Balance Exercises for Teens

By Christina Schnell
Many common yoga poses also strengthen balancing skills.
Many common yoga poses also strengthen balancing skills.

Balancing exercises benefit your teenager's growing body in a variety of ways, even if she's not involved in gymnastic or trapeze artistry. Strong balancing skills prevent injuries related to everything from competitive sports to falling down stairs, according to MayoClinic.com. Balancing exercises require key muscles to work cooperatively to maintain stability. Even if your teen isn't a young gym rat, she can do plenty of balancing exercises in the comfort of your home or her bedroom.

Abdominal Exercises

Strong abdominal muscles strengthen your teen's ability to stabilize his body while moving and to resist impact that could otherwise cause injury. Using a stability ball, available at any sporting goods store, increases your teen's range of motion as he performs basic abdominal exercises like crunches and situps. Other core-building abdominal exercises include holding a plank position for extended intervals to alternating between a pike position and plank position with the stability ball tucked under his knees.

Stand Still Exercises

Balancing on one foot without wiggling or wobbling helps build your teen's balancing skills, according to the Moveo Sport and Rehabilitation Centre North Vancouver. If your teen has poor balance, have her start by balancing on one foot with her knee slightly bent for 10 seconds and then switching sides. As she improves, she can stand on a less stable surface, like a pillow, while maintaining her balance on her one foot.

Balance-Focused Strength Training

Strength training exercises that work one side at a time require your teen to tighten and stabilize his body and balance while performing the motion. For example, doing reverse arm curls one arm at a time, ideally while bending on one leg. One-legged squats or classic lunges, with a dumbbell in each hand, also require remaining stable through a range of motion, which in turn helps target a larger number of muscles.

Every Day Balance Exercises

Your teen can do plenty of balance exercises throughout her daily routine. Working on the computer or watching television while sitting on a stability ball requires maintaining enough balance to remain seated, without rolling or falling off, for an extended period. Walking up short flights of stairs very slowly, such that she has to balance her weight on one foot for a brief period, is another way to improve her balance on a daily basis. Hopping on one foot to the bathroom is an easy way to work on balancing over the entire evening.

About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.