Balance Exercises

Physical therapist, Shawnee Haws, explains how simple exercises designed to strengthen and challenge your balance, can help you stay healthy, active and avoid injuries.


1. Single Leg Stance: Stand with the feet 6-8 inches apart with good posture. Slowly lift one leg up so that the hip and knee are both bent to 90 degrees. Work up to a 30 second hold without moving or losing balance.

2. Heel Raises: Stand with the feet 6-8 inches apart with good posture. Slowly rise up onto your toes, aiming to keep the weight between your first and second toes and avoiding rolling your ankles; slowly lower back to your heels and repeat.

3. Balance Disc Challenge: Stand on a balance disc, pillow, couch cushion or thick mat (anything that gives to a little pressure). Work to keep the weight on your feet equal side to side and front to back, limiting how much you wobble.

Other Balance Tips:

• Stand on one foot while brushing your teeth.

• Try lifting up onto your toes while preparing dinner or standing in the grocery checkout line.

• Make practicing balance a daily habit. Do it every morning or every evening. Be consistent

• When you get good at balancing, challenge yourself.

Shawnee Haws, is a doctor of physical therapy and certified Pilates instructor at Pinnacle Performance in Salt Lake City.

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