Building Balance in Your Body

Everyone has fallen over at least once in their life. Slippery floors, uneven surfaces, in the game, bad footwear, alcohol, injuries, not paying attention, poor balance and a lack coordination can all contribute to an increased risk of taking a fall. These all trigger the importance of building balance. This is especially important for mature populations because as we age, our balance gets worse and our bones become more brittle, meaning that when we have a substantial fall we are more likely to suffer a break or fracture which can greatly affect quality of life. Weight bearing exercises are great for increasing bone density to make them strong, but the best approach is to perform balance work as part of your regular training routine to prevent the chance of falling in the first place. Here are 6 great exercises that can help you get better balance.


Building Balance

Single Leg Balance

Easy right? Tried it lately? Stable single leg balancing can be quite difficult for many people and is a good starting point to determine your level of balance and coordination. The thing with this exercise is there are many variables we can add to make it challenging for even those of us that have great balance. Single leg fitball  anyone?

Alternate Arm & Leg Raise (aka “superman” aka “bird dog”)

This exercise is also deceptively hard to perform correctly and can be progressed or degressed according to the level of balance of the individual by using fitballs, duradiscs, Dumbbells, leg weights, dowel poles and more.

Building Balance  with Calf Raises

The calf raise is not only a great exercise for muscle building but is a very good balance training exercise as well. For a more challenging version, try single leg!

BOSU Ball with Your Personal Trainer

The BOSU Ball (BOSU stands for ‘both sides upside down’) is a half fitball on one side with a flat surface on the other. It can be used in many ways to test your balance and is a great tool to use in a session to increase your balance skills. Ask your personal trainer to assist you in using a BOSU Ball at your next session!

Lunges for Building Balance

Another great strengthening exercise that is also very effective for training balance work. Because of the split stance and unequal weight distribution, the lunge needs a great deal of balance, coordination and core strength to perform correctly. There are many ways to decrease or increase the difficulty of this exercise to suit the users skill level.

Unsteady Plank

The plank is usually quite a stable exercise. But when we add elements of instability, it can become very challenging and be a real test for your balance. Fitballs, TRX, single limb and dynamic planks are all great variations on a theme which can be an awesome training tool to help your balance.

These are just a few examples. I would recommend performing balance work in a safe environment carefully, especially for older populations. Having a personal trainer or exercise physiologist is the safest and most effective way to ensure you are training the appropriate exercises for you in the safest manner. For more great balancing exercises, come and talk to us to help you achieve the results you need! Alternatively, for simpler balance building exercises, please see a really useful article here.

Similar Posts