Though Scott McCredie didn't know much about balance when he started researching the subject, "after two years of talking to personal trainers, physical therapists, circus acrobats, and scientists, I came away with an understanding of how to improve it." These three exercises are designed to help improve balance and stabilize your joints.
1. Heel-to-toe walkTARGETS: CORE AND LEG MUSCLES
Imagine you're walking on a tightrope. Extend your arms out to the side, and carefully place one foot directly in front of the other. Walk ten to 20 steps, then turn around and walk back to the starting position. Repeat two to three times, twice a week.
2. Around the clockTARGETS: QUADRICEPS AND CORE
Stand with your hands on your hips. Imagine that you're standing in the center of a clock. Stand on your right leg, knee bent, and extend your left leg out in front of you with your foot lightly touching the ground. One by one, touch your foot to the "numbers" on the left side of the clock, starting at 12 o'clock and working your way back to 6 o'clock. Repeat on the other side, touching the numbers on the right side of the clock with your right leg. Work up to five repetitions on each leg.
3. Standing leg liftsTARGETS: GLUTES AND THE MUSCLES SURROUNDING THE HIP JOINTS
Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, hands on your hips. Shift your weight over your right leg, then slowly swing your left leg behind you, lifting it as far off the ground as you can. (Keep your right foot planted firmly on the ground, with the knee slightly bent.) Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly swing the left leg forward and lift it as far off the ground as you can, holding the highest position for a few moments. Then swing your left leg out to the side as high as you can and hold. Lower, and repeat using the right leg. Work up to ten repetitions on each leg.
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