A man balancing on a cord

Five Exercises To Improve Balance

If you read our article on Training for old age  you know just how important keeping and improving your balance is. Here are five simple exercises to improve balance.

Sumo Step

Stand with legs twice hip width apart. Drop the buttocks down six to 10 inches bringing you into a wide legged squat position (the deeper the squat the more challenging this becomes). Shift your weight over to your right foot and slowly lift your left foot off the ground 1 to 8 inches. Hold for a count of 5 then slowly lower the left foot back to the ground. Repeat on the opposite side.

 

 

Empty Step

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Shift all of your weight onto your left foot and slowly lift your right foot off the ground. Bring your knee up slowly until it is even with your hip. Extend your right foot and bend your left knee, touching the toe of your right foot on the floor about 12 inches in front of you, putting no weight on the right foot (as if you were testing the temperature of the water in a lake you were thinking of swimming in). Lift the knee back up to hip level then return to your starting position. Switch legs.

 

Tree Pose (modified)

Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Shift your weight onto your left foot and bring your right foot off the ground. Place the sole of your right foot against the calf of your left leg. Bring the palms of your hands together in prayer position in the middle of your chest then forcefully push them together. Hold for 10 seconds then switch legs.

 

Standing Single Leg Side Beats

Stand with your feet hip distance apart with your desk or a chair that will not move directly to your left. Place your left hand on your desk or chair to steady yourself then shift all your weight onto your left foot, keeping your torso erect and spine tall. Lift your right leg sideways (out to the right of your body) as you point the toe. Lift your foot anywhere from 1 to 12 inches off the floor (the higher you lift the leg the more difficult the movement). Drop your foot down to the floor and lightly touch the toe on the ground then lift it again. Repeat for 10 seconds then switch sides.

 

Standing Single Leg Back Beats

Stand with your feet hip distance apart with your desk or a chair that will not move directly to your left. Place your left hand on your desk or chair to steady yourself then shift all your weight onto your left foot, keeping your torso erect and spine tall. Lift your right leg backwards as you point the toe. Lift your foot anywhere from 1 to 12 inches off the floor (the higher you lift the leg the more difficult the movement). Drop your foot down to the floor and lightly touch the toe on the ground then lift it again. Repeat for 10 seconds then switch sides

 

If you do these exercises to improve balance 4-6 days a week you will see your balance and lower body strength improve as well as gain greater body  awareness.