Balance Exercises - Improve Balance, Posture and Core Strength

Why are balance exercises so effective?

A balanced body is the key to a normal fit life.

Athletes need peak balance to perform in highly imbalanced moves, weight trainers need balance and stability in core muscles and seniors require balance to maintain normal activities and avoid falls to live a functional life.

In this article you will find top 5 balance exercises everyone can use.

Also I will include 3 best balance exercises for seniors.

Inside This Article

-Introduction to Balance Exercises
-Simple Balance Exercises
-Simple Balance Exercises on the Ball
-Balance Exercises For Elderly

Whether you just seemed to always have a problem with your balance or you have developed a medical condition that is affecting your ability to remain balanced, you can benefit from some exercises. Believe it or not, there are a few exercises out there that are perfect for improving your skills in the balancing department.

Introduction to Balance Exercises

There are many people who would not know what a balance exercise looks like if you asked them, even though they have probably seen them done many times over.

Generally, the focus of the balance exercise is to increase the strength of the lower body. When you have better balance, thanks to increased lower body strength, you will be less at risk to fall and become injured.

You will also find that you will have increased self-esteem and self-confidence once your balance begins to improve.

The great thing about balance exercises is that you do not have to spend hours on end working out. Working out just a few days a week, at least ten minutes a day, can and will dramatically increase your stability and balance.

You will find that you are much more balanced than you have been in many years.

Simple Balance Exercises

I will show you 3 best bodyweight exercises and stability ball exercises for balance and core stability. Some versions can be done both on stability ball and BOSU ball.

Remember there might be 100s of balance exercises but all are variations of the basic core exercises or hip exercises.

What's better than the two absolute best hip and core exercises than one leg squat and the plank?

1. The side plank - bodyweight, BOSU ball, Stability ball and of course wobble board version

2. One leg squat

3. Core Foam roller exercise

1. The Side Plank Exercise

One of the the most effective upper body and core balance exercise is the plank. There are two versions of it, one with knees bent {easier} and another with knees straight.


Execution Steps

1. Lie on your side with your legs bent, placed one over another and upper body resting on your forearm as shown.

2. Slowly raise your hips off the floor until your upper body, knees and feet form a straight line as a plank.

3. Maintain the plank position as long as you can by contracting your abdominals harder.

Do not let your shoulders sag. Get back to starting position whenever you tire.

4. Once you master the bent-knee version, try the straight version wherein you keep your legs straight, feet one over another or crossed onto the floor.

Regular Plank Exercise - Instead of the side plank you can do regular plank wherein your rest your upper body on your forearms, raise your hips so that your shoulders, back and legs form a plank and maintain that position for some time.


Try the bent-knee version first and then progress to straight leg version.

Bosu Ball Version


Ready to move beyond the bodyweight exercise? Try the BOSU ball.

Instead of placing the forearms on the floor in both the above versions, place them on a BOSU ball. The instability of the v ball will force more stability in your core muscles, making the exercise harder.

Some more creative versions

So you can do the BOSU ball elbow plank and maintain it for at least 6- seconds, try one elbow version.

Simple do the exercise with one elbow on the BOSU ball and let the other one free, holding it in front or side in the air.

Stability ball version

Use stability ball instead of the BOSU and place your elbows on the ball

Wobble board version

Place your elbows on to a wobble board instead of BOSU of stability ball.

There is another excellent core exercise called the hip raise or bridge. I have explained it in the Bridge exercise for low back section.

2. One Leg Squats


Regular squats, both bodyweight and weighted squats require good hip flexibility and body strength but they do not challenge each side separately and hence unilateral training is recommended by many trainers.

What better than one leg squats for lower body balance training. Although there are some other exercises like back leg lift, one leg bicycle or even the one leg lunge, but my

Execution Steps

1. Stand upright and hold onto an object like a table, bar or door knob with one hand on your side.

2. Let go of one leg and extend it in front of you.

3. Squat down until your thigh is parallel to the floor and explosively push with your knees and hips to get back to start position.

Initially you can lower yourself to quarter squat position, hold the position for a few seconds to build isometric strength before trying deeper versions.

You ultimate goal is to do the one leg squats unsupported and later weighted, if you are in to athletic development.

3. Core exercise on foam roller


Execution Steps

1. Lie lengthwise on a foam roller as shown. Your body from your head to tailbone should be on the roller. Your knees are bent and feet on the floor, hip width apart.

2. Take a deep breathe in and as you exhale let your belly button drop on the roller. This activates and strengthens your deep abdominal muscles.

3. Inhale for 2 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds and perform one such set.

Advanced version One

Instead of your arms on the floor, you can raise them overhead once you feel stable on the roller.

Advanced version Two

If you are adventurous, try doing dumbbell chest press or flyes. This is optional though.

Want to do balance training at home?

One way to do this would be to stand up behind a counter top or even a chair with a tall back.

Grab onto the counter or the chair, using only your fingertips. Slowly lift one leg off of the ground and work to keep your balance on just the one leg for a total of ten seconds.

Once you are done with that, you can repeat this exercise with the other leg. You will want to perform five of these on each leg, at least three times a week.

Another balance exercise would be the previously mentioned one but without holding onto the counter or the chair. For safety purposes, you will still want to stand near the counter or the tall chair in case you do find yourself slipping and need to grab on.

Simple Balance Exercises on the Ball


The exercise ball should not be over looked when you are trying to regain your balance. These balls can be picked up just about anywhere.

Just about all places that sell even the smallest selection of exercise equipment will carry an exercise ball. They are even easily found online.

One of the easiest ways to regain your balance with the help of the exercise ball is to simply replace your desk chair with the exercise ball.

Continue about your day but you will soon notice that your balance will improve.

Another simple technique would be to lie on the ball, placing the ball at your core - your stomach.

You want to look for a point where you will be able to balance on the ball, even though your legs and arms can still gently touch the floor in order to serve as some balance points for you.

Try extending your right arm forward and at the same time, extend your left leg backwards. Hold this position for a few seconds while you feel the muscles in your arm and leg stretching.

Repeat this but with the other leg and arm. This is an excellent exercise ball exercise because it not only works to improve balance but you will also be less likely to end up with injuries to your lower back.

Balance Exercises for the Elderly


The fear many people have is that they will have a hard time completing the balance exercises, simply because they lack the balance and confidence they feel they need.

The thing is though, there are many balance exercises that are perfect for the elderly who are afraid of falling and becoming injured as a result.

Exercise 1: The Mountain

Great for upper body and torso balance

Execution Steps

1. Stand straight with feet together and arms held overhead.

2. Take a deep breathe in and lower your arms as you exhale.

3. Raise your arms as you inhale and lower them as you exhale.

If you cannot balance yourself properly then initially you can do these supported or near a wall in case you sway.

Exercise 2: Side Bends

This is another exercise for torso training.


Execution Steps

1. Stand with feet together. Place one arm on your hips and extend the other arm overhead.

2. From this start position bend yourself to the side.

3. Get back to start position and repeat the other side.

Exercise 3: Single leg stance or lift

If the above two exercises were for upper body and core, the next exercise is for the hip balance.

Execution Steps

1. Stand upright with legs placed close together.

2. Shift your weight onto one leg and raise the other leg either partially or completely.

3. Maintain this position for 5-10 breathes, making sure that you NEVER hold your breathe.

Want simpler exercises?

One popular exercise is to stand beside a chair.

Have the back of your chair to the left of you. Hold onto the top of the back of the chair with your left hand and then place all of your weight onto the left leg.

You will want to make sure that you are keeping your knee slightly bent at this point.

Inhale and focus on something that is ahead of you. As you exhale, you will take your right knee, bend it and bring it inwards to your chest. Make sure that you are not bending your hips or waist as you complete this move.

Hold this position while you count to three and then you can return your leg to the floor. Repeat this balance exercise on both legs, several times.

Take It Slow

As you can see, the balance exercises are fairly easy to complete, even though you will want to make sure that you are taking your time with them.

Even though they are not complicated in nature, you will find that a fall could really hurt so make sure that you are taking it easy and holding onto that chair or counter top for as long as you feel you need the support.

Only go without the additional help when you are fairly sure that it is no longer needed.

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