Exercises targeting stability limits

Overall goal of the exercises

Improving the ability to extend and control the body´s center of mass over its base of support.

Overall theme of the exercises

In functional tasks manipulating the relationship between the base of support and the position of the center of mass by narrowing the base of support or varying the position of the center of mass.

Additional considerations

Local impairments of range of movement of the lower or upper extremities can limit the performance in this domain.

The strength of the calf muscles should be considered and possibly targeted through focused exercises (e.g. rising or walking on toes).

For this balance domain, we do not recommend designing exercises which necessitates that the patient seeks support from upper extremities. This will change the base of support, facilitating a distinct balance strategy and not improving the control of the body´s center of mass over its base support when the option of seeking support is not possible. 


Key exercises Examples of progressions Examples of Regressions

Standing with the back to a wall, reaching far to touch the wall with the finger on the opposite side

reach far

  • Reaching further
  • Higher speed
  • Varying pattern of movement between extremes
  • Additionally, touching the floor
  • Narrow foot position
  • One leg stance
  • Reaching closer
  • Slow speed
  • Reaching in same height
  • Wider foot position

Reaching to place an object as far away as possible and recollecting without moving the feet

reach for object

  • Reaching further
  • Higher speed
  • Narrow foot position
  • One leg stance
  • Using heavy object
  • Reaching to the side of or behind the body
  • Placing the object on the floor or a high shelf
  • Reaching closer
  • Slow speed
  • Wider foot position
  • Using a light object
  • Placing the object on a chair or table

Walking with narrow foot position

walk narrow

  • Walking backwards or sideways
  • Walking on a cord
  • Walking between two cords (foot wide apart)
  • Placing right foot on the left side of left foot and vise versa
  • Walking between two cords (wider apart)
  • Walking slowly on the spot

Trundle a ball towards a wall using the hands without moving the feet

trundle ball

  • Higher speed (not catching ball)
  • Narrow foot position
  • Using only one hand
  • Using smaller ball
  • Catching ball when returning from wall
  • Wider foot position
  • Using big ball