Welcome to FallProof! Part 2. Today we’ll continue our discussion on balance and stability by looking at five unique exercises you can do anywhere, any time. These moves consist of standing balance challenges that emphasize lower and upper body, as well as, core control. If any of the exercises prove to be too difficult, skip it for now until you’re stronger. If you continually work at it, you’ll be there before you know it.
Side “X” Balance Reach
Start by standing on your right leg and lean your entire body towards the right. Raise your right arm towards the sky. When you’re ready, lift your left leg just a bit, so it’s slightly off the floor. The body will make half an “X” shape in this position. Try to balance as long as you can, for up to 2 minutes. If needed, you can touch your toes down but try to raise them again as quickly as you can. Repeat on the other side, and see if one side is better than the other.
Stand and Twist
Stand – Start by standing on the left leg and raise the right knee. Try to lift the knee until your upper thigh is parallel to the floor. If that’s too difficult, just raise your right heel off the floor.
Twist – Bring your hands together in a prayer position and move your arms across your body, so your fingers are pointed to the right. Hold this position for 1 minute.
Added Challenge – If you feel stable in the position above, you can make it even harder by moving those arms. While your knee is still lifted, move your praying hands in a figure 8 motion in front of your body. The bigger you make the figure 8, the harder it will be. This exercise is very challenging, so only attempt it when you feel ready.
Start – With your feet about hip-width apart, lift your left heel off the ground. Then with your hands at your hips, slowly fold forward over your hands. Make sure you bend at your hips and not your back. You want to keep your back nice and straight. If your hamstrings are tight, you can slightly bend your knees to make it more comfortable.
Move – Continue to bend down and stand back up straight for the duration of 1 minute. You’ll feel like you’re repeatedly bowing down to someone. Once you do 1 minute on this side, repeat with the other heel raised, concentrating on keeping the spine long and strong.
Reach for the Sky
Squat – Start with your feet hip-width apart and lower to a sitting position while leaning against a wall. When doing this, make sure you can still see your toes. This will minimize the pressure on your knees.
Arms – For 1 minute, slowly slide your arms and thumbs up and down the wall like you’re making a snow angel on the wall.
This exercise will help to strengthen the muscles in your legs and give you a great stretch all the way from the hips to the shoulders.
Skating Balance Reach
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with a chair in front of you for support. Raise your left arm up over you head and simultaneously extend your right leg back. (If you can let go of the chair while doing this, go for it.) Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Continue this movement for up to 2 minutes, moving slowly and deliberately like you’re ice skating in super-slow motion.
Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!