Improve Balance and Keep Your Independence
One in four people over the age of 65 fall each year, and one in five of those falls will lead to a serious injury, such as a head injury or bone fracture. For anyone looking to maintain independence as they age, these are pretty intimidating statistics!
The good news is that simple exercises can reduce the risk of falls and injuries. The easy workouts below can improve balance in seniors, so you can stay independent!
Top 5 Exercises to Improve Balance
1. CLX Hip Extension
Research shows that training with elastic resistance, like the TheraBand CLX, improves leg muscle strength, endurance, and balance. This exercise is great for balance training.
- Place each foot into a loop with one loop between them
- Stand with your feet hip width apart and your back straight
- Keep one leg straight, slowly raise and kick backwards on the opposite leg
- Continue to kick backwards without letting that leg touch the ground between repetitions
- Return to your starting position and repeat with the other leg
2. One Leg Balance
Using a stability trainer is a good way to build balance skills. The Theraband Stability Trainer is available in progressive resistance levels, so as your skill increases, you can transition between the beginner, intermediate, and advanced trainers.
- Place the Theraband Stability Trainer on a flat surface, with a chair nearby for support if needed
- Stand with both feet firmly on the foam Stability Trainer
- Slowly lift one leg to balance, then place it back on the Trainer
- Repeat using the other leg
- Challenge: Close your eyes or move to the next level of Stability Trainer as your balance improves
3. Two Leg Balance
The Theraband Stability Disc is the most challenging balance product in the TheraBand soft stability category. This makes it great for more advanced balance training.
BONUS: You can also use the Stability Disc to practice active sitting – simply place it on any chair to activate your core while seated.
- Place a sturdy object nearby for support if necessary
- Stand on the Theraband Stability Disc with both feet
- Progression: Close your eyes or turn your head to increase the difficulty level
3. Rolyan BEEP (Balance Enhancement Exercise Program) Board
Lateral balance is proven to be a predictor of future falls in seniors. With its side to side rocking, this Rolyan BEEP board increases core stability and lateral balance. Falls to the side significantly increase the risk of hip fracture, so it’s important to improve this specific type of balance.
- Place the board on a flat floor
- Stand on the board with both feet
- The board rocks side to side to promote weight shifting and improve lateral balance
- With each successful weight shift, the board will beep signalling success
4. Knee Lifts
Using an exercise ball is an effective and low-cost way to improve your balance abilities while seated. A TheraBand PRO Series SCP Ball is perfect for safely practicing balance.
- For stability, place the ball beside a wall or chair that you can grab onto if needed
- Sit on the Theraband PRO Series SCP Exercise Ball with both feet hip distance apart
- Place your hands on the sides of the ball or on your hips
- Lift one knee toward the ceiling while keeping your balance and posture
- Hold this position for 4 counts, then return your foot to the ground
- Repeat with the other knee
- Challenge: Close your eyes during this exercise. To ease into this, squint your eyes partially shut at first
These exercises can help you reduce your risk of falling, avoid injuries, and keep your independence. If you’re anxious about trying them, make sure you have a chair or person nearby that can help stabilize you. Consult your doctor or physical therapist for more exercise options and other tools for improving your balance.
And learn more about other ways to reduce your risk of falls in the Ultimate Fall Prevention Guide.
CDC. (2017). Important Facts About Falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2mjZik6
CLX Hip Extension. (n.d.). TheraBand Academy. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2SJKSuX
Hilliard, M. J., Martinez, K. M., Janssen, I., Edwards, B., Mille, M. L., Zhang, Y., & Rogers, M. W. (2008). Lateral balance factors predict future falls in community-living older adults. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Nh34Gs
Moore, H. (2017). Start Your Fall Prevention Training Early with Elastic Resistance. Performance Health Academy. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Eh4Mo0
Stability Trainer 1-leg Balance. (n.d.). TheraBand Academy. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2GOZCBC
Stability Trainer 2-leg Balance. (n.d.). TheraBand Academy. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2Sb8MtX
Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.