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
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)
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
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.
Foam: A foam pad or pillow challenges instability for a variety of foot positions.
Now, go get creative and throw some balance challenges into your routine!
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