Below is a
video for about sideways balance. Why sideways? Because most people
good at it.
Most of our movement throughout the day is forward, so the body and
brain get very little practice moving sideways. Then one day someone
bumps into you, or a big gust of wind catches you off guard, or you
lose your balance for no particular reason, and your body moves
sideways suddenly, and your brain doesn’t know how to handle it.
This exercise is designed to teach your brain what sideways movement
feels like so it knows how to react and properly control the muscles to
keep you balanced.
All we’re going to do is step sideways back and forth. As we often do,
I’ll have you stand by the sink or something you can hold on to while
you do it.
As you step sideways, you are creating sideways momentum. Then as you
put your foot down and shift your weight onto it, your brain has to
figure out what muscles to activate so you can control that force and
Sounds simple, but there are four different levels of difficulty for
this exercise. Watch the video and notice the differences between each
level. We’ll talk more about each level after the video.
Sideways Balance Explanation
– Step to the right with your right foot. Then move your left foot to
the right and set it down next to your right foot. Now step back to
where you started, moving the left foot first, then the right. Repeat
about 5 times back and forth.
– Similar to Level 1, except as the second foot comes over, you don’t
set it down completely. Just tap the toe down before stepping back to
your starting spot. Step, tap, step, tap. Repeat about 5 times. This is
like a basic side to side dance step.
– Now as you step over, the second foot will not touch at all, so
there’s no tap. Just bring it close to the other foot before returning
to the start position. You will end up balancing on the foot you
stepped with for a second. Then you’ll step back towards where you
started and balance on that foot. Back and forth about 5 times.
Level 4 –
Similar to Level 3, but now try to balance on that foot for about 3
seconds before stepping to the other foot. Repeat about 5 times.
So basically, we created sideways momentum, and then we stopped that
momentum and reversed it back the other way. As you progress from Level
1 to Level 3, it gets harder because you have less contact with the
First both feet contacted the ground, then just one foot and one toe,
then just one foot. Finally, in Level 4, you have to hold it there and
balance for a little longer, which is considerably harder.
Try to find the highest level that you can do without having to hold on
to your sink and focus on that. Keep the hands close to the sink, of
course, but try not to use it unless you have to.
Your step does not have to be as big as mine. A bigger step creates
more momentum and is more difficult. Try a smaller step while you’re
getting used to the exercise. You can take a bigger step as you feel
Watch the video again to make sure you understand the differences
between each level. Then go try the exercise at your sink starting with
Level 1. If that’s too easy, try Level 2. If that’s too easy, try Level
3 and so on. Most people will be at Level 2 or 3.
You can do this every day if you want for a minute or two.