Balance, often an underestimated facet of overall fitness, plays a pivotal role in our daily activities, sports performance, and injury prevention. Whether you're an avid athlete striving for improved agility or someone who seeks to enhance stability and reduce the risk of falls, integrating targeted balance exercises into your workout routine is paramount. That's why I've put together five of the best workouts to regain your balance and stay active and mobile as you age.
For my clients who are looking to strengthen their balance, I recommend the following workouts to not only help regain but significantly enhance balance. Each workout includes three exercises with detailed, step-by-step instructions, sets, and reps to guide you through a well-rounded journey to enhanced stability and coordination.
Keep reading to learn all about my five best workouts to regain your balance. And when you're finished, be sure to check out The Best Daily Workout To Increase Stamina.
Workout #1: Yoga for Balance
Yoga seamlessly blends physical postures with mindfulness. Beyond its flexibility benefits, yoga serves as an effective tool for cultivating balance. The following poses are tailored to instill a sense of stability.
1. Tree Pose
Stand on one leg and gently bring the sole of the other foot to your inner thigh or calf. Find a focal point to help with balance, and hold for 30 seconds to one minute on each leg. Repeat for two sets, gradually extending the duration as you feel more comfortable.
2. Warrior III
Begin in a standing position, and shift your weight to one leg. Hinge forward from your hips, extending the opposite leg straight back while reaching your arms forward. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds on each leg, aiming for two sets.
3. Downward Dog Split
Start in a plank position, lift one leg toward the ceiling, keeping your hips square. Hold for 20 seconds, switch legs, and repeat. Perform two to three sets, focusing on controlled breathing throughout.
Workout #2: Stability Ball Circuit
Welcome the element of instability into your routine with a stability ball circuit, elevating your core engagement and overall equilibrium. These exercises not only challenge your muscles in unique ways but also enhance your body's ability to adapt to different surfaces.
1. Stability Ball Squats
Stand with the stability ball against a wall, positioning it between your lower back and the wall. Perform squats by bending your knees and lowering your hips, keeping the ball stable. Aim for three sets of 12 to 15 reps, maintaining a controlled pace.
2. Single-Leg Stability Ball Leg Curls
Lie on your back with your heels on the ball, and lift your hips toward the ceiling. Curl the ball toward your hips using one leg, then extend it back out. Perform two sets of 10 to 12 reps on each leg, focusing on smooth movements.
3. Plank with Stability Ball Rollout
Start in a plank position with your forearms on the stability ball. Roll the ball forward, extending your arms, then pull it back to the starting position. Aim for two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, engaging your core throughout.
Workout #3: Tai Chi-Inspired Movements
Explore the ancient wisdom of Tai Chi with these gentle yet powerful movements.
1. Weight Shifts
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shifting your weight from one foot to the other. Begin slowly and gradually increase the speed while maintaining balance. Incorporate two minutes of weight shifts into your warm-up routine.
2. Single-Leg Balance Reach
Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee. Extend the opposite leg forward, and reach your arms forward. Hold for 20 seconds on each leg, repeating for two sets.
3. Cloud Hands
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Rotate your torso to one side, allowing your arms to follow in a flowing motion. Repeat for one minute on each side, aiming for two sets.
Workout #4: Functional Strength Training
Functional strength training goes beyond muscle isolation, incorporating movements that mimic daily activities and enhancing overall stability.
1. Single-Leg Deadlifts
Stand on one leg, hinge at your hips, and lower your torso as you lift the opposite leg behind you. Aim for three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each leg, maintaining a straight back.
2. Lateral Lunges
Take a step to the side, bending one knee while keeping the other leg straight. Perform two sets of 15 reps on each leg, alternating sides.
3. BOSU Ball Squats
Stand on the flat side of a BOSU ball, performing squats. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps, ensuring a stable stance.
Workout #5: Pilates for Core Stability
Engage in Pilates, renowned for its emphasis on core strength, adding a layer of stability to your fitness routine and enhancing overall body control and coordination.
1. Single-Leg Circles
Lie on your back, lift one leg, and draw controlled circles in the air with your toes. Perform two sets of 10 circles in each direction on each leg, keeping your core engaged.
2. Swan Dive
Lie on your stomach, lift your upper body, and extend your arms forward. Hold for 15 seconds, aiming for three sets, focusing on lengthening your spine.
3. Side Plank with Leg Lift
Lift your top leg while holding a side plank position. Complete two sets of 12 leg lifts on each side, maintaining a straight line from head to toe.