Balance

Possibly my favorite type of exercise to do with my clients, especially my senior clients, is balance training. Some of the reasons include:

  • Results are quick to see. Within a couple of training sessions, you can see improvements.
  • Improves the quality of life, especially in seniors, for who it's common that balance deteriorates with age. With better balance, falls are less likely increasing your confidence and cutting down your risk for injury.
  • Improved performance in all areas of exercise, from walking and running to weight lifting.
  • Can be done with little to no special equipment, in any location, and as often as you want.

There really is no limit to the number of exercises that can done for improving your balance. Use your imagination.

For balance exercises from a standing position, progress in the following order:

  • Feet at hip-width stance, moving to feet in narrow stance, to touching ankles
  • One foot in front of the other, moving your feet closer together until the toes on your back foot are touching the heel on your front foot
  • Single leg stance
  • Swinging your raised leg

Once this progression has been mastered, follow the lower-body progression while moving your upper-body. For example, both arms over your head while standing with one foot in front of the other or on one foot, raising one arm, leaning and/or rotating body, etc. Seem easy? Try doing this with your eyes closed.

There are many types of equipment that can be used to improve balance. An example is the BOSU. Although I don't discourage people from using these types of tools, I don't believe they're necessary. I'm more into functional training. That is, training for real life situations. How many times do you find yourself standing on an inflated rubber half ball?

           

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