Balance is an essential aspect of physical fitness and activity. It's incorporated in almost every active movement that your body makes, and it is essential for you to have good balance for both high level activity and everyday life. Balance is made up of two major components that we can improve on, proprioception and neuromuscular control. Proprioception is your ability to subconsciously know how your body is positioned in a space relative to your surroundings. Neuromuscular control is the ability for your body to fire muscles in a more coordinated and effective manner.
Both proprioception and neuromuscular control can be trained at the same time to improve balance. With improved balance you will be able to perform exercises and activities more effectively and with reduced risk of injury. Commonly when someone has a lower extremity injury such as knee surgery or even just a sprained ankle, your body loses some of its ability to have effective balance on the affected side. This can be quite debilitating for people who are trying to return to activity after their injuries because they won’t be able to perform at the level that they used to.
The following video will show you how to perform progressive balance exercises to improve both proprioception and neuromuscular control. These exercises are utilized regularly in physical therapy clinics and in my experience working with patients in the clinic setting, quite effective for most people.