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Reactive Balance Training vs. Conventional Balance Training

Balance training runs the continuum of fall prevention for the elderly and/or physically challenged to extreme demands of elite athletes and performers. The former is directly tied to function, quality of life and injury avoidance.

The research paper linked below compares conventional balance training (CBT) and reactive balance training (RBT). Although the study did not use Core-Tex, the RBT aspect did include a translation of the base of support, which is only one of the multiple characteristics of Core-Tex.  Core-Tex will also tilt and rotate combined with the translation. 

This study provides basic evidence that neuromuscular control can be acquired rapidly by frequently reproducing the unexpected nature of real-life slipping situations within 4 weeks. It can be concluded that with repeated exposure to simulated slips, the central nervous system learns to choose a more effective muscle synergy and segmental organization to achieve fast balance recovery.

Conventional balance training involves performing static or dynamic exercises that challenge the body's equilibrium while maintaining a stable environment. The body acts as an inverted pendulum and moves around the fixed axis of the foot and ankle. While conventional balance training has proven to be effective in enhancing balance and stability, it primarily targets the body's voluntary control mechanisms.

Reactive balance training incorporates sudden changes in direction, speed, or external perturbations to the body’s center of gravity.  In contrast to CBT, the center of gravity is more of the fixed axis and the base is more mobile. This simulates real-life situations that require rapid adjustments in balance. By introducing unanticipated movements, this training method enhances the body's proprioceptive feedback, sensory integration, and reactive muscle activation, which are crucial for maintaining balance in real-life situations.

Access the full article here:

Watch one of our balance training progression videos HERE

Watch a comparison of Core-Tex to BOSU, Airex and traditional balance boards HERE

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Does it look, feel, and remind you of the task? Does it pass the “smell test”? In other words, is it clearly transferable to the sport or activity you are training for? Not every exercise has to look like a golf swing or pickleball overhead, but there is a need to train the way you play. This is often the dilemma with the application of core training to rotational athletes.

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You’re about to get detailed insight into an incredibly unique piece of equipment that is basically a Swiss Army Knife for optimizing numerous aspects of human movement.

It’s known as the Core-Tex Reactive Trainer. I bought it a few months ago and have been putting it through its paces, and…let’s just say it offers some very unique features we need to talk about.

As a physical therapist and strength & conditioning specialist who is obnoxiously passionate about helping patients and athletes overcome injuries and maximize their physical performance, I’m always on the hunt for equipment that can make a difference in their lives.

We often see our Core-Tex family assume upright balance training on Core-Tex goes from two hands on the handrail to hands free and no use of the handrail.  In other words, going from the most help to the least help. This may lead to a misinterpretation of Core-Tex being "too advanced" and a missed opportunity to scale your balance progressions in a way that allows the user to be successful.