As we age our balance will decline, and without maintaining a functional level of strength, flexibility, and balance you can become prone to an increased risk of injury like twisting an ankle, tripping or even a fall.
Balance is one of the fundamentals of a healthy, active body. Having a strong sense of balance and awareness to the elements around you can help you react swiftly and prevent injuries and accidents from happening. We are so lucky that Dr. Jonathan Seidberg from our Biltmore clinic specializes in all things balance.
We asked him about his favorite exercises to use with beginners to help improve balance. He recommended his top 3 exercises that you can do just about anywhere!
1.Single Leg Balance:
Balancing on one leg can help improve your strength, stability, and body awareness, all in one exercise. To perform it correctly, stand on a surface, bend one of your knees, and squeeze the buttock of your standing leg.
Be careful that your legs do not touch and try not to hold on to anything with your hands.
2. Ankle Sways:
There are three strategies for balance, and our ankle strategy is the first line of defense against falling. This is a great neuromuscular activation activity to improve your ankle strategy.
Stand with your feet together or with one foot in front of the other (tandem). Slowly, move your weight forward and backwards or side‐to‐side. Be careful not to bend at your hips and only move at your ankles.
3. Standing Hip Abduction:
This is a multifaceted activity that improves your balance and strengthens your gluteus medius, a vital hip muscle necessary for daily mobility.
Stand with your feet together, lift one leg out to the side without touching the ground, then return to your starting position.
Be careful not to lean your torso.
Scale up: You can make any of these exercises more challenging by placing a more pliable object underneath your feet.
Do you need help improving your balance? Schedule a free injury assessment (no referral necessary!) to see how we can help keep you healthy and active.
Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy provides an affordable, individualized, and professionally supervised program designed to build and maintain a functional level of strength, flexibility, and balance. Our highly trained staff is here to properly evaluate and quickly identify your balance concerns giving you the confidence to get you back to doing the things you love.
Jonathan Seidberg PT, DPT
Education – University of Arizona, A.T. Still University
Jonathan is a proud member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Orthopedic and Sports Therapy Section.
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