Fall prevention is always a concern among older adults, seniors, and individuals who struggle to stay steady on their feet. Offering a wide variety of options to help prevent falls and reduce fractures in seniors is one of the things I do very frequently in my day to day tasks. One of the ways we can do this is through the use of agility or quickness drills, designed to help reduce the risk of falls. The rest of this article will help to describe a few different agility exercises that older adults and seniors can do to improve their quickness and reduce falls.
In the video above, we use some equipment to make the balance and agility exercise easier to accomplish. The equipment used is simply colored dots, designed to step on and exercise with. If you would like to purchase these to use with the equipment, you can follow our Amazon associate link here. If you would still like to do the exercise, but do not want to purchase anything, you can use towels or other place mat items instead of the colored dots.
Fall Prevention and Agility Exercise for Seniors
The following exercises will be the ones that we will glance over and review from the video above, to help you improve your agility and quickness, to ultimately reduce the risk of falls. The exercises are:
- Forward Reach
- Side Shuffle
- Zig Zag Walk
As noted, with all of the exercises, you will start slowly at first. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase your speed to practice moving your body quickly through space. Go at your own comfort level, but still challenge yourself! Let’t take a look at how to accomplish these agility exercises.
For the forward reach, you will place two dots on the ground, about 2-3 feet apart going up and down. You will then practice stepping quickly between the dots moving forward and backward to them. Make sure that you switch which leg is going first when you are completing the movements.
The side shuffle is the exact same movement as the first one, except that you put the dots side to side. As noted in the video, this one works a slightly different motion, and will challenge your balance and agility in a slightly different way. I would still recommend placing the dots about 2-3 feet to the side, running left and right.
For the triangle exercise, you will place the dots in a triangle fashion, about 2 feet apart from each other. Next, you will start with your feet either on the left or right edge of the triangle. Finally, you will alternate stepping up to the top dot, and then back to the other side. As noted in the video, this will mimic the ability to catch yourself from a fall.
The cross will have you setting up your dots in a square. As mentioned in the video above, you will then start on one of the side dots. Next, you will step over to the side, up to the front dot, backwards to the back dot, and then back to where you started. I would recommend watching the video as it is easier to follow.
Zig Zag Walk
For the zig zag walk, you place the dots in a staggering zig zag pattern about 1-2 feet between each dot. As noted in the video above, it will somewhat mimic a “hop scotch” look. Once you have your dots set out, simply step forward, zig zagging side to side until you hit the end. The tough part, is stepping backwards all the way in the same manner quickly.
These are just a few of many great exercises to improve your quickness and help you reduce the risk of falls. Try a couple and practice getting better at them. The more you practice, the quicker you will improve!
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