Balance Exercises

Balance Exercises

You may feel like your balance is ok, but doing balance exercises is always a good idea. As you age, simple balance positions may be more difficult than you think. See how far you can do a heel-to-toe exercise before you lose your balance. The fix is to do these at least once a week, but they are simple enough to do them daily. See below, you’ll find an exercise or two that no one will even know you are doing as you stand in line… Have fun!

See Balance Information before you get started and be sure to see a physician before beginning any exercise or workout routine…

Weight Shifts Walk Heel to Toe Balance Walk
Balance Board Back Leg Raises Side Leg Raises
Side Leg Raises with Dumbbell

Tap an exercise to see Instructions and Print options…

 

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Balance Exercise - 1.  Weight Shifts

  • Difficulty:  Easy
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Standing on One Foot

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight distributed evenly on both legs.
  2. Shift your weight to your right side, then lift your left leg off the floor.
  3. Hold this position for as long as you can while maintaining good form, up to 30 seconds.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

Note: You can do this almost anywhere, anytime, even while waiting on line. As your balance improves, increase the number of reps.


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Balance Exercise - 2.  Walking Heel to Toe 

  • Difficulty:  Easy
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  1. Position the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of the other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch.
  2. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
  3. Take a step then put your heel just in front of the toe of your other foot.
  4. Repeat for 20 steps.



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Balance Exercise - 3.  Balance Walk

  • Difficulty:  Easy
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  1. Raise arms to sides, shoulder height.
  2. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
  3. Walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other.
  4. As you walk, lift your back leg. Pause for 1 second before stepping forward.
  5. Repeat for 20 steps, alternating legs.

Note: Be sure to focus on something in the distance – this will help you stay steady.


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Balance - 4.  Balance Board Exercise

  • Difficulty:  Intermediate
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You don’t need the gym for this, you can do this at home using a Balance BoardBalance Exercises - Balance Board but be sure you are ready to take it to this level.
Your calves are stabilizing muscles for your legs, so using a balance board or wobble board forces you to balance.

1.  Place a Balance Board on the floor.
2.  Step onto the board with both feet and try to balance yourself.

Tip: Take notes on how long you can stay on the board and work on increasing that time. As you progress, add weights, arm and leg movements.

Notes: Keep a slight bend in your knees to help you balance and focus on a picture on the wall – this will help keep you steady.


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Strength (& Balance) Exercise - 5.  Back Leg Raises

  • Difficulty:  Intermediate
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Improve Balance, Strengthen your buttocks and lower back with back leg raises.

  1. Stand behind a sturdy chair, holding on for balance. Breathe in slowly.
  2. Standing on your left foot, breathe out and slowly lift your right leg straight back without bending your knee or pointing your toes. Try not to lean forward. Your left leg should be slightly bent.
  3. Hold position for 1 second.
  4. Breathe in as you slowly lower your leg.
  5. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  6. Switch to standing on your right foot (slightly bent right leg) and lift your left leg.
  7. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg.

Note: After just a few days of this exercise try to do them without the chair. Keep a record of your progress.


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Strength (& Balance) Exercise - 6.  Side Leg Raises

  • Difficulty:  Intermediate
  • Print

  Improve Balance, Strengthen your hips, thighs, and buttocks with side leg raises.

  1. Stand behind a sturdy chair with feet slightly apart, holding on for balance. Breathe in slowly.
  2. Breathe out and slowly lift your left leg out to the side. Keep your back straight and your toes facing forward. Your right leg should be slightly bent.
  3. Hold position for 1 second.
  4. Breathe in as you slowly lower your leg.
  5. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  6. Switch to standing on your left foot (slightly bent left leg) and raise your right leg.
  7. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each leg.

Note: After just a few days of this exercise try to do them without the chair. Keep a record of your progress.


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Balance Exercise - 7. Side Lateral Leg Raises with Dumbbell

  • Difficulty:  Intermediate
  • Print
  1.  Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your weight equally distributed on both legs.
  2.  Hold the dumbbell in your right hand and raise your arm perpendicular to the floor
  3.  Lift your right leg off the floor and bend it back at the knee.
  4.  Hold the position as long as you can maintain good form, up to 30 seconds.Ret
  5.  Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. As your balance improves, increase the number of repetitions.
  1. Note: For added challenge, balance while standing on a pillow or other unstable surface.

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9 thoughts

  1. Balance exercises is a crucial part of function. Proprioceptive fibers are maintained through balance exercises. As we age, this dramatically reduces our chances of falls and fractures.

    1. Thank you Dr. Jonathan – and thank you for visiting us!

      Yes, I’m beginning to feel the affects of not doing Balance exercises for years and now trying to make up for lost time. It’s difficult and slow, but it is improving some. Is it worse for women, or does it just seem that way? My friends are having trouble with their balance too, but our husbands don’t seem to have the same problem. Is it true?

      1. Both sexes have balance issues. Men often do more tasks involving balance and therefore appear better off. Both sexes need to incorporate this task into life to reduce the chances of future unnecessary injuries.

        1. Please excuse my delayed response.

          I appreciate your kindness and confidence sharing my words with all your readers. I hope they find them beneficial as they choose (over time) which path in life and health to follow.

    1. Thank you for visiting with us Holistic. Yes, I agree and I am a picture person too. I look at a picture and make up the story! :) We are currently working on adding images on bot the website and the printable exercises too.
      One thing I found with exercising, it’s so important to read and understand the moves – if I have a picture I may not fully grasp the placement of hands and feet, which is crucial for avoiding injury.
      But I hear you and we are working on getting pictures – we’ll start with Balance, so stay tuned!
      BTW – is there any exercise in particular you’d like to see an image of?
      Thank you again for your input – it’s greatly appreciated – and we hope to see you often!!

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