5 Easy, Everyday Exercises to Improve Your Balance

Ever say this sort of stuff?

"I had a close call where I almost fell getting out of the cab. I don't want that to happen again."

"I find it hard to stand on one foot when putting on shoes or socks. This shouldn’t be so difficult."

"When traveling, I don't feel comfortable walking on cobbled streets or climbing stairs without railing. I miss out on some adventures."

Whether these scenarios sound familiar, or you're just thinking about what's ahead, you've landed in the right spot.
In this post, we're going to tackle all those balance-related worries & show you exercise to improve balance.

Even if you're feeling steady today, these exercises can help. No matter, if you're nearing retirement or just hosted your 30th birthday party, adding balance exercises to your routine is a good idea.

Balance isn't only about fixing wobbles. It's about prepping for all of life's adventures, big and small. And if you're looking to give your workouts an edge, balance exercises can help there too.

The Science Behind Balance Exercises

Balance is all about control. It's our body's way of staying upright and centered, whether we're sitting, standing, or moving around.

To achieve this, 3 systems in our body work together seamlessly:

👀 The sensory system: This includes our eyes, muscles, and joints. Our eyes help us see our surroundings and navigate. Our muscles and joints sense where parts of our body are and how they're moving.

👂 The inner ear: Inside our ears are tiny organs that detect any changes in our head's position or movements we make. This is our body's internal level or balance system.

🧠 The brain: Think of the brain as the command center. It gets signals from the eyes, muscles, joints, and inner ear, then quickly decides how we should move or adjust to stay balanced.

When we work on our balance through exercises, we're not just strengthening muscles. We're also training our sensory system, inner ear, and brain to communicate better and faster.

Remember this information when you might hop onto a balance exercise and think, "Well, I'm not drenched in sweat, so is this really doing anything?"

Because the answer is — absolutely yes!

👉 Balance exercises might not always give you that high-intensity workout feeling. They're all about training the intricate systems that keep us upright and steady. It's less about burning calories and more about creating harmony between our eyes, muscles, ears, and brain.

Every time you challenge your balance, you're strengthening those intricate connections in your body, even if you're not out of breath or feeling the burn.

7 Exercises to Improve Balance

In this section, we've listed down 7 exercises to improve balance.

Each exercise starts with a beginner variation. If you're new to balance training or just getting back into the groove, this is your starting point. As you get comfortable and crave a bit more challenge, we've outlined intermediate and advanced versions to kick things up a notch.

📦 Box Step-up with Knee Drive

Equipment: A sturdy box or step platform.

Beginner:

  • Stand facing the box or platform.
  • ​Step up with your right foot and as you stand on the step, drive your left knee up towards your chest.
  • ​Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.

Intermediate:

  • Increase the height of the box/platform or add a light dumbbell in each hand for added resistance.

Advanced:

  • Perform the movement at a faster pace, or hold heavier dumbbells. You can also add a hop when you drive the knee up.

🦵 Stationary Lunge

Equipment: None to start, dumbbells or a barbell for added resistance.

Beginner:

  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  • ​Take a step forward with your right foot and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • ​Push through the heel of your right foot to return to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg.

Intermediate:

  • Hold a light dumbbell in each hand by your sides.

Advanced:

  • Hold heavier dumbbells or use a barbell placed on your shoulders.

🛢️ Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Equipment: None to start, dumbbells or a barbell for added resistance.

Beginner:

  • Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee.
  • ​Keeping your back straight, hinge at your hips and lower your torso towards the floor, extending the non-standing leg straight behind you.
  • ​Return to the starting position.

Intermediate:

  • Hold a light dumbbell in the hand opposite the standing leg.

Advanced:

  • Hold dumbbells in both hands or use a barbell.

💪 Plank with Shoulder Tap

Equipment: A mat for comfort.

Beginner:

  • Start in a plank position, hands under your shoulders.
  • ​Tap your left shoulder with your right hand while trying to keep your hips stable.
  • ​Place the right hand back on the floor and repeat with the left hand to the right shoulder.

Here's a slight variation of this:

Intermediate:

  • Perform the shoulder taps at a faster pace.

Advanced:

  • Place your feet on an elevated surface or wear a weighted vest.

💼 Suitcase Carry

Equipment: Dumbbell or kettlebell.

Beginner:

  • Stand holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand by your side, keeping your posture straight.
  • ​Walk forward while keeping your shoulders level and not leaning to the side.

Intermediate:

  • Increase the weight of the dumbbell or kettlebell.

Advanced:

  • Hold a weight in both hands and walk in a zig-zag pattern or on an uneven surface.

🧍 Back Leg Raise

Equipment: None, or a wall for support.

Beginner:

  • Stand straight and if needed, hold onto a wall for support.
  • ​Keeping your leg straight, lift it behind you without arching your back.
  • ​Return to the starting position.

Intermediate:

  • Wear ankle weights while performing the exercise.

Advanced:

  • Add resistance bands around your ankles for added tension.

🪑 Sit to Stand

Equipment: A sturdy chair.

Beginner:

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with feet hip-width apart.
  • ​Without using your hands, stand up and then slowly sit back down.

Intermediate:

  • Perform the movement at a faster pace or pause for a few seconds in the standing and sitting positions.

Advanced:

  • Hold dumbbells by your side or perform a small jump once you're in the standing position.

If you're looking for a quick 3-minute workout check out this video by Clark.

When to Level Up Your Exercises?

Now, a question many people have is, "How do I know when it's time to level up?"

📓 Here's a quick guide:

  • Consistency: If you've been performing at the beginner level consistently without any wobbles or shaky moments for at least a week, it's a sign you're ready to take on the next level.
  • Confidence: If you can execute the exercise confidently without second-guessing & you feel steady, you're on the right track.
  • Seek challenge: The day the routine starts feeling too comfortable or easy is the day you should consider ramping things up.

Progress is individual.

Some might race through the beginner stage in a few days, while others might revel in it for a couple of weeks. The key is to listen to your body, trust your intuition, and enjoy the journey of enhancing your balance.

Warm-Up & Cool-Down Exercises

The warm-ups are designed to prep the body, enhancing proprioception (the sense of self-movement and body position), and the cool-down exercises will help relax and stretch the muscles you've been working on.

♨️ Warm-Up Exercises

1. Ankle Rolls:

  • Sit or stand, holding onto a chair for support.
  • ​Lift one foot off the ground and roll your ankle in a circular motion.
  • ​Perform 10 rolls in one direction, then switch directions. Repeat with the other foot.

2. Side-to-Side Weight Shifts:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • ​Slowly shift your weight to your right foot, lifting the left foot off the ground slightly.
  • ​Hold for a moment, then shift to the left. This helps activate the stabilizing muscles.

3. Gentle Twists:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • ​With a slight bend in the knees, rotate your torso to the right and then to the left.
  • ​Keep the movement controlled, engaging your core. Repeat 10 times on each side.

❄️ Cool-Down Exercises

1. Standing Cat-Cow Stretch:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your thighs.
  • ​Arch your back, lifting your head and tailbone toward the ceiling (Cow).
  • ​Round your back, tucking your chin and tailbone (Cat).
  • ​This stretch is great for spinal flexibility and can be adapted from the traditional floor version.

2. Calf Stretch:

  • Stand facing a wall with hands pressed against it.
  • ​Step one foot back and press the heel into the ground while keeping the leg straight.
  • ​Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs.

3. Standing Quad Stretch:

  • While holding onto a wall or chair for support, grasp one ankle and gently pull it towards your glutes.
  • ​Keep your knees together and feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch.

Integrating Balance Exercises in Everyday Tasks

You might be surprised at how many regular tasks around the home can be transformed into balance-boosting exercises. You can add tiny tweaks to daily routines, making them not just chores but opportunities to improve stability.

Brushing Your Teeth

Ever tried doing it standing on one foot?

It might seem odd at first, but it's a fantastic way to challenge your balance. Just be sure to switch feet halfway through to give both legs a workout.

Dressing Up

Putting on socks or shoes?

Use it as an opportunity to test your balance. See if you can stand on one foot as you slip into them, rather than sitting down.

Waiting For Coffee

While your gourmet coffee brews in the morning, stand on tiptoes for a few seconds, then rock back on your heels. It’s a discreet calf workout and balance booster in one.

Talking on The Phone

Walk heel-to-toe in a straight line while talking on your phone. This tightrope-walker style of walking can greatly enhance stability.

Virtual Meetings

During those audio-only conference calls or when your virtual meetings don't require video, try standing on one leg.

Switch legs every 5 minutes. Not only does this help improve balance, but it's also a neat trick to combat the fatigue of prolonged sitting.

Elevator Routines

If you're in a multi-story office building or reside in a posh high-rise, those fleeting moments waiting for or inside an elevator can be productive.

Engage in some calf raises, lifting your heels off the ground, or balance on one foot for a little challenge.

Business Travels

Airports, with their inherent waiting periods, offer a splendid chance for some balance exercises.

As you wait in line or for your flight, subtly shift your weight from one leg to another or rise onto your tiptoes for a bit.

Reading Reports or Morning News

As you peruse the latest financial data or skim the morning headlines, try a balancing act.

Squat down as though there's an elegant chair behind you and hold that posture for a few seconds. It’s a little exercise with significant benefits.

Integrating these small adjustments doesn’t take much. But collectively, they can have a significant impact on maintaining and improving your balance. Make the most of your dialy moments, no matter how ordinary they seem.

✅ 🌿 Boost Your Balance Workouts with Personalized Vitamins

While practicing exercises is an essential way to improve balance, what we fuel our body with can make a significant difference too.

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Complete 365 isn't a generic pill. Your key vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and probiotics are picked based on your blood work. The cost of the complete blood work is covered as well.

It's truly customized to your unique needs, ensuring you're not just taking a supplement but the RIGHT supplement for YOU. Check it out here and partner your balance exercises with nutrition that truly understands and supports you.

What's Next?

Incorporating balance exercises into your daily routine is not just about preventing falls or improving athletic performance; it's about investing in the longevity and quality of your life.

Now that you're equipped with these effective exercises, why not start your journey to improve your balance?

You don't have to start with all seven exercises today. Pick 2-3 of your favorites and start there. And if you're looking for a structured approach, the weekly routine provided above is a perfect roadmap.

Begin by blocking out a dedicated time slot in your calendar or setting a reminder. This not only ensures you're committing to the exercises but also makes it a regular fixture in your routine.

Start by setting small, achievable goals. Maybe it's mastering the beginner level of each exercise or dedicating 10 minutes every day to practice.

As you progress, celebrate those wins, no matter how minor they seem. Share your journey with friends or family, encouraging them to start on this balance-enhancing path with you.

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