3 Key Exercises to Improve Balance
Why is it important to include balance training in your regular exercise program?
Balance is needed for just about everything you do on a daily basis from carrying groceries to putting on your shoes. Balance training involves strengthening exercises that target your entire body, especially the core. This not only reduces the risk of injury, but may improve motor coordination (Oliveira et al., 2017). At least 3 days of balance training per week is recommended for inactive and active older adults (> 65 yr). Activities such as pilates, yoga, tai chi, dance, or brisk walking are suitable for improving one’s balance. Implements such as bosu balls, balance boards, or foam pads can be used to add variety to your exercises.
Try the Following Exercises Below:
a. Stand in front of a box with a tall posture
b. Step up with one leg, then bring the other leg up so that both feet are on the box
c. Step down one leg at a time and repeat 10 times for each leg
d. Increase the difficulty by using a taller box or increase your step up pace
2) One Legged Squat
a. Stand with a tall posture
b. Bend your right knee and lift your right foot off the floor
c. Keep your chest upright and arms extended to the front, slowly lower your body to the floor by pushing your hips back and down
d. Slowly push up to the starting position and switch feet
e. Remember to keep your knee in line with your second toe as you squat
f. Repeat 10 times on each leg
3) Single Leg Dead Lift
a. Stand on your right foot, enagage the core, and slowly bend forward at the hips
b. Reach towards the floor with the left hand and lift the left leg straight behind you
c. Hold for 1-2 seconds and squeeze your butt muscles as your return to the starting position
d. Switch sides and repeat 10 times on each leg
e. Optionally: hold a light dumbbell in one hand as you reach toward the floor
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