Balance Builder Exercise
By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
The great news about balance is that you can work to improve it! In this blog we’ll take a look at one of the many exercises that can be done to help strengthen balance skills.
Throughout the exercise, imagine you’re are moving in slow motion. The slower you move the more your balance will be challenged. Remember to maintain good upright posture throughout the practice.
Balance Builder Exercise Part 1:
Stand alongside a counter.
Place a paper napkin on the floor in front of you and imagine it is a curb.
Lightly touch the counter with your left hand as you lift your right knee and foot (bending your knee in front of you to form a 90 degree angle).
Step over the imaginary curb as you shift your weight to the forward foot. Hold the position for the count of 3.
Next, lift the back foot by bending at the knee, forming a 90 degree angle behind you. Bring the back leg forward and place your feet together.
You are safely over the curb!
Balance Builder Exercise Part 2:
Reverse the exercise by lifting the right knee and foot off the floor (creating a 90 degree angle in front).
Slowly swing the leg back from the hip joint so the 90 degree angle moves behind.
As you step backwards over the curb, notice both knees are bent to facilitate the backward step.
Shift weight fully to the back leg as you lift the front foot off the floor and place it next to back foot, returning to the start position, with weight evenly distributed over both feet.
Repeat this exercise slowly, 3 times, starting with the right foot.
Turn to face the other direction and repeat the exercise leading with the left foot (lightly touching the counter with your right hand).
Build up the number of repetitions.
As you become more comfortable, try the exercise without touching the counter.
Close your eyes while performing the exercise. (Note: This should only be done in a safe environment by those who have extremely good balance.)