My favourite strength and balance exercise for the lower body is the star balance. The best thing about this exercise is that it doesn't require a whole lot of equipement- just tape. This exercise integrates ankle, knee, hip, back strength and flexibility, while also demanding core strength and upper body control. This exercise is great for ankle and knee rehabiliation for any sport and easily implemented with any age.
How to do the Star Balance
The goal of the exercise is to reach as far as you can without losing form or balance. Place tape evenly on the ground as shown in the picture. Imagine the tape kept going into infinitiy. Place your right foot in the middle of the tape and the left foot is the "tapper." While maintaining your weight on the right foot, reach as far as possible with the left. Don't make the mistake of placing too much weight on the left foot- otherwise you're going to tip over. Do the same with the left foot. The key thing here is to make sure your knee is facing forward and doesn't rotate.*
How often should I do this exercise
I often recommend 3x to 5x per leg everyday. This exercise should be done pain free. If there is any pain anywhere, you maybe too acute and may require some rest before attempting this exercise.
Right versus Left
This exercise is a great way to determine the difference between strength and balance of the right side versus the left side. Ideally, there should be no difference. Practicing this exercise everyday for 2-3 weeks will help increase your balance, strength and flexibility.
Jessie Wong, Physiotherapist from the Physio Room
*The exercises provided on this website are for educational purposes only, and are not to be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, or course of action. Exercise is not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. They include but are not limited to: risk of injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, or adverse effect of over-exertion such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting, disorders of heartbeat, and very rare instances of heart attack. To reduce the risk of injury, before beginning this or any exercise program, please consult a healthcare provider for appropriate exercise prescription and safety precautions. The exercise instruction and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation. We disclaim any liability from and in connection with this program. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a physician.