Specialty Program - Youth

Blazepod: Interactive Technology Exercises to help with balance

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stretch affect
March 4, 2022

Life is all about balance!

Because better balance reduces injury and leads to well-being.  Ever suffer from chronic ankle sprains or maybe just have a fear of falling? Raise your hand if you’ve been there?

Did you know there are exercises to help with balance?

Research has shown that people between the ages of 10 and 19 are associated with a higher rate of ankle sprains, with most occurring during athletic activity. Ankle sprains in America have an incidence of 2.15 per 1000 people and have a 12-47% reoccurrence rate. Outside of the younger athletic population, over 95% of hip fractures in the >65-year-old age population occur from falls. You can see why balance is important for youth and becomes increasingly important as we age. It sounds like we all need to level up our exercises to help with balance.

Balance, just like strength or mobility, can be trained.

There are plenty of uninspired ways to do it, but Blazepod technology delivers balance exercises at a whole new level that is interactive and competitive.  Blazepods are designed to help push your performance to new heights with professional-level reaction training system.  

Blazepods help us change the mobility game.

We’ve organized the progression of Blazepod exercises to help with balance starting with the least difficult position to control with the least difficult light sequence. This allows you to master the basic movement first. We then progress in difficulty in both the control balance and highest light sequence to keep your mind engaged, so you can improve balance, reduce injury and improve well-being.

Balance Exercises Blazed

This matrix allows you to either focus on balance, the challenge of the Blazepods, or both.  

We take this approach with everyone from the geriatric population to the sports athlete. It speaks to the purist therapist in us and the competitor in you. Check out the exercises to help with balance, below, and let us know what you think. We are here to change the mobility game and Blazepods are an integral part of that.  

Clinical Reasoning

Positioning from Easy to Hard:  

We start with the Staggered Stance (SS) position first, where we have a bigger base of support for increased stability. Next, we move into Tandem Stance (TS), this is where your heel and toes are lined up as if you’re tight rope walking. This position decreases your base of support and adds a greater challenge to your balance. From there we progress to a Single Limb Stance (SLS). That’s right, it is time to take away one point of contact to further challenge your balance. After all, 40% of the time you spend walking you’re only on one foot.  

Within each position, you can add an unstable surface such as foam pad or BOSU ball. If you really want to up the challenge, you can bring in some external resistance with a resistance band or weight (get creative). This adds perturbations and further instability to the environment. The highest level of difficulty for each position will include an unstable surface with external resistance.  

Blazepod Progression from Easy to Hard:

Starting with the All at Once (AO) setting, the easiest Blazepod progression. It requires the participants to solely tap out each pod while balancing. Mild cognition is required.  

The next progression is Sequence (Sq). The provider will set a specific sequence that the participant will need to memorize. This ups the cognitive process while balancing.  

The random (Rn) progression is next. This is a more dynamic environment that will require increased cognitive alertness while maintaining balance.  

The Home (H) setting is next in the progression. It has both a random component as well as a home base component which will create an environment for both physical and mental prowess.  

The final progression is Focus (F). Participants are required to increase their decision-making to silence out the distracting colors while physically challenging stability. This final progression most closely resembles an athletic environment in which alert decision-making, focus, and physical agility are paramount.

Check out the videos below for example exercises to help with balance:

If you are in the San Diego area, schedule a visit with Stretch Affect to explore how Blazepods can help you.

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