June 13, 2024 balance exercises, physiotherapy

Preventing Falls: 8 Strength and Balance Exercises that Help

If you’re lucky, you might walk away from a fall with a bruise or scratch. But sadly, in many cases—especially as you age—falls can have devastating consequences.

They can lead to:

  • serious injuries
  • reduced mobility
  • lengthy hospital stays
  • a loss of independence
  • depression

The good news is that there are simple ways to support your body and reduce your risk of falling in the privacy of your own home—without any fancy equipment. It’s never too late (or early!) to strengthen your body and improve your balance. It might just be the smartest decision you make!

Here’s everything you need to know.

8 Strength and Balance Exercises to Reduce the Risk of Falling

Strength and balance are key players in fall prevention. Strong muscles help your body maintain a position. And good balance enables your body to remain upright with constant muscular adjustments and support.

So, how can you improve both of these factors? Our exercise list below can help enhance your balance and strength, reducing your fall risk. These exercises strengthen your leg and core muscles to support your body better. However, before you start, enjoy a five-minute walk as a warm-up. This will help get your muscles prepped for what’s to come!

1.   Hamstring Curls

balance exercises, physiotherapy

Stand up straight with your hands on a counter or back of a chair for support. With your feet slightly apart, take turns bending one knee to raise your foot behind you towards your buttocks. Each time, hold your foot up for two seconds or longer.

2.   Back Leg Raise

These are similar to hamstring curls, except you raise your whole leg behind you from your hip joint. Try to keep your leg straight as you raise it and hold it for a few seconds before swapping legs.

3.   Side Leg Raise

Turn to the side with one hand resting on a supportive surface. Standing tall, raise your straightened leg out to the side as high as you comfortably can. Hold for a few seconds and repeat. Do the same on the other side.

4.   Toe Stand

Stand with your feet slightly apart and move slowly to stand on the tips of your toes. You should feel your calf muscles contract. Hold for a few seconds and lower your feet slowly back down. Repeat.

5.   Flamingo

Standing tall, bring one foot in line with your other knee as you stand on one foot. As you get stronger, lift your hands out to the side and away from the support. Alternate and repeat. A similar exercise is to raise your knees as you walk.

6.   Squat

balance exercises, physiotherapyFrom a standing position, bend your knees and slowly push your buttocks out behind you in a squat position. Keep your back and neck straight and relaxed—your legs must do all the work. Return to your neutral position slowly and repeat.

7.   Tandem Walk

Find or create a straight line and practice walking on it with one foot in front of the other, arms out at your side, and your head up high.

8.   Sit and Stand

Practice getting up from sitting without using your hands—this is a great way to work all the muscles that contribute to your balance and control. If this is too tricky, place a pillow on the chair to give you a head start. As you get stronger, remove it.

Keep Active for Enhanced Strength and Balance

Consider these exercises a starting point in your strength training. As you grow in confidence, challenge yourself by adding arm movements, removing your hand support, closing your eyes, and holding the positions for longer.

If you’re having trouble or experiencing pain as you move your body contact Turramurra Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy. We can help you create a personalised exercise program to help you build strength and balance at any age!


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