One of the biggest concerns that I often address with many of the older adults I work with, is the ability to remain steady and stable on their feet. The inability to balance as well, is usually due to a variety of different things. Unfortunately, in addition to being unsteady on their feet, older adults and seniors often lack the ability to move quickly through space. Because of this, if they do start to fall, they are not able to move quickly enough to catch themselves from falling. This is why in many of the exercise classes that I teach with seniors, I try to incorporate targeted quickness and agility drills to work on this. The video above, in addition the the descriptions below, will detail a couple of great ways to improve your quickness and agility to reduce falls.
Before You Begin
Before you begin the exercises, I wanted to note that we are using agility and balance dots during the exercises in this video. Because of this, we recommend purchasing the ones we use, below. In addition to this, all of the exercises are to be done for quickness. Of course, since everyone moves at different speeds, only go as quickly as you comfortably can when doing the drills. Try the exercises multiple times, and always take breaks when needed. Also, make sure to implement EVERY exercise I recommend for the best results. Unfortunately, if you don’t, you might not notice an improvement in your balance.
Quickness and Agility Exercises for Seniors
Three Point Seated Tap
For this exercise, you will be seated. Then, place three of your agility dots in front of you, going side to side. Next, you are going to tap each dot with one foot, going back and forth as quickly as possible. Make sure you repeat the exercise on both legs.
Double Foot Seated Tap
For this exercise, take one of the agility dots away, so you only have two on the ground. Next, grab onto your chair. Now, with both feet, tap back and forth on the dots as quickly as you can.
Standing Side Tap
These next drills will be standing. For this one, you will need two dots placed side by side. Next, start with both of your feet on one of the dots. Now, reach with one foot over to the dot, and then follow the other foot to the same dot. You will then repeat the movement going the other direction as quickly as possible, back and forth.
Standing Triangle Tap
Place the dots in a triangle. Now, stand on one of the dots. After this, you will step towards one of the dots, and then back to the starting dot. Next, you will then reach towards the other dot, and then back towards the starting dot again. Of course, go back and forth as quickly as possible, and make sure to consult the video above if you do need help with this one.
Standing Zig Zag Taps
Place three of your dots in a zig zag pattern on the ground. Now, start with both feet on one dot. You will then shuffle quickly up and to the side towards one dot, and then all the way to the top dot. Next, and this is the tough part, try to do it backwards. This is extremely difficult to do, but will improve your balance and agility greatly.
These are a few of many great quickness and agility drills that seniors and individuals with disabilities can do to improve their balance and steadiness. Make sure to practice them consistently for the best results. Otherwise, you can also check out an amazing fall reduction program we have created below, that has helped numerous seniors and beginners of ALL abilities reduce the risk of falls in their lives.
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