The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of the removal of vision and/or surface compliance on postural stability in strength athletes who habitually use free-weights and compound movements in their training (i.e., powerlifters, Olympic weightlifters), and untrained individuals. Static and dynamic balance testing was performed with eyes open or closed on stable and memory foam surfaces. Both groups had similar increases in postural sway area and velocity during quiet standing testing; whereas group main effects and interactions for dynamic testing revealed that untrained participants experienced greater relative declines in postural performance when voluntary limits of stability are stressed, especially when both vision and surface compliance were deterred. These results demonstrate that in comparison to untrained young adults, postural control variables may be reduced to a lesser extent in strength athletes when sensory constraints are altered; however this appears to be specific to the type of postural task performed.
Keywords: posture; somatosensory; vision; weight training.