The first step towards improving your balance requires you to strengthen your core. This doesn’t mean that you will only work on your abs. Instead, core work will take on a holistic approach of strengthening your abs, lower back, and even hip muscles. After a few months of working on your balance, you will notice that every step you take with your prosthetic leg will be much stronger and more deliberate.
In this article, we will talk more about exercises that will help strengthen your core and other moves that will also improve your balance.
1. Prosthetic leg balance
This move allows you to balance on your prosthetic leg. If you’re a beginner, make sure to have something to hold on to, such as a stable chair or a handrail within arm’s reach.
Then, with your feet together, lift your sound side foot with the knee facing forward or to the side. Hold the position with eyes open (and fixed on one spot to maintain your balance). Next, hold the same position with eyes closed. Switch feet and repeat 4 times on each foot.
If any move feels wrong or unsafe for you, stop and check with your prosthetist or physician. Depending on your health and physical condition, know that some exercises may not be recommended.
2. Leg swings
This move is excellent for warming up and stretching your hip muscles and joints. First, stand on your right leg and raise the left leg at least 3-6 inches off the floor. Keep your arms at your sides while you swing your left leg forward and backward, touching the floor for balance. While doing so, make sure that you keep your torso erect throughout the movement.
Next, increase the level of difficulty by repeating the move but without allowing your foot to touch the ground. Then, switch legs and repeat.
3. Prosthetic leg clock with arms
To perform this move, have an image of a clock in your mind. First, balance on your prosthetic leg. In doing so, keep your torso straight, head up, and hands on your hips. Point your arm straight overhead to 12 o’clock, then to the side at 3 o’clock, and then circle low and around to 9 o’clock without losing your balance.
Increase the level of difficulty by having someone else call out the different times to you and even switching it up. After you’re done with your prosthetic leg, switch to the opposite arm and leg and repeat.
4. The clock on an unstable surface
Once you’re confident that you can balance on a stable surface, make it harder by trying the exercise on an unstable surface, such as a BOSU (Ballast Ball) platform.
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to stand near a wall for safety. Start in the middle of the board on 2 feet. When you feel comfortable, carefully execute the moves that are similar to the Prosthetic Leg Clock exercise. Keep in mind that this exercise will be much harder than it seems.
5. One-legged squat
The one-legged squat is famous for developing great balance, leg strength, and flexibility, as well as coordination. First, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Point your left foot out front, make sure your toes are just barely touching the floor, and push your hips back and down into a one-legged squat position.
Your right knee should be bent, your chest upright, eyes in front of you, and your arms out front. Then, slowly push your right leg up into the starting position. Make sure to keep your knee relaxed and your back flat throughout the movement. Switch legs, and repeat the movements.
An improved balance will create a stronger version of yourself, even possibly freeing you from lower back pain, which lessens the chance of serious injury in case of a fall. Within months, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your overall walking. Perform these ten exercises regularly and witness improvement in your prosthetic balance.
If you are looking for prosthetic foot solutions, Lindhe Xtend is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.