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Balance Exercises: 15 Ways to Improve Strength and Coordination

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer at The Fit Father Project

balance exercises

Many men neglect balance exercises because of a busy schedule or because they just don't think they're really necessary.

But, balance exercises are more important than you might think!

Having exceptional balance helps you avoid falls, improves coordination and strength, increases flexibility, and makes you feel healthier overall.

It allows you to maintain good posture, boost muscle definition, and excel during workouts.

Balance exercises require brain training, focus, muscle training, and flexibility, and they can improve your workouts and overall well-being.

Also, maintaining good eating habits is important for healthy weight management, which makes it easier to have exceptional balance.

Eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy or plant milk, legumes, nuts, seeds, avocados, and heart-healthy fats!

Then, aim to incorporate balance exercises into your regular routine at least once weekly.

Or, pick several balance exercises to complete each time you strength train (at least three times per week).

Ready to get started with balance exercises? Keep reading!

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Items You May Need

While you can modify just about any balance exercise, it's helpful to have a few workout items on hand that can enhance the effectiveness or difficulty level of each exercise.

Examples include:

  • Bosu balance ball
  • Stability ball
  • Medicine ball
  • Dumbbell weights
  • Resistance bands
  • A partner

You can complete many of the balance exercises below without any equipment, but it's nice to have the option of adding resistance to balance exercises to increase strength and muscle mass.

These 5 balance exercises can help with fall prevention!

 

15 Balance Exercises to Try

Consider the following 15 balance exercises to reap the many benefits associated with  improved balance, strength, coordination, and flexibility!

Banded Leg Raises

Try banded leg raises, which can help you sculpt muscles in addition to improving coordination and flexibility. Complete the following:

  • Place a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
  • Place your right leg into a single-leg, quarter-squat position, while engaging your hip muscles and core.
  • Using the band as resistance, lift your left leg up and forward and back down, then to the side and back down, and finally back behind you (keep your lifted leg as straight as possible).
  • Complete 10-20 repetitions of this exercise if you can.
  • Switch legs to complete 10-20 reps with the opposite leg.
  • Complete a least three sets of banded leg raises for each leg.

Single-Legged Cross-Body Punches

To complete single-legged cross-body punches as a strength and balance exercise, complete the following steps:

  • Hold two dumbbells (one in each hand) near your chest.
  • Place your all body weight on your left foot and get into a quarter squat position.
  • Lift your right foot off the ground behind you by bending your knee.
  • Keep your left leg stable and punch the dumbbells across your body (one at a time) continuously 10-20 times.
  • Switch to the opposite leg.
  • Complete at least 3 sets of single-legged cross-body punches.
  • To make this exercise more difficult, stand on top of a Bosu balance ball.

Plank Rows

Plank rows are strength-building exercises that improve balance. They can give you the six-pack abs and defined shoulders and back you long for. Complete the following steps for plank rows:

  • Get into a plank position with your arms straight, while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Slowly raise your right elbow (while holding a dumbbell) up toward the ceiling and lower it back down.
  • Raise your left elbow and dumbbell in the same manner, while remaining in a plank position.
  • Repeat this exercise until you've completed at least 3 sets of 10-20 reps with each arm.

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Stability Ball Planks

Change up your normal plank routine by choosing this stability ball plank balance exercise:

  • Get into a plank position on a stability ball with your forearms and elbows resting on the ball.
  • Engage your glute muscles, hips, shoulders, core, and quadriceps to sustain proper plank alignment.
  • Hold this plank position for at least 10 seconds.
  • To add variety and difficulty to the exercise, move your knees toward the floor and back up into plank position continuously, rather than remaining in the same position.

Medicine Ball Balance Exercise with a Partner

You'll need a friend or family member to help with this partner-assisted medicine ball balance exercise. Complete the following steps to improve strength, balance, and coordination:

  • Hold a medicine ball while standing (on one or both legs) on a Bosu balance trainer.
  • Encourage your partner to throw another medicine ball toward you.
  • Use your medicine ball to knock your partner's ball back to them.
  • Repeat this motion for 10-20 repetitions.
  • Complete at least 3 sets of this balance exercise.

Biceps Curls for Balance

Biceps curls for balance can strengthen your upper body and enhance muscle definition, in addition to improving coordination. Use the following instructions when completing biceps curls for better balance:

  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed among both legs.
  • Lift your right leg off the floor by bending at the knee.
  • Hold dumbbells in both hands while completing 10-20 biceps curls.
  • Return to your starting position and repeat the curls with your left leg lifted off the ground.
  • For an added challenge, balance on a Bosu ball during this exercise.

Side Leg Raises

Side leg raises allow you to improve balance, strength, and flexibility! It's a simple exercise that can produce dramatic results for your body and overall health:

  • Stand with your feet slightly apart.
  • Slowly lift your right leg outward to the side of your body, keeping your leg and back straight and your toes facing forward.
  • Lower your leg slowly and repeat this motion 10-20 times.
  • Switch legs to complete the exercise with your left leg.
  • Aim to complete at least 3 sets of side leg raises for each leg.
  • For an added challenge, stand on a Bosu ball, complete side leg raises with ankle weights, or do a squat prior to each leg raise maneuver.

Sumo Squats with Outer Thigh Pulses

This balance exercise builds lower body strength in addition to improving balance and flexibility. To complete the exercise, do the following:

  • Begin in a wide stance position with your feet turned outward at a 45-degree angle.
  • Squat down into a sumo squat position.
  • When you stand back up, extend one leg out to the side of your body. Hold and pulse your leg several times, keeping it straight.
  • Lower your leg back down into your starting position and repeat sumo squats 10-20 times (alternating right with left leg raises).
  • For added resistance and difficulty, hold a weight or medicine ball while completing sumo squats with thigh pulses.

Single-Leg Deadlifts

Single-leg deadlifts help increase total body strength, in addition to balance, flexibility, and improved health. Try the following:

  • Stand on a Bosu ball with your feet close together. Place the majority of the weight on your right foot and hold a dumbbell weight in each hand.
  • Slowly lower your arms and upper torso toward the ground and lift up your left leg up (keep it straight) behind your body. Reach your hands toward the floor until your back is parallel with the floor.
  • Squeeze your hamstrings, abs, and glutes when you slowly move your body back into the starting position, returning your lifted foot to the floor.
  • Complete 10-20 reps of single-legged deadlifts before switching to the other leg.
  • Aim for at least 3 sets for each leg.

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    Bosu Ball Squat-to-Press

    If you're familiar with squat to press, consider doing this exercise on a Bosu ball rather than the floor to work on balance and coordination!

    • Hold a dumbbell weight in each hand.
    • Stand on a Bosu ball with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
    • Keep your hands and dumbbells near your shoulders.
    • Slowly squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor.
    • When you stand back up, complete a shoulder press.
    • Repeat the exercise for 10-20 reps.
    • Aim to complete at least 3 sets of this Bosu ball squat-to-press balance exercise.

    Bosu Ball Reverse Lunges

    Use your Bosu ball again during reverse lung balance exercises to improve your strength, coordination, and muscle definition!

    • Stand on top of a Bosu ball with your feet close together.
    • Bend at your right knee and slowly stretch your left leg out behind your body into a lunge position.
    • Stand back up into your starting position and repeat the motion 10-20 times.
    • Switch to lunge backward with your other leg.
    • Aim for at least 3 sets of Bosu ball reverse lunges for each leg.
    • To increase resistance and difficulty level, hold dumbbell weights while completing Bosu ball reverse lunges.

      Reverse Side Lunges with Oblique Crunches

      To complete reverse side lunges with oblique crunches, try the following steps:

      • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, with your fingers near your ears and your elbows out wide.
      • Cross one leg behind you, lowering your body into a curtsy lunge position.
      • When you stand up, bring the same leg up to meet your same-side side elbow to complete an oblique crunch.
      • Complete 10-20 repetitions before switching legs.
      • Aim to finish at least 3 sets of the exercise (for each leg).
      • For more of a challenge, hold weights in your hands when completing reverse side lunges with oblique crunches.

      Planks with Flying Arms

      This plank with flying arms balance exercise can strengthen and sculpt your core, in addition to perfecting balance and coordination!

      • Begin in a plank position with your hands on the floor under your shoulders and your arms extended.
      • Slowly lift one straight arm out in front of you. Hold up the arm (keep it parallel with the floor) and fan it out to the side of your body.
      • While still in a plank position, return your arm to the front of your body and lower it back down to the ground.
      • Repeat this sequence of movements with your other arm and alternate sides 10-20 times.
      • Aim to complete three sets of this plank with flying arms balance exercise.
      • Bringing your feet closer together makes the exercise harder, while spreading your feet further apart makes it more challenging.

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