Old guy balance problems...

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seeahill
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Old guy balance problems...

Post by seeahill » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:36 pm

Any ideas on how an old guy can improve his balance?

I was just in Mexico and walked some trails. I'm 74 (Jesus, how did that happen?). Most of my companions were 30 years younger and I kept up on the trails well, probably because mountain walking is my primary exercise. But occasionally the trail was blocked by rock slides. I didn't have my trekking poles and navigating a big pile of rocks was slow work for me. I'm told it was nerve-wracking for everyone else, because they could all see that my balance was shot to hell and they all felt I was about to fall with every move. (I didn't fall, but knew that I was unsteady.)

So, any ideas on how I can improve balance?
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by syaigh » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:23 pm

Country line dancing. Or agility drills, like cone drills.

For real, studies have shown that walking in multiple directions, especially backward, improved balance and decreased risk of falling in older adults.
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Grandpa's Spells
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:33 pm

Few years back somebody posted a video about an older guy who was doing a lot of balance exercises, picking stuff up with toes, a ton of preconception work it seemed like.
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by Ericc » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:53 pm

Tai Chi and or yoga with an emphasis on the balancing postures. I know many ultrarunners who do closed eyed drills on a Bosu ball - squats, one leg balance, light weight one leg deadlift

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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by seeahill » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:56 pm

There are some medical sites that have balance exercises for the elderly but they seem to be for folks who are pretty feeble. It's hard to find something between rock climbing prep and instructions on how to get up from a chair without falling down.
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by seeahill » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:01 pm

Ericc wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:53 pm
Tai Chi and or yoga with an emphasis on the balancing postures. I know many ultrarunners who do closed eyed drills on a Bosu ball - squats, one leg balance, light weight one leg deadlift
You mean like one of those half Bosu ball things, right? No way in hell I could stand on a full Bosu ball much less do a one legged squat on one.
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:58 am

Grandpa's Spells wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:33 pm
Few years back somebody posted a video about an older guy who was doing a lot of balance exercises, picking stuff up with toes, a ton of preconception work it seemed like.
This?




I also wonder about ice skating? Judo/Aikido? Nice thing about those, you get a lot of practice taking falls. :happiness:

Stand on one foot, preferably barefoot, and play catch with someone, just tossing a small ball back & forth.
Or stand on one foot and pick up a lot of random shit off the floor, and place on a nearby table.

Slow kicking drills? Both against empty air, and against a target like a heavy bag?
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:22 pm

That's the guy. i thought I edited my post yesterday to include it. Stephen Jepson. Obviously things can be taken too far, but he seems to be getting it done.
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by powerlifter54 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:52 pm

Barefoot one leg DLs. Start with bodyweight. Go up slowly.

Works.
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by nafod » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:23 pm

When hiking over rough terrain, I find that I need to balance more as I get older because I move slower and less dynamically, and so things are more like moves from static balance position to static balance position than like a dynamic momentum flow.

A good example that PL54 should appreciate is running a rock seawall, like at the Naval Academy. If you have the agility and springiness to keep moving, you don't need to balance so much.

Is there a scree slope or horizontal boulders nearby you can practice bounding through, rock to rock? It's hella-fun to get in the flow when you do it.
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:06 pm

nafod wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:23 pm
Is there a scree slope or horizontal boulders nearby you can practice bounding through, rock to rock? It's hella-fun to get in the flow when you do it.
In the youtube vid upthread, Jepson has some medium-size rocks that he's placed in this yard, and he trots or walks barefoot across them, sort of bounding from one to the next. See at about the 45sec mark.

I'd also think about strengthening the muscles around the ankle, as prehab for sprained ankles. Eversion and inversion, esp eversion.
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Re: Old guy balance problems...

Post by nafod » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:56 pm

Also, if you walk around with a kettlebell hanging off of your junk it will lower your center of gravity
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