Both strength and balance are essential for functional strength outside of the gym.
Over the past few years I’ve come to understand the essential relationship between balance and strength.
To put it simply, strength without balance and control is largely useless.
It’s like cramming a 700 horsepower engine into a car with worn brakes, soft suspension and bald tires. Even though you have all of that power you can’t use it all, or use it safely.
Sure we may be strong on the leg machine, it that’s only great if we only care about being strong on a leg machine. What about if we want to be strong while hiking on the rocky hiking trail from hell?
The knee jerk reaction might be to start using things like balance disks and other devices that challenge the balance.
Again, it’s a good idea, but we may find ourselves in the same situation as the leg machine. We’re simply training one aspect of fitness while excluding the other.
We need strength and balance to function together, and we are probably keeping them somewhat separate if we train them in separate exercises.
Back to the race car analogy. How skilled would a driver be if he had two cars. One with incredible control but no power, and another with insane power but no control? No matter how much time he spent in each car, he’s missing the knowledge of using both elements together.
This is why the world of progressive Kalisthenics can have so much functional carryover to the real world. Every exercise requires a proportionate increace in power and control. You can’t gain one without the other.
Even more important you train both of these fitness aspects at the exact same time within the same exercise.
Not only does this create insane functional strength, but It also creates a much more efficient workout that requires fewer exercises and less equipment.
So yes, balance disks and such are effective for improving balance. Weight machines are effective at improving strength.
As long as you only want or care about one aspect without the other then they work great.
But if you want to effectively fuse the two together for the ultimate in functional training look to progressive calisthenics my friend!