Do you struggle with bad balance or worry about slipping and falling?
Try this simple, at-home exercise sequence.
Good balance is crucial to remaining injury-free and independent as we age.
Build Your Balance
In this video, Physical Therapist Chris Ponichtera, PT DPT, shows you an easy, at-home sequence to build strength and improve balance.
Before starting any exercise, make sure you’re in a safe environment with a wall or counter to grab onto if needed.
Start with your feet together and your hands either on your hips or at your side. Lift one leg and hold this stance for a few seconds. Return to standing on both feet. Repeat ten times on each leg.
If you were able to stand without significant swaying, move on to level two of the progression — or a ladder format.
The ladder format is a functional, walking movement to improve balance.
Start with your feet together. Step forward with your right leg, letting your heel hit the ground first. Do the same with your left leg and continue walking forward, heel to toe, for ten steps. Turn around and come back another ten steps.
Make sure to stay nice and upright while completing this step.
The third step in this balance progression is the step into the ladder, or an exaggerated movement into the ladder format.
For the step into the ladder, start with both feet on the ground. Lift your right leg up completely before stepping forward and letting your heel hit the ground. Do the same with your left leg and continue walking forward, heel to toe, for ten steps. Turn around and come back another ten steps.
Make sure to exaggerate your lifting movement, driving your knee towards the ceiling.
Want more help improving your balance?
Sign up for the 2023 YMCA Wellness Series! Our Physical and Occupational Therapist-led “Find Your Balance” class will teach you what comprises balance, exercises to improve balance and mobility, and how to reduce external factors that cause falls.
Registration is free and all classes are held online.