Balance Exercises

Balance exercises are important in helping to prevent falls. Moderate to severe strokes often cause a loss of sitting balance in patients so balance is one of the first things that needs to be addressed in stroke rehab. If one cannot sit up, it is impossible to do activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing, and toileting. One cannot learn to stand safely until sitting balance is maintained first. Below are some exercises to improve sitting and standing balance. Please consult your physician or therapist to see if these exercises are safe and appropriate for you. It is advisable to have a therapist or trained caregiver present when attempting balance activities in order to help prevent falls.

Weight Shift Side to Side
Shift weight over the right hip then the left hip. Ribcage should move side to side and hip should lift off of surface. Do not bend at the waist to lean. Repeat 10 times. Books are placed under the hands while sitting to allow weight bearing through arms and to keep the hands from coming up off the sitting surface.

Balance Exercises Weight Shift Right Balance Exercises Weight Shift Left








Balance Exercises Weight Shift Forward

Weight Shift Forward and Back
Shift your weight forward and back by arching and rounding your low back. Repeat 10 times.


Balance Exercises Weight Shift Backward




Leaning Down on Elbow
Lean down on to right elbow then push back up to center. Lean down on left elbow then push back up to center. Repeat 5 times.

Balance Exercises Leaning to Right
Balance Exercises Leaning to Left




Balance Exercises Reaching

Reaching Toward
Weak Side

Reach your non-affected arm out toward the weak side while bearing weight through the weak or paralyzed arm. If the weak arm buckles or the hand slides, have a helper support the weak arm at the wrist and just above the elbow. Repeat 5 to 10 times.





Balance Exercises Reaching Forward




Reaching Forward with
Clasped Hands

Clasp hands together and reach forward then sit back up straight. Repeat 10 times.





Balance Exercises Sit to Stand Balance Exercises Standing with Clasped Hands











Sit to Stand with Clasped Hands

Clasp hands together and reach forward lifting bottom off of sitting surface then coming to full stand if able. If unable to do full stand, partial stand is acceptable. Return to seated position and repeat 5 to 10 times.






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Return from balance exercises to stroke rehab homepage


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