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Balancing on One Leg: Weekend Workout!

tree pose

Tree pose

Balancing on one leg can be a trick. For children, it’s a developmental milestone, and for seniors, it’s a sign of strength and agility. Anyone older than 5 should be able to maintain some balance on one leg.

Frequently, though, life gets in the way. Our bodies sustain injury and our muscles create compensation patterns that are inadequate for the long haul. This is when we start to lose our balancing skills.

To balance and lift one leg, there are several muscles involved. First, you will need to gluteus medius and gluteus minimus to stabilize the outside of your hip. Second, your lateral rotators like the piriformis will need to relax so you can work in a neutral position. Third, your psoas and other hip flexors will need to have the strength to lift your leg in front of you.

It’s worth mentioning that all of these muscles are very important but probably are unhelpful if your balance issue stems from an inner ear issue, vertigo, or a brain trauma. If you work on improving your balance on one leg, and you’re still falling over, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor can order all the appropriate imaging or therapy that you may need.

For our exercises today, we will work on activating our stabilizers as we balance, and we will work on activating our hip flexors to lift a leg. This second exercise sort of looks like marching in place, but I want you to take the time and be mindful. Notice how your hip feels as your leg lifts and lowers.

Balancing on One Leg Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What other exercises do you do to improve your balance on one leg? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.

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