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The relationship between balance and resistance training

This is an excerpt from Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults by Danielle R. Bouchard.

By Debra J. Rose

It is important to include resistance training into any exercise program that is designed to improve balance and mobility. Examples of resistance exercises that will be particularly helpful for improving a client's balance and mobility include the following:

  • Standing heel and toe raises: Improve toe-off and push-off during gait; reduce risk of tripping
  • Wall squats: Strengthen muscles in thighs, hips, back, and abdomen, which are all important for controlling balance and postural alignment during gait
  • Standing side leg lifts: Strengthen hip abductor and adductor muscles, which are important for maintaining lateral stability during gait
  • Standing chest presses: Strengthen chest muscles, which are important for controlling the upper body during gait
  • Standing rows: Strengthen upper back muscles, which are important for controlling spinal posture during steady-state balance and gait
  • Prone back extensions: Strengthen lower back muscles, which are important for controlling postural alignment during gait