7 Exercises to Improve Balance

4. Clock on an Unstable Surface

Once you master balance moves on solid ground, try them on an unstable surface such as a BOSU platform. Stand near a wall or other support, for safety. Start in the middle of the board on two feet at first. When you feel comfortable, carefully give the one-legged clocks a try. It's harder than it looks.

5. One-Legged Squat

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Point your left foot out front, just barely touching the floor for balance and push your hips back and down into this challenging one-legged squat position. Your right knee is bent, chest upright, eyes forward, and your arms out front. Slowly push up to return to starting position. Switch feet. Be sure the knee doesn't push in front of the toes.

6. Single-Leg Dead Lift

Balance on your left foot, engage the abs, and bend forward at the hips while reaching toward the ground with your right hand. Hold on to a five- to 10-pound weight and raise your right leg behind you for counterbalance. Tighten the buttocks as you return to the starting position. Keep your knee relaxed and back flat throughout the movement. Switch legs.

7. Tools and Toys for Balance

Challenging your balance may be as simple as standing on one leg or closing your eyes. But for added challenge and fun, include balance boards, balance cushions, or sturdy foam rollers.

Keep safety in mind at all times: remove objects around you and stand near a wall or stable surface in case you lose your balance.

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Portland Personal Training Examiner Amy Rutherford-Close became a Certified Personal Trainer so she could help others put their health first.

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