The 4 best balance exercises for seniors

Group of senior people with closed eyes stretching arms outdoor. Happy mature people doing breathing exercise near pool. Yoga class with women and men doing breath exercise with outstretched arms. Balance and meditation concept.

Balance exercises for seniors become more important with age to prevent injuries from falls. Although falls do happen accidentally, they aren’t a normal part of aging and can be prevented. 


Maintaining an active lifestyle, especially doing specific exercises designed to increase balance, is one way to increase coordination and stability.

The benefits of balance exercises for seniors

Starting a daily exercise routine to increase balance may only take a few moments, even for the busiest senior. Exercises for balance and strength offer many benefits, such as:

  • Seniors who hope to remain mobile and independent will find elderly exercises at home for strength and balance can easily be done with little to no equipment.
  • Many strength exercises can be done alone without the help of a caregiver.
  • Many exercises can be done in just minutes, even while doing other tasks
  • The exercises are low impact


Let’s take a look at the 4 best exercises for strength and balance for seniors.

Single-leg Stands

This exercise is considered suitable for beginners. While the basic moves are the same, the exercise can be changed to increase difficulty. This exercise is also a good way to gauge baseline balance ability.


  1. Stand straight and tall with your feet slightly apart and aligned with your hips. If you’re unsteady on your feet, place a chair in front of you.
  2. While either freestanding or with hands placed on the back of the chair, lift one foot and hold it several inches off the ground. How long you’re able to hold your foot depends on existing strength and your age. Young seniors in their 50s should be able to hold a foot in the air for 50-60 seconds. An elderly 80-year-old senior may only be able to balance for 10 seconds. 
  3. Set the number of repetitions low at first, like five on each leg. As your strength increases, you can increase the repetition rate.


This exercise can easily be done anytime during the day or when you find yourself with a few spare moments.

Standing march

A standing march not only helps with balance but increases spine muscles.


  1. Stand and hold the back of a chair.
  2. Lift one foot high like a soldier or as if marching in a band. Hold the position briefly, then lower the foot.
  3. Repeat with each leg, starting with 5-10 repetitions.

Tightrope walk

This exercise sounds just like the name. 


  1. Find a space to designate a straight line.
  2. Place one foot in front of the other and walk the straight line, using your arms to help keep your balance.
  3. Pause after each step and hold your foot up for a few seconds before placing it back down.
  4. Walk the entire length of the line.

Rock the boat

This exercise helps increase core strength, balance, and relieves stress. Because there’s more movement involved, be sure to hold onto something stable if you’re not secure on your feet. 


  1. Stand tall with both feet firmly against the ground and slightly apart in line with your hips.
  2. Shift the weight to one foot and lift the other one up and out, holding it into the air for 10 to 30 seconds or as able. Lower and repeat with the other foot.


A daily routine of exercises for balance and strength only takes a few minutes to do and allows seniors to improve overall balance, coordination and mobility. Visit with your CenterWell primary care team if you have any concerns about starting a regular exercise routine.

Content contained on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult your health care provider before beginning any new fitness or dietary plan. References provided are for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources. Should you have any health-related questions, you should contact your health care provider.





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