The 7 Best Balance Exercises To Amp Up Your Gym Game

Exercises, Fitness

How often do you do balance exercises? While you may be a real gym bunny, even the most dedicated of athletes sometimes overlook these moves. Doing so is a mistake. As you will learn in this guide, engaging in exercises that improve balance is one of the smartest things you can do for your overall fitness. Here’s what you should know.

What Are Balance Exercises?

Woman working with a male coach in the park on balance exercises
The more you practice the art of balancing, the more advanced your overall fitness will be.

First things first, what are balance exercises? The truth is that this term covers a whole array of moves that you may well want to add to your training routine. For example, it includes both balance ball exercises and balance board exercises. However, all of these moves have one thing in common—they all help to improve your overall balance.

Why Should I Bother Doing Exercises to Improve Balance?

Before we get onto the best balance exercises out there, you might have a lingering question in your mind: Why bother doing exercises to improve balance at all? It’s a legitimate quandary. Aside from the obvious—the fact that these moves improve your balance—there are a few other benefits you should know about.

It affects everything you do

Woman doing yoga balance exercises outdoors

Whether you’re riding a bike or dancing, how well you can balance is certain to play a crucial role. It’s no great secret that you need a strong sense of balance to engage in most physical activities.

The more you practice the art of balancing, the more advanced your overall fitness will be. That’s a major bonus. That’s why you should add some exercises that improve balance to your regular training routine. 

Balance gets worse as you age

Woman doing balance exercises on an exercise ball

While you may not trip or fall all that much right now, as you age, things could well change. The fact of the matter is that your sense of balance could decline as you get older. More than a quarter of adults over the age of 65 reports seriously falling once a year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.[1] With that in mind, strengthening your sense of balance now could mean that you protect yourself later in life.

Making a habit out of engaging in balance exercises is certainly the way to go. In doing so, you will teach yourself valuable skills that will come in handy years down the line. That means that you should find it easier to maintain your balance when you reach your golden years.

Strengthen and tone muscles

Young woman in bikini doing balance exercises on the beach

Looking for a simple way to tone up fast? Research published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that balance exercises help to both improve muscle strength and functional performance in older women.[2] That’s yet another reason to get in the habit of doing these moves early on in life.

The best balance exercises target your core muscles and work them hard. Much like strength moves, these exercises put strain on various areas of your physique which means that you begin to build upon them. Some of the most frequently targeted muscles include your obliques, abdominal, lower back, and glute muscles.

The 7 Best Balance Exercises

Simple Balance Exercises

1. One-Arm Plank | 60 seconds

Woman doing one-arm plank balance exercises in her home

The chances are that you’ve already mastered the standard plank move. It’s a staple when it comes to strength training and body balance. If so, here’s a move that elevates the classic to new heights; the one-arm plank. It’s simple and effective.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Exercise mat

How to do it

  1. Get down into plank position on an exercise mat. Ensure that your spine is straight and your bottom in tucked low.
  2. Lift one of your arms and put it behind your back.
  3. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Then, switch arms and hold for a further 30 seconds.

Pro Tip: To ensure that you can balance on one arm, you’re going to need a strong core. Make sure you engage your abs before lifting up your arm.

2. Lunge and Crunch Moves | 30 reps

Woman doing lunch and crunch balance exercises in a park

Next up, here’s an exercise that combines the classic lunge and crunch moves. The swiftness of the motion—along with the fact that you have to stand on one leg—means that you need a high level of balance to get this right from the offset.

Equipment you’ll need

  • None

How to do it

  1. Stand with your legs a hip-width apart. Put your hands behind your head with elbows pointing outwards.
  2. Step forward into a standard lunge position.
  3. As you come back up to a standing position, bring your back leg up and rotate it so that it is pointing out to the side (it should still be bent at a 90-degree angle).  
  4. Lift the leg upward. At the same time, do a standing side crunch and try to get your elbow to touch your knee. You will need to engage your core and stay strong to keep your balance.
  5. Repeat this move 15 times. Then, change sides, and repeat for a further 15 reps.

Balance Board Exercises

3. The Balancing Act | 60 seconds

Woman standing on a balance board doing balance exercises
Image credit: URBNFit Amazon

Next, let’s take a look at the easiest of all the balance board exercises out there. The main goal of this move is simple—you have to maintain your balance by using your core strength. Believe it or not, it’s often harder than most people think.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Balance board

How to do it

  1. Place the balance board on the floor. Stand on it with your feet roughly a shoulder-width apart. Gently bend your knees as it will help you maintain balance.
  2. Try to hold this position for around 60 seconds at a time. Doing so will help you figure out your center and work on your balance.

Pro Tip: When you’ve mastered the balancing act, mix things up a little. Try rocking from side-to-side on your feet while staying on the board.

4. Balance Board Squats | 40 reps

Can you squat while trying to keep your balance? That’s the question that this next balance board move ask3s of you. Let’s take a look at how to get it right.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Balance board

How to do it

  1. Start by standing on the balance board and finding your center. Your feet should be around a shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat directly downward while keeping your balance. You may want to put your arms out in front of you to help steady yourself.
  3. Get as low as you possibly can and then return to the start position.
  4. Repeat this move 40 times (or as many times as you can manage!).

5. Knee Push-Ups | 30 reps

When you’re a pro at balance board exercises, you will be able to do regular push-ups using this piece of gear. In the meantime, knee push-up exercises are a smart place to start honing your skills. 

Equipment you’ll need

  • Balance board and exercise mat

How to do it

  1. Place the balance board on your exercise mat. Get down onto your knees in front of the board and put your hands on top of it. Your hands should be a shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lean forward so that the majority of your body weight is on your hands.
  3. Bend your arms to bring your body closer to the board and ground. When you’re as low as you can go, return to the start position.
  4. Repeat this move 30 times per set.

Pro Tip: Spend a little time making sure your hands are in the right place before you get started.

Balance Ball Exercises

6. The Back Twist | 20 reps

Blonde woman balancing on an exercises ball doing back twists

Here’s one of the best balance exercises you can do when using a ball. It’s not that hard to learn. Plus, these exercises boost your balance while working your obliques too.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Balance Ball

How to do it

  1. Place the balance ball on the floor. Lie with your back on the ball, your knees bent, and your feet touching the ground for stability. Put your hands to your temples.
  2. Twist your body to the left while staying on the ball. Then return to center.
  3. Repeat this move, while alternating sides, 20 times per set.

7. The Roll Out | 30 reps

Fit woman doing roll out balance exercises on an exercise ball in a park

Finally, here’s one of the quickest balance exercises you can do. For that reason, you can slip this swift move into your everyday workout for stellar results.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Balance ball and mat

How to do it

  1. Place the balance ball on the mat. Kneel in front of the ball and place your arms on the top of it. Your arms should be straight and vertical and your spine should be straight.
  2. Roll the ball forward and move your arms as you do so. When you’re fully extended, roll back to the starting position. Repeat 30 times.

Pro Tip: The key to getting this move right is keeping your core super tight!

The 7 Best Balance Exercises to Amp Up Your Gym Game

Conclusion

Ready to start adding some of the best balance exercises to your workouts? There’s no time like the present. Use these moves as inspiration for your next training routine. Including some in your plan could make all the difference to your balance and fitness.

References

  • [1] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6537a2.htm?s_cid=mm6537a2_w  
  • [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5005874  

Share This With Friends & Family!

Related Posts

Menu