Skip to main content
exercises to improve balance

9 Exercises to Improve Balance

As we age, our balance often changes and can lead to difficulty with performing daily activities. Balance can be affected by many factors and may be altered by muscle weakness/reduced tone. Luckily balance can be worked on much the same as working on increasing your strength.  

Try these easy exercises to improve your balance. As these moves become easier and you are able to stay stable while performing them, add additional repetitions to increase difficulty. 

Beginner Exercises to Improve Balance

Sit to stand

Using a char, begin this move in a seated position. Slowly begin to stand. Once in a full standing position, slowly sit back down. This is one repetition.  Repeat this for three sets of five repetitions. 

Single leg lifts

Stand either in the corner or in front of a chair/counter. Attempt to lift one leg off of the ground. Focus on engaging your core and glute muscles. Hold up to 1 min. If stable, you can advance by adding in head turns or arm movements. 

Tightrope walk

Using a piece of string or tape, create a straight line on the floor. 

Start at one end of the line. Extend your arms to your sides.  

Walk one foot in front of the other along the line, at least 15 steps. Repeat 5 times

Standing feet together eyes closed in corner

Stand in corner with chair in front of you. This provides protection on all sides of you so you can safely practice balance and correct any loss of balance. Place feet closely together and stand tall. Once you feel you have steady balance, attempt to close your eyes. This will be harder and you may feel an increase in sway. Have hands out in front of you so you can grab the chair at anytime. You can progress this exercise by standing on one foot. 

If the above moves become too easy or you are looking to challenge your balance further, try these more advanced balance moves to really challenge your balance!

Advanced Exercises to Improve Balance

Bosu squats 

Using a Bosu ball, stand on top of ball with arms raised to your sides. Slowly squat down. Hold squat for three seconds and slowly return to a standing position. 

Single leg deadlifts

Start this move in a standing position with legs shoulder width apart. Slowly lean forward while raising one leg straight behind you and your arms hanging straight down to form a “T’ shape and return to standing position. Repeat this move on the opposite leg. 

To add more difficulty to this move, add a dumbell.

Single leg squat

Stand on one leg with your foot facing forward and the knee of your opposite leg slightly bent. 

Lower yourself to a squat position with one leg while the other leg is extended in front of you. You may need to have your arms extended for additional help with balancing. 

Step up to high knee

Step up on stair/step. Drive the opposite leg up into the air to a high knee position. Return the leg from the high knee position back to the ground. You should control the movement with the stance leg making sure that your knee stays in alignment with your ankle. 

Side steps with resistance

Stand with band around ankles. Side step leading with heels. Do not let knees fall inward. You should be feeling the glutes on the side of your hips during this exercise. Keep your core tight and remain upright through your torso. 

Jessica Jones

Physical Therapist

Jessica recently moved to Seattle from Boston, MA and is excited to join the Therapydia team. Her treatment experience includes orthopedics, sports medicine, pediatrics, and vestibular therapy. Jessica received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in Boston, MA in 2016. She has completed the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and is in the process of completing a Comprehensive Vestibular Rehabilitation certification. Jessica believes in empowering and inspiring patients to take control of their health through education, movement, and exercise. She enjoys treating patients of all ages and levels while utilizing soft tissue techniques, neuromuscular re-education, balance training as well as therapeutic exercise. In her free time, Jessica enjoys yoga, dancing, kayaking, and hiking with her dog!


Move Better with Physical Therapy

Same-day or next-day appointments are available for new patients.

"*" indicates required fields

Are you an existing patient or new patient?*

Appointment Preferences

Day of the week
What days are you free to come in?
Time of Day
What times work best for you?
Select which option applies