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Mobility Balance Training: The Center of Training for Those 40 and Older

Mobility Balance Training: The Center of Training for Those 40 and Older

Reading Time: 11 minutes


DATE: 2024-04-01

Every great trainer, even the greatest of the great, has one common goal: To make their client’s success the vision they dream of even better than their dreams. To achieve that mission, we must stay open-minded to new teachings, theories, and directives, along with our current knowledge. 60uP’s vision for your next ten minutes of reading is to open thoughts of adding to body training the most amazing physical power we have, the brain.

Our focus in this article is on the largest growing demographic community that is desperately seeking help—the aging population. With the emphasis changing from muscle to mobility, we will delve into the power of movement and provide you with a proven system taking over the market for balance and mobility to keep you at the top of your game. However, the same program is being used by world record holders and athletes at the top of their game as the brain-to-body connection is critical for all movement, from babies to seniors. We just perform at different levels. We must never forget that practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Let’s practice best.

Bob Eubanks' Review

A Brain-to-Body Approach

With movement training being so critical to our client’s personal goals, this topic created a deeper thought of our approach to life and training. With changes happening so quickly with new equipment, discoveries, global reach, and AI, where are we going with quality of life? 

Back in the days of Arnold, Karl Lewis, FlowJo, Cory Everson, Sly, and personal friends Willie Gault, Billy Blanks and Kathy Smith, the world of fitness and health seemed to have natural, human basics behind it. No matter the goal, the potential also had a feeling of empowerment for all. Over the past twenty years, the world of health and fitness has changed more than ever—opportunity for education, potential, outreach, new philosophies, and equipment. There has been more change than the previous 100 years combined.

Yet behind all the noise, glitz, glam, and hype, there are real benefits. Programs are changing the training protocols to achieve more, altering pre-conceived ideologies that once held firm. One of the most exciting discoveries that is, rightfully, achieving a new place in health, fitness, and personal empowerment for both the higher-level trainer and their clients is the power of the brain. 

Understanding the neuroscience behind brain-to-body involvement goes back to the old-school acknowledgment that performance is 90% mental. It’s not just game mindset, but the integration of brain-centric body training. As a former head coach on the Olympic Development Program, the team saw the difference in game day results, both as a team and the individuals. The success came from cognitive mental preparation. But the training had to be proprioceptive at times, so thought activated the brain to have maximum power and reaction speed. 

Picture an Olympic 100-meter runner on the blocks. The pressure points of the foot will determine the ability to maximize the muscle power to accelerate as soon as the brain applies the reaction to the gun. If the pressure point is more to the little toe instead of the big toe, ball of the foot, that power loss can be the difference between a gold medal, and no medal. The brain has to feel. The feeling has to be activated, and remembered time and time again in training. The brain-to-body approach of the individual, and the focus of the coach, in their training was as critical as the physical exercises.

How the Brain Thrives on Exercise Infographic

Mobility Balance Training

So, what is the connection between Olympic athletes, the greatest in the world of sports, bodybuilding, and the aging population to mobility balance training?

The adage of aging leading from success to decline was a social contract we “signed” at birth and has been ingrained in us over many years. Seeing Grandpa and Grandma lose their struggle to keep moving, or Mom or Dad lose their independence from balance loss, was assigned to aging. Yet there are people in their 90s who have never been to a gym and live a free life of adventure because their bodies are working. When we have a problem past the age of 40, doctors will tell us that it is because we are getting older. When we begin to lose balance, we are told to go to a physical therapy practice, or trainer, to work on our body strength. We have experienced the understandable thought of balance loss equated to strengthening the legs, core, and hip flexors to stop the “senior shuffle”. 

However, from researching the beginning of balance and mobility in babies, we know that muscles are not the driving force behind movement. Muscles will add strength, endurance, and power, but not balance and mobility itself. The approach to regaining, or preventing loss of, balance has taken a turn. The approach of solely training the body to regain mobility, strength, and balance is being replaced. 

How important is this newfound approach? Clinical research data has proven that people, as per the tests on over 1,300 participants with balance and gait studies, showed that those with good balance lived 7-8 years longer! (1) Not just 7-8 years of life but also quality of life. With this data and the undeniable importance of balance and mobility training for life itself, we need to adapt our impact to those who trust us with their future. This program is for anyone who needs balance and mobility improvement from aging, rehab, injuries, injury prevention, neurological diseases like MS, Parkinson’s, TBI, stroke survivors, and essentially anyone who has a brain and neurological system from the brain to body can recover if we go to the source.

Falls are the #1 cause leading to death Infographic

We have experienced the power of bodybuilders, powerlifters, MMA fighters, everyday gym powerhouses and so many more who are so strong and yet have under-developed awareness of balance and equal proprioceptive engagements on both sides. With one side more engaged this will lead to injury over time for overuse and pressure on one side of the body. By bringing in brain training with the exercise movements, to feel proprioception, not only can this become injury limitation but maximized power and sub-conscious confidence through increased ability.

Let’s simplify the thinking, focusing on perhaps the most impactful component to the longevity of life span, athletic performance, and injury prevention.

Incorporating the Brain

The brain is the ultimate guide to all activity. We think (mind activation), decide to engage, and then send that thought to the brain to start the process. Strong brain-to-body connection allows for full, safe, and controlled reactions to, and for, movement. When babies learn to walk, it is brain neurological connection, through messaging, proprioception, and pressure point activation, that creates the process and ability to learn to walk. The brain’s power to increase the ability of the body and the two directional messaging that are the miracle keeping us as safe as possible. In fact, it is not just the connection but the speed of messaging from brain to body and back that is the difference between success and failure of movement, reaction time, speed, and power. And above all, achieving our highest level of potential. At the core of it all is the brain's focus, and mindset, to keep you safe and yet exceed expectations.

Neuroplasticity is the brilliance of the brain's ability to grow, change its messaging, guide, change the input of information, set protocols to become habit, and maintain its function more than we ever believed possible. At the same time, instead of searching for new devices or machines to help us regain mobility, we can step back in time and the basics of functional movement, no different than babies learning movement and regain our full mobility, over dedicated time.

Let’s address balance for everyone needing the help back to mobility independence. When we learned to walk by allowing the brain, with trial and error, to find the pressure points, the brain adjusted different messaging for weight transference to react to changes in direction, speeds, acceleration, and deceleration. As kids, we learned to climb, escape, leap, fly, ride, swerve, and any other necessary activity for adventure. Eventually, it became “autonomic.” We never consciously thought about balance. The mind was free to explore and experience while the brain took care of us, its body, and its mission.

How 60uP Works - Babies to Longevity

For the next many years, unless due to an accident or neurological disease, we never again thought of our balance until we hit an age where we became less active, less explorative, or stopped doing multi-dimensional movements. Seeking comfort took over from youthful curiosity and desire. At this time the constant ability to move freely will decline. The phrase “Use it or lose it” could not be more appropriate.

Then comes the three stages of balance decline.

The brain is movement is the brain Infographic

And so, we come to the strategy:

  1. New brain science of neuroplasticity

  2. Old school basics of learning to move independently

  3. Preventative is the best action

  4. New programs for balance training for all ages and levels

Our neurological system does not change its shape of flow as we age (again, not including injuries and diseases). So, we need to look at the internal workings to understand how to recover what has been lost. We can study the foot, weight transference, and movement of a baby and see how the circle of life leads us back to the same needs. Replicate the movements of all directions again and again. Introduce real-life activities with balance mobility to multi-task the brain-to-body and add in fun challenges to increase brain ability throughout the exercises.

Create a Training Program

Once you have a goal in mind, create the training program. Here is a list of ideas and proven practices that will grow balance and strength along the way.

  1. Use a surface with a balance element to the feet to adjust and find the center constantly. Have a platform that is wide enough to accommodate multiple foot and pressure point changes and address side-to-side as well as front-to-back balance.

  2. Safety is essential. The exercises must be performed for longer than the balance itself can sustain. Give time for the balance to be lost, not to fall from the task but rather to correct it. The body will lose balance as it tires or the mind is distracted so have exercises and setup that will allow the brain enough time to build endurance with brain-to-body, body-to-brain stronger messaging.

  3. Allow for the eyes to look forward – not down. Even close the eyes, to force the brain to feel and not see the success or struggle. This will add reaction time, weight-centered speed of recovery, and confidence to move without a conscious need to focus on foot placement or weight transference movement.

  4. Repetitive corrective movements will help grow good habits, build confidence, and give automatic corrections to movements that may otherwise lead to a fall or loss of control.

  5. Multi-directional activities are needed to work all pressure points of the feet, ankles, leg stabilization system, and core and replicate real-life movements.

  6. Changes of level of the client’s center, squats to toe raises, for example, to engage the brain to be multi-faceted in movement messaging in everyday activities.

  7. Exercises that challenge the brain to move further back from conscious to autonomic by adding challenges to the task. Balance is always engaged but the mind is focused on completing the secondary or multiple challenges given. Distract the mind and allow the brain to take over.

  8. Specific exercises for the client’s level and growth to their goal. Age is not the governing factor. For a powerlifter trying to reach a new record, it is important to work on balance training to make sure both sides are firing equally and preventing a dominant side injury risk with an unstable muscle unity, compared to an aging person who would love to play with the grandchildren but can’t move or get up or down.

  9. The client MUST feel fear-free to grow brain messaging freedom. As much as a deer in headlights knows it is in danger, it freezes. Our brains are similar – we may move but the fear factor slows down the brain's ability to react and get the body to react. This is our sympathetic nervous system which is made up of the fight, flight, or freeze mode. We may activate the fight or flight energy but the best and quickest decisions are made when we are relaxed and able to react without stress. We see this in top-level fighters who can react and avoid punches. As a fighter grows in fear, they will slow down the reaction time, leading to higher chances of a lethal blow. The same is true for those fearing a fall. To grow neural powerful connections, we must train the brain without fear of falling so the messaging learns to speed up to success.

Multitasking for Better Balance

Balance training is not only the ability to find the center and stay still. That becomes static balance which rarely serves mobility. Balance mobility training, needed for independent living, is the action of the brain feeling the body moving off center to correct the imbalance before the conscious mind tells the brain it is moving out of a safe zone.

An example of multitasking is to have the client balance in a slightly challenging position. Once they have the feeling of success add tasks to the challenge while trying to maintain balance. For example, once balanced ask them to look side to side as this challenges the brain to control balance while the mind is thinking elsewhere. Then add, at the same time, another task. Have them speak out loud with specific answers to your questions as quickly as possible while balancing and looking side to side. This is a three-tier depth. The brain is still focused subconsciously on balancing without even conscious thinking. We can take clients to six-tier depths and they are amazed to find they are still balancing or correcting balance changes at all times. As you understand more about brain-to-body training so will you create so many variants to challenges and give your client life-changing sessions.

Knowing your client, planning the journey, and adding in the balance for mobility challenges will change their, and your, life. We have seen tens of thousands of people we have trained for mobility, strength, and balance. The 60uP system has proven that the greatest technology, and the center of our success, is already in us. Our Brain.

ISSA Members save up to 60% on courses

Specializing with 60uP

60uP specializes in balance mobility training for all. With its 16 CEU course through ISSA and the balance system, board with over 300 exercises, and ability to increase brain-to-body strength, not only will your clients love the results for everyday living, you will love the huge variety of exercises to incorporate into your training sessions.

The power of the brain-body connection is undeniable. As a coach or trainer, physical therapist, or caregiver, you will gift your clients and team members a value far beyond a great body, a look, or strength. You will give them a life worth living and achieving dreams. Don’t miss out on the balance training inclusion. Everyday movement is a requirement for healthy living. Focus on the brain-to-body, and let the body follow as we always have. We can regain and exceed the expectations of movement. There are two groups of people we can join. Those who let go, far too early, and gave up living, ignored balance needs and live a life of decline and injuries. OR we can commit to being part of the group that put in the time, committed to the effort, and had a quality of life 7-8 years better, longer. The second group is about making memories forward. Which group do you want to join?

Dan Metcalfe RL.e

Creator 60uP Mobility Balance System.

Co-creator 60uP 16 CEU ISSA course.


  1. Research on Balance life longer 7-8 years: Published 2010 Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.

  2. Neuroplasticity and Fall Statistics: https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html (more upon request)

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