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Top Balance Exercises To Enhance Stability and Coordination

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Top Balance Exercises To Enhance Stability and Coordination

Best Balance Exercises For All Ages

When you’re a child, stumbling and falling is mostly a funny story to tell your parents. But as you get older, falling stops being a funny joke and becomes a serious problem, injuring millions of people yearly.

Balance is a crucial skill, but it diminishes over time due to the loss of motor skills. Our muscles weaken, shortening our stride, slowing our pace, and blurring our vision.

While this may sound ominous, the good news is that you can maintain your balance if you stay active. What are the best exercises for balance? How often should you do balance training? Read on to find out more!

In this article, Trojan Fitness explains everything you need to know about balance exercises and provides the best tips and tricks to do balance workouts for all ages and fitness levels.

What Is Balance?

Balance is an interplay of coordination, strength, and proprioception that enables us to maintain control over our movements. You can manage your center of gravity to stand upright, walk confidently, and perform precise movements. Balance also plays a vital role in preventing falls, supporting posture, and enhancing physical performance.

According to the British Medical Journal, middle-aged people (between ages 50 and 75) who couldn’t hold their balance on one foot for 10 seconds were 50 percent more likely to die in the next ten years than those who could. Even if you’re not middle-aged, balance impacts your ability to move and prevent injuries, so it is essential to do balance exercises to improve physical health.

We now delve deeper into the benefits of a good balance and strategies to improve and maintain balance for optimal well-being.

Benefits of Improving Balance

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Improving balance isn’t only about mastering tightropes at the circus. It is also about enhancing your overall well-being. Incorporating balance exercises into your regular workout routine can yield benefits and contribute to overall health and well-being. Here is a rundown of why improving your balance is worth the effort:

  1. Fall prevention—We have all had moments where we can stumble over nothing. By honing your balance, you are installing an invisible safety net. Strong balance skills reduce the risk of unexpected falls.
  2. Better coordination—Whether you are hitting the dance floor or navigating a crowded street, better coordination can help you move with confidence and grace.
  3. Enhanced muscle strength—Balance engages all muscles from head to toe, improving their strength and sculpting them into lean, stable machines.
  4. Improved joint health—Refining your balance allows you to move your joints smoothly, prompting flexibility.
  5. Sharper mind—Balance is not only a physical exercise; it gives you a mental workout too. It requires focus, concentration, and willpower. By challenging your balance, you are giving your brain a workout, resulting in enhanced cognitive function and mental acuity.
  6. Stress reduction—Notice how a brisk walk can calm your mind. Improving your balance works on a similar wavelength. It is a mindful practice demanding your complete attention, helping to quiet the stress of everyday life.
  7. Better posture—Good balance promotes proper alignment, reducing strain on your spine.

Testing Coordination and Balance

Are you unsure of how stable your body is? Try out these exercises to find out:

  1. On both feet—Stand with your feet together and arms folded over the chest and close your eyes. You should be able to stand for 60 seconds without moving your feet.
  2. On one foot—Stand on one leg with your hands on your hips and lift the other leg off the ground. Maintain this position for as long as possible without losing your balance. Repeat with the other leg.
  3. Tandem stance—Place one foot in front of the other and maintain this stance without swaying. You should be able to stand for approximately 40 seconds on both sides.

Note—Before starting these exercises, ensure there is cushioning around you or someone to catch you in case of a fall.

If you are having difficulty doing these exercises, you need to start doing workouts for better balance. How can you get started? Read on!

How To Improve Your Balance

Improving balance is a multifaceted process that involves strengthening muscles and being aware of your body position. Here is a detailed guide on how to improve your balance:

  • Strengthen your core muscles, including the abdomen, lower back, and hips, to maintain balance and stability. Planks, bridges, and Russian twists are excellent exercises to improve core strength.
  • Incorporate exercises, such as squats, lunges, and leg presses into your workout routine to strengthen lower body muscles. Focus on proper form and gradually increase the resistance as your strength improves.
  • Coordination plays a significant role in balance. Engage in activities that challenge it and require quick adjustments and precise movements.
  • Practice balance exercises with your eyes closed to rely more on proprioception and the inner ear balance mechanism.
  • Wearing supportive footwear is crucial to maintaining stability. Wear shoes with good arch support and non-slip soles to reduce the risk of falls.

Exercises such as yoga, tai chi, and specific balance drills are excellent for improving posture and coordination. But how do you know which one to choose? Let’s find out!

Balance Improving Exercises You Can Do At Home

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Check out the table below for a few exercises to improve balance, and remember that the more practice you get, the better your balance will be.

Exercise Details
Single Leg Balance
  • Stand tall on one leg while lifting the other off the ground
  • Focus on maintaining balance for 30-60 seconds on each leg
  • Close your eyes or add arm movements to increase difficulty
Tandem Stance
  • Stand with your heels pressing into a wall
  • Place the left foot directly in front of the right, heel-to-toe
  • Then, place the right foot in front of the left
  • Continue for 20 to 30 steps
Reverse Lunge
  • Stand with both feet together with your hands resting on your hips
  • Take a large step back with one foot and lower down until the other thigh is parallel to the floor and both knees form 90-degree angles
  • Keep core engaged and shoulders stacked over hips
  • Push through mid-foot and the heel of the other foot to rise out of the lunge
  • Switch sides and repeat
Single Leg Squat
  • Stand on one leg with the foot firmly balanced on the floor.
  • Bend the other knee and lift the other foot a few inches off the ground
  • Squat and reach your arms forward
  • Push the foot that is on the floor to press back up to standing
  • Repeat with the other leg
Tree Post
  • Stand with your feet together in a tall posture with your arms outstretched
  • Lift one foot to the side of your calf slowly and balance on the other foot
  • Lift arms overhead to make the tree branches
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Switch legs and repeat
Balance Board Exercises
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Lift your arms and extend them to the sides
  • Lift one foot off the floor
  • Bend your knee to bring the foot toward your body
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds
  • Repeat with the other leg

Equipment for Balance Training

You can enhance balance training with the use of equipment designed to challenge stability. The most common tool is the balance board featuring a flat surface atop a rounded base, requiring users to engage core muscles.

You can use stability balls for seated exercises to engage core muscles. Bosu balls, another popular tool, resemble stability balls cut in half and mounted on a platform. They are a dynamic surface for standing and sitting exercises.

Want to add a little more challenge to your workout? Use a wobble or rockerboard. They provide an unstable surface for standing exercises, increasing the intensity of your workout.

Balance Exercises for Seniors

Chair Stand

  • Sit in a chair with feet flat on the floor
  • Stand up without using your hands for support
  • Lower back into the chair
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times

Calf Raises

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair
  • Rise onto the balls of your feet, as high as possible
  • Lower back slow
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times

Single Leg Balance

  • Stand near a wall for support
  • Lift one foot off the ground and hold for 20-30 seconds
  • Switch legs and repeat on the other side
  • Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg

Coordination Exercises for Kids

  • Obstacle Course—Set up an obstacle course with items to step over, walk around, or go underneath.
  • Hopscotch—Draw a hopscotch grid on your sidewalk and have kids hop through the squares on one foot at a time
  • Animal walks—Encourage kids to imitate animal movements like frog jumps, bear crawls, or crab walks.
  • Balloon volleyball—Inflate a balloon for kids to throw back and forth over a makeshift net
  • Bike riding—Get bicycles or scooters for your kids since they require balance and coordination to stay upright
  • Book walk—Place a book on top of your child’s head and ask them to walk in a straight line without dropping the book

Balance Workouts for Athletes

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It’s not only kids and elder people who need to improve their balancing skills. Balance training strengthens core muscles and improves body posture, improving an athlete’s overall performance.

Are you an athlete searching for some basic balance training exercises? Check out the list below for a few basic ones to get started:

Single Leg Deadlifts

  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand and balance on the opposite leg
  • Hinge at the hips to lower the weight towards the ground
  • Extend your free leg behind you to balance yourself
  • Return to standing position and switch legs
  • Repeat for 10 to 15 times

Balance Board Lunges

  • Stand on a balance board with feet hip-width apart
  • Perform lateral lunches while balancing on the board

Single Leg Balance Reach

  • Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee
  • Reach forward with both hands while extending the lifted leg behind you
  • Hold for a few seconds
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat on the other leg

Single Leg Stability Ball Leg Curls

  • Lie on your back with your heels on top of a stability ball and arms by your side
  • Lift your hips off the ground to form a straight line from shoulders to heels
  • Extend one leg while keeping the other foot on the ball
  • Bend the knee to roll the ball towards your body, then extend it back out

Other Balance-Improving Exercises

Are you looking for more balance-enhancing workouts? Try a few of the below-mentioned exercises for a different aspect of your workout routine!

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese martial art that combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing and mindfulness techniques. It emphasizes balance, flexibility, and inner strength and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Tai Chi is widely recognized for its health benefits, including stress maintenance, enhanced flexibility, and improved overall fitness.

Yoga

A holistic practice encompassing physical posture, breath control, and meditation, yoga aims to unite the mind, body, and spirit to achieve balance and inner peace. Yoga offers a diverse range of styles from dynamic practices to gentle and restorative ones. It also promotes mental clarity, stress relief, and emotional well-being, making it a popular choice for enhancing health and vitality.

Pilates

Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on strengthening core muscles, improving balance, and enhancing body awareness. It emphasizes precise movements, proper alignment, and controlled breathing to develop a strong foundation of stability and support.

Improve Your Balance With Trojan Fitness Gear

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Ready to work on balance training? We have got you sorted!

Trojan Fitness offers a range of balancing gear. From kettlebells and dumbbells to fitness balls, we have it all! Our products can improve balance, maintain the center of gravity, and prevent injuries!

Explore our website today for hassle-free workouts.

Disclaimer:
The information provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered professional or medical advice. We make every effort to ensure the information provided is accurate and up-to-date, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. Always consult a qualified professional before making any significant changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle. We are not responsible for any adverse consequences resulting from the use of, or reliance on, any information provided on this website.