Exercise Programme Balance
Complete these exercises in an environment that enables you to be safe and limits the risk of you falling. If you are stood still, ensure that a chair is behind you and you have a high sturdy surface nearby i.e. a kitchen counter. If you are moving, ensure that the environment is clear and you have well fitting, stable shoes on OR are in bare feet. Lightly touch the counter for support; if you are needing to lean on the counter, please reduce the difficulty of the exercise. Complete each exercise 5-10 times.
Static Balance Exercises
Stand to attention
Standing alongside the counter, bring your feet together as if stood to attention. You may feel a slight sway, this is normal. If you feel able, begin to move your head, first nodding then shaking. If you are maintaining good balance, try closing your eyes for 10 seconds.
Standing Weight Shift
Standing alongside a counter, feet hip width apart. Shift your weight to your left and look over your left shoulder. Try to have something on the wall behind you to aim for. Turn back to the middle and shift your weight to the right to look over your right should.
Standing alongside the counter, first step forwards with one leg and hold this position. If you feel able, bring your feet inline as if on a tight rope and hold this position. Finally, bring your heel back to stand heel to toe. Hold this position.
Single Leg Stance
Standing with the counter alongside you on the left-hand side, shift your weight over your left standing leg. Imagine your belly button being over the standing foot. Try to keep your standing hip strong. You should feel your foot working to keep your midline. Return to standing on both legs. After completing the exercise 5-10 x on the left leg, turn around so that the counter is alongside you on the right-hand side and repeat the exercise on the right leg.
Dynamic Balance Exercises
These exercises can still be completed next to a kitchen counter for support unless stated otherwise,
Walking with head nod/turn
Walk in a straight line, as you walk begin to nod your head. This may slow your walk down and make your steps uneven. You can also try turning your head instead of nodding.
Place tissue box sized objects on the floor in a straight line, about 2 feet apart. Walk in and out of the objects “slaloming”. If this is too easy; reduce the distance between the objects to make your turns tighter.
Walking Obstacle Step Over
Place one or more small objects on the floor (tissue box size). Begin walking and aim to step over the objects, clearing your toes as you step.
Line walking forwards/backwards
Walk as if on a tight rope. Step your heel in front of your toe keeping your toes in line. To make it more difficult bring your heel and toe together with each step as shown in the photo.
In front of the stairs, use the banister for balance if required, trying not to grab hold. Slowly with control raise your foot up to touch your toes on the step and slowly lower your foot from the step. Step each foot alternately.
Ball Throw and Catch
This is best with a partner but can be achieved individually. Standing in front of a chair throw and catch a ball between yourself and a partner. Once you are comfortable, vary the high, speed and angle of the throws. If you are alone, you can use a wall and bounce the ball off the wall.
Start front on to the counter at one end, step your left foot over your right foot. You will now be stood cross legged. Bring your right foot behind and back round so that you uncross your legs. Continue on stepping like this down the counter and repeat in the opposite direction.