Remaining steady on your feet becomes difficult as you age. There are numerous different reasons for this, including a reduction in physical activity, changes in visual and audio sensations, and also a loss of confidence. Finding different ways to work on your balance and agility is important to remaining steady on your feet, and hopefully reducing the risk of falls. One of the things I enjoy doing with individuals with mobility impairments is getting creative with my balance and agility workouts. I find that this increases participation in the movements we are trying to do by making it both fun and engaging.
One of my favorite implements to use with individuals that have mobility impairments is balance hurdles. The hurdles I use are adjustable and can work well for someone that can’t step very high, or someone who can step high and has good mobility. Overall, these hurdles bring variety, and a great balance and stability workout. Below, I am going to talk about a few exercises you can do with these hurdles to improve your balance and agility, and keep you on your feet!
If you are interested in purchasing some of these hurdles to work on your balance and steadiness, click here.
There are quite a few different balance exercises that you can do with hurdles. Here are a few that were mentioned in the video here.
- Forward Steps
- As basic as it gets. Practice slowly stepping over the hurdles, leading with one leg all the way over. Make sure you don’t cheat the exercise by bringing your feet around the hurdle instead of over.
- Side Steps
- Similar to the forward steps, except you are stepping over the hurdle facing side to side. Make sure your hips stay pointed forward throughout the entire movement and you don’t cheat it by opening your hips towards the hurdles.
- Backward Steps (Advanced)
- This is an advanced movement and is just like our forward steps, but going backwards instead. This takes a large amount of balance so only do this if you are comfortable.
- Step Over and Back (Advanced)
- Another advanced movement, this exercise will have you standing on one leg, keeping it stationary the entire time. Next you will slowly take a step over the hurdle, tap your foot on the ground, and return your foot next to the stationary foot.
- Step Across and Back (Advanced)
- Similar to the previous movement, except your body will be turned to the side. For this movement you will be stepping across one of your legs, tapping your foot on the other side of the hurdle, and returning it to the starting position.
- Typically, we recommend to do these movements slowly to get the most balance work out of it. You can, however, challenge your agility or ability to move quickly by performing all of these movements as quickly as possible. Remember that this take a large amount of balance and is very challenging to do so!
As mentioned, these are just a few of many great exercises that you can do to improve your balance and agility with hurdles. Feel free to check out the video link to this above if you want to see the exercise demonstrations. Good luck with your workouts and stay safe!!
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