When winter sets in, with its cold weather and icy sidewalks, a number of my senior clients become concerned about falling on the ice and fracturing a bone. I encourage many of them to follow some simple balance exercises for seniors so that they feel more stable walking outside. One great tool is a rocker board. In the video I show you how to safely use a rocker board to improve your balance.
Many of my clients are telling me that they’re not going outside a whole lot, and therefore they’re not really challenging their balance. So it’s a great time of the year to think about boosting your balance.
Here are a couple of ways that you can do that in your home using a rocker board.
You don’t need really sophisticated equipment.
I am going to talk about the rocker board and the wobble board, should you choose to go there, and then we’ll talk about some simple things that you can do without any special equipment at all.
Let’s briefly look at the wobble board first before we take a more detailed look at the rocker board and rocker board exercises.
1. Wobble Board — Five Step Progression
A lot of balance boards comes as circular, this is actually also known as a wobble board, because when you’re on it, it’s pretty wobbly and it will have one centered piece.
This is not a balance device that I would recommend to most of my clients.
It’s great if you’re used to a rocker board and you want a bigger challenge.
2. Rocker Board — My Recommendation
A rocker board is an inexpensive piece of equipment that you can have in your home to practice and improve your balance and prevent a fall.
If you’ve never been on a rocker board, then I highly recommend you to get more of a square or rectangular board that has either one center piece down or the little knob that you saw on the center of the other one, you might have two legs on this.
What the rocker board allows you to do is practice your balance side to side or forward and back.
3. Rocker Board Exercises — Five Step Progression
And I’ll show you some progressions that you can do even just to make that a little bit safer.
A rocker board would be a great tool to help boost your balance. Here are suggested steps:
- When starting with the rocker board, you’re going to want to place that rocker board between two chairs.
- You’re going to want to use two books or little pillows or towels folded or something to the effect that you can lift or provide some lift on either side, and what’s that going to do is limit the excursion so you’re not feeling like you’re doing huge, huge excursions.
- You are going to do smaller excursions until you build your confidence and you know you can do it.
- Then you start to use either smaller books, smaller towels or you don’t need them at all.
- Once you are comfortable standing on them, you can start adding some little squats.
That would be the progression using the rocker board.
4. Balance Exercises — No Rocker Board
The next progression we’re going to talk about is things that you can do without the use of the rocker boards, and that is simply, very similar to all the progressions I have talked about in my Exercise for Better Bones in the beginner and active level.
- First, you can start with foot position, so what that foot position is, how far those feet are apart.
- The second point would be what type of surface you’re standing on.
- The third thing is what you’re doing with your eyes or with your head or whether you’re closing them altogether.
- The fourth point is going to be what you’re doing with your arms.
So those are ways of progressing balance, and we’re going to do a whole separate blog, just detailing those four points in more detail.
Balance Exercises for Seniors Guidelines
For more information, check out my Balance Exercises for Seniors guidelines.