Equipped with exercises to keep you safe in your home, Bellevue Club personal trainer Mary Worley shares three tips for balance.
Standing with your feet parallel, find alignment in the shoulders and hips. Pick up one foot, pivot at the hips—not the knees or the back—rotating toward the side with the raised foot. Bend through the hamstring, reaching toward the floor with the hand on the side of the raised foot. Brace your other hand on the standing leg upper thigh. Keep the hips and shoulders aligned throughout the entire rotation. Engaging the abdominals, stand up with control and progress through all three orientation points, keeping shoulders aligned.
Lengthening tall, stand with your hips aligned underneath the rib cage and shoulders. Engaging your hip flexor, lift the knee. Find stability in the core, lower the leg and keep the knee bent. Pause here. Even out the hips for a level pelvis. Keeping a soft knee in the standing leg, pivot from the top of the hamstring with the back extended. Engage the glutes on the floating leg during the entire movement and keep the pressure off the ball of the foot on the standing leg. Slowly return to standing, and repeat on the opposite leg. Use a pole if you need extra balance support, but stay tall and resist the urge to lean weight on the balancing aid.
Stand with your feet pointing forward. Holding a medicine ball in both hands, keep your arms strong and straight without locking the elbows. As you lift the medicine ball overhead, lunge backward on one leg while keeping a tall, vertical torso. Feel the back and abdominal muscles engage, and tuck in the front ribs to stack above the pelvis. Squeezing the back muscles and glutes, step the feet back together into the starting position, bringing the medicine ball back down in front of you. Repeat, lunging onto the opposite leg. For a less intense variation, try without a medicine ball.