Balance is the foundational and central skill element to all programming, whether functional or sports-related. It not only enhances physical funciton, but also contributes to improving the cognitive and affective (emotional) domains by building self-efficacy and confidence.
Movement is essential to being able to perform activities of daily living, and our ability to move efficiently requires control of the body’s postural alignment or balance. Balance is subdivided into static balance, wich refers to the ability to maintain the body’s center of mass within its base of support, and dynamic balance, which refers to the ability to move outside of the body’s base of support, while still maintaining postural control.
A body’s center of mass (COM) or center of gravity (COG) is that point around which all weight is evenly distributed. It is generally located 2 inches anterior to the spine, but varies by gender, body shape, body size and even age. The COG in males tends to be slightly higher than in females due to typically greater quantities of upper-body musculature. Additionally, the body’s COG contunally shifts by changing postition, moving or by adding external resistance.
The base of support (BOS) can be described as the two-dimensional distance between and including a body’s points of contact with a surface. For example, when standing with feet 12 inches apart, the base of support represents the area that the feet contact and the area between the feet. Moving the feet closer together to 6 inches apart reduces this area and the BOS, thereby reducing balance. F.C., M.S., M.A.
So, you can see that if you have no balance your center of gravity is severly restricted and can cause frequent falls and injury. It is a good idea to include balance exercises in your workout routines especially as you get older and your sense of proprioception decreases.