7 Balance Exercises for Seniors-Fall Prevention by Physical Therapists

♪ Bob and Brad ♪ ♪ The two most famous
physical therapists ♪ ♪ On the internet ♪ – Hi folks, I’m Bob
Schrupp, Physical Therapist. – Brad Heineck, Physical Therapist. – And together we are the most
famous physical therapists on the internet. – In our opinion, of course Bob. – Brad you wanted to talk today about seven balance exercises for seniors and to help prevent falls. And we’re the experts right here that we’re gonna give you
the right information. – Right, I mean physical
therapist, this is what we do. I mean, we work with people that have balance problems all the time. – All day long. – And we have tricks and one
of the things about therapy is we give homework. – Right.
– We say, we know you don’t come in, and get balance and then leave. It’s not like taking a pill.
– Right. – You have to work with it. We show you how, give you
the tools, you go home. – It just doesn’t happen magically, you gotta work on it.
– Right, right. – Just like anything.
– So, and that’s why you guys are watching these YouTube videos, so that you learn what you can
do at home to help yourself. – By the way if you
are new to our channel, make sure just take a second to subscribe. We’re gonna provide you lots of videos on how to stay healthy and fit; wide range of videos. – Exactly.
– And wide range of topics. – Not just balance. – And we upload a video every day. – Right.
– Usually around nine o’clock at the evening, actually is it. – Excellent Bob, excellent.
– Okay. – So give an example,
someone’s had a stroke, they’re recovering quite well. This is a good time when they’re walking around.
– I would say beyond that even Brad. I’d say just the average elderly person who is starting to lose their balance and we don’t want them to fall. The amount of people that
fall as they get older is incredible Brad. – Right, and actually, we’re
both in our, almost mid-50s and I notice my balance is not what it used to be.
– Oh, I do too. – Exactly.
– I notice too. I’ll be on even ground and all of sudden, whoa, what happened there? – Yeah this isn’t right. – Yeah so wait ’til you
add 20 more years onto us. We’re gonna be doing these exercises.
– Okay let’s get to the exercises. Now we’re gonna start
out with some basic ones. This is gonna look easy but
it’s harder than it looks. Believe me you’re gonna want to have a chair next to you for balance. You may wanna have a cane
or something on this side so you have–
– Maybe a countertop or something.
– A countertop. So on both sides you have some balance. Good posture. One thing about falls is
as people get older they, this happens and that throws
your center of gravity off. And that can be one of the reasons why you fall more is because your, your, (mumbles).
– Yeah, you’re displaced. – Exactly right. We could go a whole video on that, Bob. – Right. – Okay so it’s simple. We’re just gonna march slow. You’re not gonna do this. We wanna use good control up. – It’s making you balance on
the foot for a little bit. – Exactly.
– ‘Cause if you go really fast it’s easier than if you have to actually balance for a while. – Exactly right, so up
and down, up and down. We’re gonna do 10 of ’em,
five on each leg, okay? If it’s too easy with both hands simply just go to one hand. And like Bob he’s doing it with no hands. Okay now the next thing hip stabilization. The hip abductors, Bob. All therapists know that
this is a key, okay? – Of balance, hip strength over all. That’s the first thing we’ll look at when someone’s losing their balance, it’s usually in their hips, they’re hips are weaker. – And often times the abductor’s I think, are probably often times the culprit. Now we’re gonna do this. Now it’s not straight in front of you. It’s straight off to the side. Get something for balance
and work it like this. And you need to get out, if
you’re too close to the cupboard you’re bumping it’s no good. You may have to go just the other side. And do 10 of these. If you do ’em slow with your toe pointed forward.
– Show ’em the wrong way too, Brad. – This foot, oh, right.
– Oh, the wrong way to do it. – If you’re doing this.
– Yeah, like the penguin. – Yep, it’s no good. You gotta good posture up
tall and just the hip moving. And if you look at my foot right now my toe is straight ahead. That’s important. If you point your toe out like this, it’s easier to do and it’s strengthening that incorrect muscle, it’s
not gonna help as much. Okay. – Can we show a subtle sign
that your hip is weak, Brad? – Sure.
– When you do that, if you stand here and
without holding onto anything and you lift up this foot and it drops down like this.
– Yeah. – That means this hip is weak,
if you do it the other way. And you see people walking like this. That usually means their hips are weak. – That’s known as a Trendelenburg gait. Okay so you’re gonna do
10 of these on each leg only with the amount of
support that you need. Okay, then the next one. This is critical because
your ankle strength is really important for your balance. We’re gonna go up on your
toes, hold onto that cupboard. Come back and pull your
toes back this way. We’re gonna go up on the toes and back. And do 10 of these. – These are difficult to do unless you’re holding onto something. – Right, yeah. – You’re definitely gonna wanna have the support.
– If I put one finger on there it makes a big difference. Okay, now after you go through that. Well you’re gonna need
something to support yourself. This is kind of a test, as matter of fact–
– You wanna use the cane, too, or on that or not? – Yeah we can, whatever you need. You’re gonna do a single leg balance test. In other words stand up with good posture. Hold onto something and see
if you can stand on one leg for five seconds. If that’s real easy take one of the supports away. And if that’s real easy, go like this.
– Let’s see if you do with the other one, yeah. – And if this is really easy time yourself for 30 seconds
and see how many times you need to grab the chair or put your foot down to balance. And then that’s a 30 seconds balance test. I don’t think we need to
get into that right now, ’cause I wanna get into the
more advanced techniques. This is all too easy. – And you can do that on both sides. – Right, yeah, you gotta compare one leg to the other.
– And then you can see if there’s improvement over time. – Exactly.
– You can retest it later on and so on.
– Exactly – Okay, what are we into now, Brad? – All right, now this is more advanced. If all that’s too easy and you wanna get yourself more advanced, you’re gonna put your feet like this. And then, why don’t you face this way Bob. – Sure.
– And do what I’m doing. You’re gonna take, it
doesn’t matter which foot. And you’re gonna do your left leg. Come forward a little bit. And then you keep sliding it forward. And now you’re gonna bring
your heel in front of your toe. And go right. – And it gets harder. – Yep. – I’m already moving a little bit. – Right, so that’s a
progression of balance like this.
– Sure. – Okay. Now if that’s too easy then we’re gonna to go to the next part, and that’s, heel, toe. Why don’t you walk right down on that red line, Bob?
– Sure. Hopefully this isn’t in
the middle of the night after I’ve had a few drinks. – Yeah. (laughs) Yeah, we’re not testing for sobriety here. – I don’t have the best balance, Brad. I’m very tall and I have short feet. – Sure.
– It’s not a good combination. I could do it fast but slow– – Most people particularly
people with problems, I give ’em a cane, and they’re holding onto the countertops so they have support on both sides. And then you progress as
accordingly that you can. Maybe just take the cane away and just hold onto the countertop. Okay. – Okay.
– Now the next thing you do, is if you go and get some shelf liner from the hardware store. It’s grippy, you can cut it very easily. Put it down on the floor
and this makes for– – [Bob] You actually made a circle? – Yep.
– You take a plate? – I did, I took a plate
right out of the cupboard, and I just took a– – Circle around it and– – Cut it right around there. And then you put ’em
like this on the floor. You’ll see this is self-explanatory. All right. We’re going to go to this right here to stand on this one, and we’re gonna use a cane to start with. I’m going to touch out to here. This is much harder than it looks. It really works the muscles hard.
– You want one behind you Brad or is that too hard? – Yeah, well you can put one back there. – Yeah.
– There you go, and over here. – So you need five of ’em? – This is a really hard one over here. – Yeah? – Over here and then behind you. I know you can’t see it, but we have one behind it
and you’re gonna touch. It’s important you do both legs. Touch. And if it’s too easy or if it’s too hard you’re gonna bring ’em in closer. If it gets too easy to do this you simply bring ’em farther away. – This is what we do for
ankle retraining too. After someone sprain an ankle. So it’s a good one to
do, it’s very difficult. So then you do it, you
said the other leg, Brad? – Yep. There. You know and if you’re pretty advanced you take the cane away, and then you’re kinda
doing one of these things. But be safe, do not get carried away because you don’t need to
fall and have a broken hip, while you’re working on your balance exercise.
– Exactly. All right then you’re gonna
do some step-ups, Brad? – Yep, now this is a real functional one for anybody that has some stairs to get in and out of your house. – Be nice if you have stairs
with a railing. (laughs) – Right. In this case you can take
a step stool like this. Again.
– Sure. – Make sure you have something– – To hang onto.
– To hang onto or a cane. You can go right up the
stairway like you said, Bob. – Yeah and hang onto the railings. – If the stairway is
going in front of you. You’re gonna touch here. And this is just simply
all you start with. – Tapping. – Just so you know– – Stair tapping. – Your body gets used to getting your foot up to that
step in the right place. And I wouldn’t go here. I like to have the
patient go all the way up for their foot is on the right place, because if someone– – Get in that habit, right? – Yeah, get in that habit, ’cause if you go upstairs
and your foots like that, There’s a fall. – Down you go. – Once you get good with this, and it’s easy to do, you have proper placement of your foot. You can go to one hand
like we talked to before. The next step is to go
all the way up to here. Not only are you working with balance but then you’re working
strengthening of the quads, Bob. And you know that’s what you need to get up and down the steps. So that’s how these fit together. – And you can progress
from two rails to one rail while you’re doing these, too. – Exactly. – To improve that too. – Now in our therapist mind I’m thinking we strengthened the ankles before, now we’re strengthen the quads. We strengthen the hips
with the other exercise. This is a complete package, Bob. – Right, you’re getting the whole works.
– That’s why it works. This is getting exciting isn’t it, Bob? – It’s good to spend the time. You spend a little of time
right now and prevent a fall, or you spend a lot of time
later rehabbing from a fall. – Exactly. – So we’re all about prevention. – Now there is one more thing. I just wanna touch this. If you really wanna work advanced. Then you do the single leg balance. Have someone there with
you that can hold you if you need to. But this is advanced. And then you close your eyes and see if you can single leg balance. Much harder than with your eyes open. But be careful on that one. Make sure you got a partner
to help you and be safe. – Bob I just one functional one you can do is when you brush your teeth at night. Just go ahead and brush your
teeth while your on one foot. (Brad laughs) It actually is good training. Time to remember it every day, too. – Well sure. Brushing teeth. – All right thanks for watching. (Brad laughs)

100 thoughts on “7 Balance Exercises for Seniors-Fall Prevention by Physical Therapists

  1. I have very little movement in my left arm, and my balance is very bad, I think if you had a stroke victim with these problems you would make more sense of these exercises, as you are using both sides of your body which is normal.

  2. Bob and Brad videos are great. They explain in simple form and show you exercises on balance etc. They make it interesting. Great advice.

  3. Hi guys I love your vidoes but I find it hard to understand that you expect elderly persons to have perfect hearing. The noise in the background is enough to make it hard to hear what you say.

  4. My left knee has a lot of pain when I put weight on it, which affects my balance. It has resulted in a very weak left thigh. Any suggestions.

  5. Ha! very nice video presentation for seniors to get strength in the legs. 79 yr old man suffering from hip pain, joint pain unable to get up from floor etc Lifting the body is itself a difficult situation daily. I want to be independent and continue my travelling without wheel chair or walker. May I get your complete video showing the proper exercise to strengthen legs and get rid of walker? Thanks hare krishna money Canada

  6. Great info!! I injured my Achilles tendon on my right foot and as I was rehabbing the physical therapist had me perform the touch toe on the pad exercise.Needless to say it was a challenge!!! Thanks again for all your videos

  7. I see lots of exercises for balance, and many say stand on your toes (or heels.) Well that’s the problem I can’t. Do you have any exercises that pertain to me? I have been diagnosed with sensory motor polyneuropathy (peripheral neuropathy) and the podiatrist says there are no feet problems he can see. I’m much better now but still have issues with balance and I’m 74 years old.

  8. I just discovered your site! I immediately Subscribed. I use a cane daily, especially now that Idaho is swathed in winter. But I also have a walker left over from a time when I had a spinal compression fracture. I try to use it for stability and support for some exercises. If you see opportunities for your patients to use walker besides chair, please mention. I like your team work and your periwinkle blue 👕 shirts.

  9. The loud talking in the back ground makes it hard to concentrate on your instruction. Can something be done to stop that?

  10. Great help for Elderly People who live alone. As does a large number of the Population nowadays. Thanks so much for your Videos!!

  11. Thanks I love your videos for seniors, they have helped a lot, I don’t have balance problems, but I can’t get on the ground to exercise!

  12. You guys are so user friendly! I have recently subscribed, having spinal issues, and your videos are so helpful. Greetings from Italy!

  13. Guys, why didn't you film after hours? The background noise is really annoying. Good information, though, thank you!

  14. I need this type of help but couldn’t handle the noise in the background. I hope they make adjustments and make more videos. Thanks guys.

  15. This is great information. I hope you will consider re-doing this video without all the background noise, and making the dos and don'ts clearer for those who are elderly or hard of hearing. I love your channel.

  16. Hi it is very distubing with noise in the background . And many elderly have hearing loss ,more or less.

  17. This is great – thank you for helping keep seniors safe from dangerous falls! More fall prevention tips, as well as suggestions on how to fall more safely, are outlined here: https://www.continuumcare.com/preparing-for-a-fall-could-be-your-best-fall-prevention-plan/

  18. Found the exercises excellent. They echo what I do with my physiotherapist and what we do in the physio-gym activities. Well done fellas – good one.

  19. I’ve been noticing that I loss my balance while walking more from walking normal gate to walking with a cane and in crowds I use a walker… Cerebral palsy from birth

  20. Noise in the background is distracting but I love the exercise and see great promise for my walking and balance

  21. Is this vdo made when 90's ?
    Two doctor have very big tie.
    I feel like meet doctor 20year ago at hospital.

  22. YOu do not speak so hard-of-hearing elderly can understand you. Much mubbling, fast talking — I can't show this to my father.

  23. I appreciate all of your videos. Thank you. I’ve fallen and thank goodness I am able to get up. I have MS with weakness and I’m always looking for activities to improve my balance.

  24. Older people falling is mostly caused by us walking too fast for our age and not being able to handle tripping over defects in the walk ways. Our reflexes are slower, and our musculature is weaker so recovering from the initial trip is harder to achieve than for a younger person. If we remember our age and slow down we get much safer
    Otherwise can I recommend cleaning out the ears with ear wax solution? Great help to balance, I promise you

  25. You helped my Stroke Husband to walk better. Today he was tested on the blood flow on his Stroke side. It was excelent. Thank you.

  26. I really have learned a lot from the two of you. You explain things so that we can understand the exercise and why not to do it other ways that might seem easier. You always explain the whys and the what is best and why it is best to do it certain ways. Thank you both for these videos that have helped me more than I can say. Keep up the good work. You surely have helped a lot of people improve their health and lives.

  27. These guys aren't experts. Did anyone out there notice that the only posted comments these guys kept were POSITIVE ones? Can't take a little criticism there, Bob and Brad?????

  28. You guys are great and informative. But you should rename your video to "9 Balance Exercises……" instead of "7" because that is what I counted! Did you take math in college? (joking!)

  29. If these two guys would just STOP talking to each other, this video would only be 8 minutes long. Also, we don't need to watch one guy doing the exercises while the other one stands around making comments. Get over your ego's and make a decent video !

  30. Hi sir , I have very weak calf muscles…and I have bilateral foot drop hence unable to balance .can you please help me out

  31. When you stepped up on the little bench you did not say which leg you step up and down with such as do you step up with injured leg or good leg?

  32. I got my left knee replacement surgery done about four months ago.Now my physio says that my pain and discomfort are because of slight tilt on left side causing extra pressure on left knee.
    What do you suggest me to correct my posture while walking.

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