Balance is maintaining your spatial orientation and distributing body weight, allowing you to stay upright. Most people take balance for granted, but improving it will reduce your risk of falls while enhancing your posture. The right training exercises will strengthen your core muscles and increase stability. Here are the top five activities you can leverage for the best results.
- Tree pose
Tree pose is a simple exercise requiring only the floor and a folded mat. Stand with your feet close together, spine straight, and stretch out your arms. Gradually lift your left foot to reach the side of your calf, with the right foot solely providing support on the floor. Slowly move the arms overhead to form a tree branch shape, and hold this position for 30 seconds before switching the legs. The tree pose exercise enhances ankle strength, balance, and core engagement, so feel free to consider this.
Another exercise you should consider is sidestepping. You can do this activity from the comfort of your home, so keep this in mind. Face a countertop or wall, using your hands for support when necessary. Step sideways in one direction, pointing your toes straight until they’re at the wall or counter’s end. Then, step in the opposite direction. You can incorporate a resistance band at the kneel level or above your ankles to increase the intensity of the exercise.
- Single-leg stand on a bosu ball
This exercise tests your hip flexors and quadriceps, engages your glutes, core, and ankle muscles, and increases stability. Here is how to perform a single-leg stand on a bosu ball: place a bosu ball on the floor, step on its center with your right foot, then raise the left knee a bit. You can maintain the equilibrium for a while and then switch to the other foot.
- Clinical pilates
Clinical pilates focuses on posture improvement, mobility, balance, and control. The exercise is also effective for recovery from spinal cord injury and managing back and neck pain. It combines specific stretching techniques to reduce tension in the spine and aid posture. The best way to perform clinical pilates is to work with qualified physiotherapists. They can guide you through 30-55 minute sessions and tailor clinical pilates routines according to your fitness level.
Squatting exercises can also support your balance and stability and are easy to perform. Stand before a countertop or chair, sticking your bottom back and bending your knees into a semi-squat position. Lean slightly forward with your back straight and waist bent. Maintain contact between your heels and the floor, ensuring your knees don’t appear in front of your toes. Resume a standing posture and repeat up to 10 times. It’s important to do squats correctly to prevent ankle and back injuries.
Irrespective of how long you have been facing challenges with your balance and stability, you can improve the situation with these exercise tips. A physical therapist can evaluate your condition and recommend the right exercise to improve your fitness and quality of life.