Balance strategy can be applied three ways: through the ankles, hips, and with a step. When we have a small instability we use an ankle strategy.
In this video, Point Performance’s Julie Shein demonstrates these three strategies. If your balance shifts, or you’re standing on one foot, you use the ankle to maintain balance because it’s not terribly challenging. As balance is more challenged, you’ll use a hip strategy. You’ll catch yourself by using your hips to avoid falling. As a result, you’ll need to have good hip strength and range of motion in any direction to be able to catch yourself at any point. Lastly, if you’re really thrown off balance and your center of balance is way too, you’ll apply a step strategy to avoid falling. In this case, you may take a step in any direction to accomplish this.
It’s important to work out your muscles to ensure lower extremity strength and have a good range of motion. Because falls are unpredictable, you want to make sure you can react quickly and swiftly, and that your body can handle the quick motion and support your weight from falling over.