Balance, or the ability to regulate your body’s position, is an essential building block of fitness–one that many people leave out. But with a little training, you can learn how to improve your balance. Here are 8 simple exercises to help train your body to balance.
1. Back-Leg Raises
To develop your lower back and buttocks, you can stand straight while lifting your back leg. You can hold on to a chair and lift one leg straight back, keeping your anchor leg positioned with a small bend in the knee. Try holding this position for one second. Do this 10-12 times on the primary leg before switching to the other.
2. Weight Shifts
Stand together with your feet hip-width apart. Practice shifting your weight to one leg and lifting the other. Hold that position for up to thirty seconds before switching sides.
3. Heel-to-Toe Walk
A heel-to-toe walk can be a simple balance exercise. Walk slowly in a straight line with your toe touching the heel of the foot in front. Walk twenty-five paces, and use a wall support for added balance.
4. Leg Swings
Another common and straightforward exercise is the leg swing. This exercise is performed by standing on your right leg and lifting your left leg three to six inches from the floor. Next, swing your left leg back and forth while standing up straight. Try to avoid letting the lifted foot touch the ground. Then switch legs and repeat.
5. Single-Leg DeadLift
For this exercise, you’ll need a five to ten pound weight. Hold the weight and then bend straight forward at the waist, keeping your spine straight, your knees relaxed, and your abs engaged. While holding onto the weight with your right hand, raise your left leg behind you to provide counterbalance. Keep your spine straight and your leg straight back in this position. Then, tighten your buttocks as you lower the left leg to the ground. Next, switch legs and repeat. 6. One-Legged Squat
Stand together with your feet hip-width apart. Put your arms out in front of you. Balance on one leg, keeping the other knee slightly bent. Keep the other leg rooted to the floor. Squat down bringing the back knee toward the floor. Keep your hips back and parallel and your arms forward. Keep the back leg from touching the floor before pushing up to your starting position. Make sure that your knees don’t come out further than your toes. Switch feet.
Stand up straight with your back to the chair and with your feet hip-width apart. You may hold onto a wall or piece of furniture for added balance. As you get stronger, you can do this exercise without using a chair or other object. Stand straight up together with your back facing a reliable chair and your feet hip-width apart. Slowly lower your hips into a seated position in the chair. Pause, and then push to standing. Repeat twelve times, going from sitting to standing and back again.
8. Single-Leg Stands
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold onto the wall or a piece of furniture for balance. Next, lift your foot an inch off the ground while keeping your spine straight. Hold for ten to fifteen seconds, and then lower the raised foot to the floor. As you get stronger, you can do this without holding an object for balance. Switch legs and repeat five times.
Using these eight easy exercises, you can learn to improve your balance. If you’re working to improve your balance and have tried these exercises, comment to let us know your progress.