exercises to improve balance:

reduce your base of support–practice standing with feet closer together and more parallel making your base of support smaller, narrower and therefore less stable.

stretching  helps maintain muscle balance which allows proper alignment during activity which prevents being off-balance and increasing risk of an injury such as a fall. remember to always stretch when muscles are warm.

quad standing stretch–while standing, hold around the ankle/calf of one leg with opposite hand behind back and gently pull your heel toward your buttocks.  you can hold onto chair or touch wall for support.  to practice balance first become efficient in this stretch then over time stand without touching anything;  balance on one leg as lift the other. repeat opposite leg.

with back, shoulders and head on resistance ball,  hips are level with knees in table-top type position.  raise one foot off floor and balance the hold.  the lift can be small at first with goal of lifting foot parallel with floor.

lunges–alternate leading leg to enhance balancing skill.  perform with forward and rear lunges.  diagonal or side lunging also enhances balance.  maintain proper knee alignment in all three directions.

balance is key component of health and fitness.  practice balance and set balance goals just like you do for endurance, flexibility and strength.

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