balance, also muscles work in pairs so typically you have a set that push and a set that pull. One could develope one set and not the other, thus creating muscle imbalance in the body.

Assuming that the msucles are strong enought to hold the body, the real issue is how we learn to use the muscles is more important than more muscle strength.

That is my opinion, for what it is worth.

Popie

ALLISONAZ SparkPoints: (19,083)
Fitness Minutes: (8,467)
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1/22/12 5:07 A

Does an increase in leg muscles give you better balance?

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