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Standing Sway Exercises to Improve Balance

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Forward-to-back exercise: Do this exercise twice a day. Try to progress to doing this 30 times and then with your eyes closed.

  1. Stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. If you begin to fall, you may use them for support.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side.
  3. Gently sway (lean) forward and then backward so that your weight shifts to your toes and then to your heels. Do not lift your toes or heels. Be sure that your shoulders and hips move together. Do not bend at your hips.
  4. Slowly increase how far you can sway forward and backward without taking a step.
  5. Do the toe-to-heel sway 20 times.

Right-to-left exercise: Do this exercise twice a day. Try to progress to doing this 30 times and then with your eyes closed.

  1. Stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. If you begin to fall, you may use them for support.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side.
  3. Gently sway (lean) to the right and left so that your weight shifts from your right foot to your left foot. Do not lift your toes or heels. Be sure that your shoulders and hips move together. Do not bend at your hips.
  4. Slowly increase how far you can sway right and left without taking a step.
  5. Do the right-to-left sway 20 times.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last RevisedDecember 19, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 19, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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