Simple Exercises to Improve Balance and Stability
Have you considered incorporation stability and balance in your sports physio program? Developing stability and balance is an important element of all physiotherapy exercises that is often forgotten or ignored. You need these two elements for virtually every activity you perform, whether walking, jogging, skipping rope or weight lifting.
To improve stability and balance you need to strengthen the core. The core refers to a group of muscles around your stomach, spine, and pelvis. These groups of muscles surround the pelvis, abdomen, lower back, and the spinal column.
There is a notable difference between balance and stability. Balance is the ability to cancel out opposing forces so that the body can remain in a state of equilibrium. Stability refers to the ability to maintain equilibrium for a significant period of time and while repelling external factors that compromise balance. Agility can be defined as the ability to change direction while still maintaining control and relies on these two factors.
To improve balance and stability your physiotherapist can develop a program that increases the intensity of the exercises progressively. You can start with simple physio exercises that strengthen your core and leg muscles. Here are some simple exercises you can incorporate into your fitness regimen to improve balance and stability.
Skipping rope can be done by anybody and does not require fancy equipment or the assistance of physical therapists. It is beneficial to your training since it improves agility, stability, and strength. It increases bone density and strengthens the leg muscles. With the right variations, you can work all your core muscle groups to enhance stability and agility further.
- If you are a beginner start with simple skips then progress to high knee steps.
- After a week or two of practicing, you can progressively move to more advanced techniques like single leg jumps, double-unders, and the twist.
- Hold the jump rope across the handle rather than holding the tip. This will give your wrists a wider range of movement.
- Enjoy every moment as your practice and don’t be discouraged if you start feeling you are not progressing fast enough.
Pilates is a widely acclaimed physiotherapy system that can help you improve stability and balance mainly by strengthening the core muscles. Pilates is based on principles that emphasize the importance of focus, concentration, precision, postural alignment, and proper breathing. There are several easy Pilates exercises you can do:
- Criss Cross: lie on a mat with a pillow or rolled towel under your back. Place your hands on the back of your head and bring your knees to your chest. Extend your right leg and then your left leg while twisting your upper body back and forth in line with your leg movements.
- Planks: The plank is one of the most popular moves known to practitioners of Pilates today. It strengthens abdominal muscles without exerting unnecessary pressure on the spinal column unlike other forms of abdominal physio exercises like push-ups and press-ups. It strengthens and elongates abdominal muscles giving you more power and flexibility to handle challenging tasks.