4 Exercises to Improve Balance and Help Prevent Falls
Balance is a vital part of everyday life that not only helps you navigate daily tasks, but also safeguards you from potential falls and injuries. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or interested in leveling up your overall stability, incorporating the right balance exercises into your at-home fitness routine can make a huge difference. In this blog, we’ll explore a variety of exercises designed to improve balance and help prevent falls, highlighting tips and benefits for each one.
1. Single-Leg Stands
A single-leg stand is an exercise meant to strengthen your lower body which can help improve your overall balance. It’s particularly beneficial for building strength in the muscles surrounding your core, hips, knees, and ankles, which all support balance.
How to Do Single-Leg Stands:
- Begin by standing on a flat surface with your feet hip-width apart.
- Shift your weight onto one leg while lifting the other foot a few inches off the ground.
- Find a focal point to help with balance and maintain straight posture.
- Hold the position for 15-30 seconds, gradually increasing the duration as your balance improves.
- Switch to the other leg and repeat the process.
For this exercise, make sure that your core muscles are engaged to help stabilize your spine. You should also avoid locking your standing knee by keeping it slightly bent. If needed, feel free to lightly touch a nearby surface with your fingertips for added stability.
Physical Therapy Equipment for Lower Body Exercises
Specialized equipment like the CanDo Balance Pad is a great addition to this balancing exercise for added stability and fall prevention. It’s extremely durable and lightweight, with a non-slip ribbed surface that’s easy to grip onto. It also features shock absorption qualities that minimize the risk of injury, so you can feel safe while practicing balance exercises at home.
The CanDo Inflatable Balance Disc is another great tool for improving balance at home. This inflatable disc can be placed on the ground and used to enhance balance exercises, with one side flat and the other side nubby for tactile feedback and stimulation. It can also be inflated to various degrees to create a customized exercise routine that supports your specific goals and needs.
2. Heel-To-Toe Walking
Heel-to-toe walking is simple yet effective ways to boost your balance and coordination. Similar to walking on a tightrope, it involves placing one heel directly in front of your other foot’s toes as you walk, which helps train your posture and strengthen the muscles in your legs and core. This helps promote improved control and stability.
How to Do Heel-To-Toe Walks:
- Begin by standing with your feet in a straight line, with the heel of one foot touching the toes of the other.
- Take a step forward, placing the heel of your front foot directly in front of the toes of your back foot.
- Repeat this heel-to-toe pattern, focusing on maintaining a straight line and a steady pace.
- Engage your core muscles for added stability and be conscious of your posture as you go.
- Keep your gaze fixed forward to help maintain your balance.
Physical Therapy Equipment for Added Strength Training Heel-To-Toe Walks
One way to elevate your heel-to-toe walks is with weights, like The Cuff Original Ankle and Wrist Weight from Fabrication Enterprises. These cuff weights wrap around your ankles or wrists to add an extra dimension of resistance to your workouts, which engages your upper body and core muscles. These comfortable weights are color-coded and available in a range of weight options from ¼ a pound to 5 pounds, allowing for a customized and progressive balance training regimen.
3. Yoga Poses for Balance
Doing yoga is great for building better balance, since it involves making mindful movements that help you practice spatial awareness. Certain poses can also help improve muscle strength and flexibility, which ultimately benefits your overall balance and fosters mind-body harmony.
Beginner Friendly Yoga Poses for Balance:
- Tree Pose: Stand on one leg and place the opposite foot on your inner thigh. If you are unable to bring your foot up to your thigh, you can modify the pose by placing it anywhere on the inside of the opposite leg, like your calf. Tree pose activates stabilizing muscles in your core and lower body which can improve balance and stability.
- Mountain Pose: Stand up straight with your core engaged and your arms raised up. Focus on grounding your stance and aligning your spine to a neutral position. If you are unable to raise your arms, you can modify this pose by keeping them down at your sides, slightly engaged with your palms open. This helps improve balance by fostering a stable stance and proper alignment.
- Warrior III: Balance on one leg and hinge forward at the hips, extending your opposite leg straight back, while reaching your arms forward. While maintaining balance, this should create a straight line from your fingertips to the lifted heel of your foot. You can also use a chair as a sturdy surface to support your hands, and a wall for back leg support, gradually extending the lifted leg to a comfortable height. This pose helps improve balance by strengthening your legs and core muscles.
- Chair Pose: Squat with your arms up, gaze forward, and knees bent, as if you are sitting down in a chair. One way to modify this pose is to press your back against the wall for extra support. This pose engages your legs, back, shoulders, and feet to improve balance.
Best Physical Therapy Equipment for Yoga
You can enhance your yoga practice with the CanDo Inflatable Exercise Ball, which is designed to help improve your balance, coordination, and strength. This versatile tool provides additional support for exercises that demand endurance and flexibility, while also introducing a balance challenge to certain poses. The absence of stability increases the workout’s intensity, engaging various muscles that support balance.
4. Foam Roller Wall Squat
Another great balance improvement exercise is a wall squat, which is made even more beginner friendly by adding a foam roller. This exercise improves balance by engaging your lower body muscles and core with the added comfort and support of the foam roller.
How To Do Wall Squats with a Foam Roller:
- Place your foam roller horizontally against a wall.
- Stand with your back against the roller, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower into a squat, allowing the foam roller to guide your movement.
- Keep your back straight, chest lifted, and knees aligned with your toes.
- Hold the squat for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
- Repeat the squat, focusing on activating your core muscles and maintaining proper form and balance.
Best Physical Therapy Equipment for Core Strengthening Wall Squats
For the best results, we recommend the CanDo Composite Foam Roller, which is made from premium molded foam for extra firmness and durability and suitable for all body types.
Shop the Best Physical Therapy Equipment Online
Adding balance exercises to your at-home fitness routine is a great step toward enhancing your mobility and helping to prevent falls. At Orthopedic Outfitters, we have decades of experience providing both clinicians and consumers with the best orthopedic physical therapy equipment the market has to offer. We carry a range of orthopedic tools that can help enhance your personal wellness or recovery journey, right in the comfort of your own home.
Plus, if you spend more than $50, we’ll give you FREE shipping!