Updated: Apr 24, 2020
Stuck inside? Great time to work on your balance!
Balance is very important for people of all ages, and is something you can easily practice in your home. Working on your balance will help strengthen muscles in your feet and ankles, as well as your hips and core. Improved balance can help perfect dance technique, but can also help to decrease the risk of falling. Here are a few simple exercises you can try at home!
Tips before you start
Make sure that you have a bit of cleared floor space around you.
Place yourself next to a wall or the kitchen/bathroom counter so that you have something very sturdy to hold on to should you need assistance. You can always start holding on and then try to let go as you feel more secure.
As you balance think about your foot as a tripod and focus on keeping equal weight/contact with the floor between your heel, big toe and your pinky toe
Make sure you are standing nice and tall with good posture – slight core engagement can be helpful – think belly button in toward your spine.
Feet together balance: stand with your feet directly next to each other, looking straightforward.
Off set tandem: Place one foot in front of the other with space between the feet. Feet should not be touching.
Tandem Stance Balance: Place one foot directly in front of the other so that the heel of the front foot is touching the toes of the back foot. Try to have weight on both of your feet. **CHALLENGE: Try to walk like this in a straight line forward! Please walk along a wall or counter if you think you might need some help.**
Single leg balance: Start with feet side by side – bend one knee so that your foot comes off the ground behind you and try to maintain your balance on the other foot.
*Keep your hips level across.
*If you start to lose your balance, place your foot back down on the ground.
PROGRESSIONS AND CHALLENGES
Start by holding each position for 30 seconds
Increase your holding time with the goal of 60 seconds
Add arm movements – It can be as simple as lifting your arms over head either both together or one at a time
Add head turns – try side to side and up and down
Close your eyes!
Good Luck! Stay healthy, and stay safe.
We hope to see you soon!
Adrienne Gregorek, PT, DPT
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, physical therapist, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.