Will including balance training in my exercise program help me lose weight?

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Great question! I believe that balance training will help you lose weight by allowing you to be stronger and more efficient in your workouts. When we do balance training, we are challenging our core without doing a single sit-up! With improved balance, we are able to take our bodies to the next level safely and effectively, and as we are able to progress to a higher level in our workout, we burn more calories and with a calorie deficit, we are well on our way to weight loss.

Balance is an important (and often overlooked) component to health and fitness. Adding balance training into your exercise program will require your body to use stabilizer muscles to maintain proper body position. The use of these extra muscle groups will increase your caloric burn and thus, favorably influence your energy balance (calories in VS calories out). Acquiring good balance may also be necessary in order to progress your program to include more advanced exercises. This is beneficial for a number of reasons. First off, these advanced exercises usually recruit more muscle groups and require more energy to complete. This again will cause you to burn more calories than an easier, less dynamic exercise. Second, having good balance will decrease your risk for injuries from falls. Most individuals could benefit greatly from adding balance training into their exercise program. This can be as simple as performing dumbbell curls on one leg or as complex as doing single leg dumbbell romanian deadlifts. Be sure to tailor your balance training to your current level of fitness!

Including balance training in your fitness routine will help you to recruit even more muscles in your exercises. Stabilizing muscles will work to help you balance; with more muscles working you will burn more calories.

Yes, balance training can help an individual lose weight. Balance training challenges the body to stabilize itself, in the effort to stabilize one will recruit more muscles to assist with the movement. The more muscles you have working, the more calories burned.

As an individual progresses through a balance program, there will be a higher demand of exercises for the body to stabilize and balance, once again increasing the amount of calories burned.

Yes. Balance training requires additional muscle recruitment to stabilize the body during that particular exercise. Any time more muscles are utilized during an exercise, the more the body works equating to increased caloric expenditure.

Yes balance training will help you lose weight. Using unstable environments aka proprioceptively challenging environments you work the little micro fiber balancing muscles that don't normally get worked when you live a life that is based on stability. Anytime you challenge new muscles you will break them down and build them up, anytime you build up your muscles your metabolism is increased. Balance training also helps strengthen the core (shoulders to hips) to stabilize the rest of the body, whenever the core muscles are challenged they will begin to build and once again as more muscle is added your metabolism becomes greater. 

Not only is balance training a good calorie burn, it will help you prevent injury during more intense cardio and weight training sessions. Add balance training to your routine once or twice a week and monitor the rest of your fitness and nutrition plan closely and the weight will come right off. It's a process that works EVERY TIME. 

If you've never been exposed to balance training and you are a beginner, this is an excellent training method to lose weight. Anytime you engage in balance exercises or "stabilization training" more muscles get involved to keep you stable. That triggers fat burn and promotes overall lean muscle tissue.

No! One balance component added to a comprehensive exercise program will not make that much of a difference when it comes to weight loss. According to research, we burn energy between 90 and 150 beats per minute. For an Obese person having a BMI of 30 or higher. Performing a balance exercise can increase the heart rate within this range with little movement and intern become mutually inclusive. However, for the overall weight loss program it will not make that much of a difference. The difference maker has always been in the consistent deficit of calories consumed per day per week.

The importance of balance training is in Tensegrity of movements; its importance is seen in your overall health, your long-term health. Deep stabilizer muscles at each joint activate around 30 to 110 milliseconds before your larger muscles activate, or the muscles we see moving our body. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of this movement allows our body to recruit more muscles. A higher sustainable recruitment of muscles keeps us burning energy more efficiently, not necessarily losing weight.

Reference:

  1. Keytel, L.R. et al.: Prediction of energy expenditure from heart rate monitoring during submaximal exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences (01 March 2005): 2-3. Available from: http://sm4xih.dyndns.org/pred.of.energy.hrm.pdf
  2. Neuromuscular Anatomy Function & Performance: 25. Available from: http://www.arctraining.ca/picker/userData/functionalneuromuscularanatomy.pdf.pdf
  3. Cheskin, M.D., Lawrence J. Losing Weight for Good: Developing Your Personal Plan of Action. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.
  4. Andersen, M.D., Wayne Scott. Dr. A’s Habits of Health: The Path To Permanent Weight Control And Optimal Health. Annapolis, Maryland: Habits of Health Press, 2008.

 

DISCLAIMER Consult your physician or qualified medical practitioner before starting a weight loss and/or exercise program.

Yes, balance training can help an individual lose weight. Balance training challenges the body to stabilize itself, in the effort to stabilize the individual will recruit more muscles to help aid in the movement. More muscles working = More calories burned. Burning more calories is only one of the many the benefits of balance training.

Progressing through a balance training program will also allow the individual the opportunity to engage in higher demand exercises and increasing the amount of calories burned through each movement/training session.

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Absolutely!  When one has optimal balance, it puts him/her in a postion to try new activities that challenge their balance skills.  As you increase in your ability to perform exercises that challenge your balancing skills you will find yourself performing more of your daily activites in a more efficient manner.

Think about it as people age many stop doing the things that they used to do as a child because they are afraid of falling.  By including balance training in all your workouts one can put themselves in a position to do the things that they onced loved a children like skating, jumping rope, running etc.
Yes it will.  Most people don't realize how important and how balance training can add in weight loss.  With balance training you are required to use more muscles during your exercises.  In turn you will burn more calories because you are recruiting more muscle groups.
Yes balance training will help you lose weight. Anytime you perform exercises on one leg your body is burning more calories just trying to stabilize itself. This is also true when exercising on a stability ball. Your body has to recruit additional muscles in order to perform the desired exercise. Balance training should be a component of any exercise program.
Yes, including balance training into your exercise program may aid in your goal of weight loss.  Performing balance training, or exercises while standing on one leg during your workouts, challenge the body's ability to stabilize itself.  By challenging stability during an exercise, the body has to recruit more muscles in order to complete the desired movement when compared to more stable exercises performed at similar intensity levels.  Recruiting more muscles during your workouts will increase the amount of calories burned not only while you are exercising but after you are done exercising as well. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.