Balance - Ability or Skill?

Balance training has been recommended to improve performance in different sports, to prevent injuries and accelerate the rehabilitation process, as well as to prevent falls in at risk populations. However, it is still not clear whether balance training leads to highly task-specific adaptations, or more general non-specific adaptations that can be transferred to other tasks. We investigate this fundamental question, as the answer will greatly influence balance training recommendations as well as study design and testing procedures in future balance studies. In a series of studies and a meta-analysis, we examined this question as well as the neuronal mechanisms behind it. So far, at least for shorter training periods, there seems to be very little - if any - transfer from a trained balance task to untrained balance tasks.