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Standing Balance Exercises

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Balance Exercises



These exercises stretch the hamstrings and hips, and allow you to begin to work on improving balance. Before beginning these exercises, warm up with general hamstring stretches as outlined on the Stretches page.


First, sit up right with your legs folded in front of you. Relax your weight into your lower body, and focus your eyes on a stationary point in front of you. Now, hold onto your left foot with your left hand. Your grasp should be on the arch side of your foot. (picture on left). Next, begin to slowly extend your leg while continuing to hold onto your foot. Your back should remain as straight as possible. (see pictures at bottom of page) If your leg cannot go beyond this point, hold this position and relax. (picture in middle.) Do not let your eyes wander, it is imperative to have focus of the eyes to be able to balance. You may spend weeks or months until you can go onto the next step, which is to extend your leg all the way out, as in the picture on the right.
The pictures below show the same stretch as above with the opposite leg.


After stretching both legs, grasp hold of both feet. (picture on left below) It is imperative to keep your eyes focused on a stationary point, otherwise, you will most likely fall over. (Do not practice this exercise with objects behind you in the event you fall or tip over. Also, practice on carpet or a mat at first.) Now, slowly extend both feet outwards. (picture in middle) This stretches both legs. Relax into your lower abdominal area. Keep your eyes focused. Go slowly. If this is as far as you can go, that's fine. After a while, try to extend both legs out completely. Breath into your belly. (picture on right) You must find your center and relax into it. If you go too fast you will fall over. Best to go slow and work at it a little bit at a time. Return back to the original position slowly without losing your balance.


The pictures below show the side view of this exercise. The picture on the left shows the back bent. This is wrong. The next picture shows the back straight, which is correct. The last picture shows the fully extended position with the back straight. Note the focusing of the eyes.

next, on to Standing Balance Exercises

Disclaimer

It is possible to injure onself in any physical activity. Consult your physician if in doubt about your physical condition before embarking on a stretching program. The author of howtostretch.com accepts no liability for any injuries sustained while practicing any of the stretches described within.

 

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