Having balance and coordination is not just for dancers. Balance and coordination is something everyone should try and improve on especially as you get older.
Having the right amount of balance and coordination will result in fewer falls and more agility well into your old age.
Thus we will all benefit from a few balance and coordination exercises. Here are some pointers on how to improve balance and coordination.
Balance And Coordination Exercises
It is amazing how even a slight shift in your weight can affect your balance. Even walking, which is a seemingly simple act of placing one foot in front of the other, is actually a very complex action. Your centre of gravity continuously changes with each step that you take, and you are continuously changing weight from one foot to the other.
Balance and coordination skills are necessary for everyday life. Good balance skills require control of many muscles to carry out various activities, that we often take for granted, without falling over. Coordination skills include eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination and smooth, controlled movements of the body.
Here are a few balance and coordination exercises you can try for yourself.
A great exercise to do that will help you to stretch your hips, legs, back and shoulders is called the dancer. This exercise also helps you to improve your balance and coordination. If you battle with balancing, stand near a chair or table to help you to maintain your balance.
To do the dancer, stand with your feet parallel and relax your arms by your side. Stand up tall and lengthen your neck and keep your shoulders relaxed.
Next, shift your weight onto your left foot and bend your right knee slightly. Grasp your right foot with your right arm behind your buttocks. Exhale and focus on a spot on the floor for balance.
Inhale and reach your left hand towards the ceiling. Exhale and lift your right leg behind you as high as you can. Tilt your torso forward from your hips and try to keep the back straight. Keep both hips parallel to the floor and hold this position for a few deep breaths.
Inhale and come upright again and then exhale as you release your arms and lower your leg to the floor. Repeat this on the left side.
Another good exercise for balance and coordination is this one.
Stand feet parallel with your arms relaxed at your side.
Raise both arms forward to chest height and at the same time lift your right knee.
Get your right thigh parallel to the ceiling if you can. Slowly and smoothly open your arms to the sides as you open your right leg to the side, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees. Make sure you keep your left leg and back long and strongly held.
Next bring your arms and knee in front of you again and lower your leg to starting position. If you get your balance spot on, try adding a small arch of the upper back when your leg and arms are in front of you.
Balancing On One Leg
This one is a simple but effective exercise for balance and coordination.
Lift one knee up until your hip is bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold it there for as long as possible and time yourself to see how long you can keep your balance.
Don’t let your legs touch each other. If you have to, hold onto a chair or the wall while you lift your leg and then slowly let go to see if you can balance.
Once you get good at this one, try standing on a pillow to challenge your core muscles further.
Balancing on Hands and Knees
Go down like you are going to start crawling.
Now take one arm out in front of you.
Slowly lift the opposite leg behind you.
Make sure you keep your tummy muscles well held to help you balance and don’t let your spine arch.
Balance for as long as you can, and then repeat on the other side.
Walking The Line
Tape a line on the floor, or take any line like ones found in the joins in tiles or wood.
Walk heel-to-toe along a line marked on the ground. You can also walk the line backwards.
If you have a friend there, keep your feet one in front of the other and let your friend throw a ball to you to catch. Alternatively, throw the ball onto the wall and catch again. You can bend your knees, but don’t move your feet.
Challenge yourself further and do squats with your feet one in front of the other.
Purchase An Exercise Ball
These exercise balls have so many uses.
You can sit on one while you work, as they are great to train core stability and balance.
You can also try this exercise:
Sit on an exercise ball on an exercise mat and put your arms out to the side for balance. Gently lift one foot off the ground while keeping your balance. Lower and repeat with the other foot.
Bouncing on a ball with your feet on the ground is another great way to work on your balance.
You can also use these balls to exercise on. They are great for crunches and glut exercises, and most of them come with instructions. You can also check out this video on how to get a great balance and coordination workout using an exercise ball.
You can also hang over the ball forwards to stretch out that sore back or backwards to loosen tense back muscles.
To read more about exercising into your old age, click here