Caught Off Balance? Try These Exercises

Whether you have a balance problem with everyday activities or want to feel more secure fly fishing, working on your balance has many benefits.  Most of us are aware that we need to strengthen and stretch, but tend to leave out balance exercises as part of our fitness routine. But balancing isn’t just for yogis!

Start balance exercises standing near a table or a sturdy surface that you could touch to steady yourself.  You can place a chair nearby as well to be able to hold on with both hands.  

Note: if you have a significant balance problem, please see a physical therapist to help you address your specific needs!

A few of my favorite balance exercises are:

Easiest: Semi-Tandem Stance

semi-tandem stance for balance

Place 1 foot’s heel next to your other foot’s arch.  Stand tall, holding your belly button toward your spine.  Hold at least 10-15 sec. Hold onto something as needed for safety.

Medium: Single Limb Stance (SLS)

single-limbe-stance for balance

Stand on 1 foot only, making sure to keep your torso tall and your pelvis square.  The tendency here is to lean or twist.  This is great not just for balance but for hip stability.  

Difficult: Unsteady or Uneven Surfaces

In the above video, I demonstrate how you can make simple balance exercises more challenging using props. For example, you can use the basic positions of Double-Leg stance, Tandem-Stance, and Single-Leg-Stance on uneven surfaces to add difficulty.  Here are some pictures if you don’t like watching videos.

Wedge: Wedge your foot to mimic banking of trails and streets

balance exercise on wedge
In real life, we need to be able to balance on a variety of angles.

BOSU: This provides balance exercises on a squishy surface as well as a flat one to challenge balance and give you feedback for imbalances.  The flat side is great for snowboarding and paddle boarding.

BOSU for balance exercise
The BOSU Trainer is a powerhouse for a variety of balance exercises.

Foam: A foam pad or pillow challenges instability for a variety of foot positions.

foam for balance
A foam pad or pillow can be used to challenge your balance.

Now, go get creative and throw some balance challenges into your routine!

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