As a personal trainer for seniors, I have heard many ways to improve your balance. Some of the ways I have heard have been good, some bad and others not worth mentioning. Notwithstanding the advice, if you don’t start with assessing a person’s level of balance before balance training; it is the biggest mistake you could make. Does that mean that if you don’t assess that someone won’t improve their balance? Not necessarily, but assessing someone’s level of balance makes it easier for them to gain confidence in their current ability, and challenging enough so that they can improve. To ensure that you don’t commit the biggest mistake with regards to balance, I will show three balance positions for you to decide where you should practice.
Where To Start
Feet together- If you look at the video, this is someone who just stands with their feet touching together. This is the first position individuals should begin when they need to start doing balance training.
Feet staggered or Tandem- If you have mastered standing with your feet together, I will encourage you to try staggering your feet or doing a tandem stance. In this balance position, it allows you to start working on having each foot responsible for balancing individually.
Standing on 1 foot- Ideally, this is what you do only when you have mastered the last two positions. Standing on one foot is a great balance exercise but shouldn’t be forced.
Regardless of what position you decide for balance, try to hold it for at least 30 seconds on each leg before you move to the next one. Also don’t be afraid to use a chair to touch as needed for additional support.
While improving balance is tough, choosing the right place to start can help you avoid your biggest mistake.