Never skip leg day is a mantra many fitness instructors live and die by. One reason to never skip leg day is that the stronger your base becomes, the more steadiness you have. And if you are on the road to recovery, a physical therapist may also offer these useful exercises that improve your balance.
The One-Leg Stand
The reliable one-leg stand is the simplest exercise you can do to improve your stability. We’ve all done this in our lives, seeing how long we can go before we lose our footing, so you might as well do it properly.
Find a sturdy spot to stand free from obstacles that could hurt you if you take a tumble. Start with 30 seconds on each leg before you attempt a new personal record. Plus, this is an exercise you can do when standing for your job, talking on the phone, or waiting for a ride. Gaining strength and balance in your legs will do wonders for activities ranging from standing still in golf to carving properly on a longboard.
While standing on one leg with your knee unlocked, gently extend the other leg ahead of you. Maintain as much straightness as possible in your outstretched leg and bring it to the middle. Now, elevate the same leg slightly to the side and lower it. Lastly, stretch the same leg behind your body and come down. You can do this multiple times in any direction you desire, dramatically improving your balance.
Being able to shimmy from one end of your counter to the other without a hitch in your step is a good sign that you’re gaining balance, especially for someone recovering from an injury. This lateral movement is critical to proving to yourself that things are returning to normal. Once you reach one end, you can pivot and return to where you started. To test your limits of recovery, you can add resistance bands.
Stand & Sit
The beautiful part about most of these workouts is that you can do them when doing other things. The stand-and-sit exercise is one thing you can do while watching TV.
Try and get up from the seating position without using your arms to push you up. It may surprise you how difficult this is at first, particularly if you usually use your arms for a push, so take it slow. Once you rise from your seat, slowly settle back into your chair without plopping down. This exercise should help your core and upper legs gain strength.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or want to stop stumbling from a minor misstep, these useful exercises that improve your balance go a long way in making your life easier and doing the things you love to do.