When it comes to living a fulfilling life, most individuals would like to be mobile, strong, and able to move as independently as possible. Unfortunately, as people age, they typically become more sedentary in their lives. This can lead to the progressive decline in their strength and mobility, which can be a recipe for disaster in regards to having a good quality of life. The decline in strength and mobility might even become so bad, that an individual might need to rely on a cane or walker to help them move through their day to day activities. Many of the individuals that I have worked with, often note that they would love to “get rid of the walker” some day. The good news, is that there are many great exercises we can do specifically, that will help strengthen the muscles needed to get rid of a walker and cane forever! To do this, we need to focus on strengthening our core, legs, hips, and even improving our balance.
Before You Begin
We do use a few different pieces of equipment for the exercises described below, and shown in the video above. This will be noted in the article. In addition to this, I do want to give a piece of advice. Although doing one or two of the exercises might help a little bit, you need to implementing ALL of them to truly get strong enough to get rid of your walker and cane for the rest of your lives. If you get confused on what the description below is alluding to, go ahead and consult the video above.
Walker and Cane Exercises
For slow marches, start with both feet hip width apart. Next, you will bring one knee up towards your chest, as high as possible. After that, slowly bring it back down to the ground, and repeat on the other leg. Do this multiple times until tired.
For this exercise, you will need to use a workout slider. The one we recommend, and use in the video can be found with the link below. After you have a slider, you will stand on it with one foot. Next, you will allow the slider foot to slowly retreat behind you. At the same time, you will slowly bend the knee of the leg that is not being moved with the slider. Make sure you keep the shinbone of the stable knee vertical throughout the movement. Make sure to do this on both legs.
Banded walks involve using an ankle band. The product we use in the video, can be found below. Once you have a set of the ankle bands, start with them around your ankles. Next, you will spread your legs apart, keeping a good width on the band. Then, you will take slow steps forward and then backward into place. Make sure you alternate which leg goes first when doing this.
Balance Pad Marches
Balance pad marches will use a balance pad. To use the same one we use in the video above, make sure to check out the link below. For balance pad marches, you will be focusing on improving the steadiness on your feet. Go ahead and stand on the balance pad, and then alternate bringing one knee up as high as you can and slowly back down. This is similar to the first exercise we do, but with the balance pad has extra difficulty.
Squats are one of the best exercises to help strengthen your legs, and get you off your walker. For squats, start with your feet hip width apart. Next, push your butt back, and bend your hips and knees at the same time, lowering your body down. Make sure to keep your chest up throughout the movement, and go as low as you comfortably can. Try to find a depth for yourself where you can do 10-15, before getting tired.
These are a few of many great exercises that you can do to help strengthen your legs, improve your balance, and get you off your walker forever! If you are interested in getting an extra walker to practice these exercises at home, feel free to use our Amazon Associate Link below to grab one. Otherwise, we also offer a couple great low impact exercise programs for you to do at home as well!
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