How’s your balance? Working on your balance doesn’t just make you look more graceful at the gym or when you’re walking in high heels. Balance is an underrated factor of our everyday functioning. Balance keeps you upright, helps prevent injury and allows you to walk without assistance. Many people don’t think about adding balance exercises into their fitness regime, but it’s important for your overall fitness and increases your overall movement function.
There’s a barrage of health benefits to turning your otherwise wobbly workout into a balancing act. According to Prevention, one in three adults over age 65 will take a serious fall every year. Approximately 20% of women who fallend up with a fractured hip and become permanently disabled, while another 20% die within a year.
Getting balanced doesn’t just protect you from future falls, there are also immediate health benefits including fewer injuries, better mobility and an increase in overall fitness.
Ready to start?
Learn to control your wobble with these 4 balance exercises
Stand on One Leg
This is one of the easiest ways to incorporate balance exercises into your daily life and you can do it anywhere! Try standing on one leg while you wash the dishes or when you’re brushing your teeth. Hold the pose for 30 seconds on each side.
Find an elevated surface like a stair and stand on it so that your heels are hanging off. Lift up onto the balls of your feet as high as you possibly can and hold for 2-3 seconds. Then, slowly lower down. That’s one rep—do 15-20.
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Standing Crunch with Under-the-Leg Clap
This one from SELF is a bit more challenging, but you can do it! Start out balancing on one leg with the other out in front of you. Your knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your hands together overhead. Crunch forward and clap your hands under the raised leg. Continue to clap over your head and under your raised leg 12 times and repeat on your other leg.
BOSU Ball Squats
Squats are an awesome way to strengthen your core, quadriceps and glutes. You can add weight to this exercise to increase balance and stabilization in those areas even more. Place a BOSU ball on the floor with the flat side up and the round side touching the floor. Step up onto the ball and adjust your footing until your feet are shoulder-width apart. Squat down, lowering yourself to 90-degrees. Always remember to keep your back, toes and knees straight, and your core tight. Repeat 10 times.