I test Dr. of Physical Therapy Katherine Bragg’s Favorite Home Balance Evaluation Tests
By Derek Benoit August 25th, 2021
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What’s Covered in this Article
- Balance drills used and how to do them
- How I performed them and why
- Where these balance drills came from
Ladies and gentleman, I performed these balance assessment tests with the hopes of a pleasant surprise. My loss is your entertainment gain. These proved far more challenging than I anticipated! TRUST ME. Eyes closed will challenge many people who assumed their balance skills were on point!
Balance Drills Attempted
Firstly, I only recorded my attempts to perform these drills with eyes closed. Even with eyes open, some of these were more difficult than I’d like to admit!
- Side-by-Side Stance: stand with feet together for 20-30 seconds
- Modified Tandem Stance: Stand with feet together, but staggered; ie, the toe line of one foot lines up with the midline of the other. Alternate the “lead” foot for each of the two attempts. 20-30 seconds each attempt
- Tandem Stance: stand with your feet in line, literally heel-to-toe. Alternate the lead foot for each attempt. 30 seconds each attempt
- One Foot: just as it sounds, stand with only one foot planted on the floor. Alternate feet. 30 Seconds.
- Standing on One Leg, Knee Raised
- Attempted variation: Extended Knee
Balance Drill Versions I recorded and Why
Not only did I want to show how difficult some of these drills can be, I wanted to challenge myself while doing them. Hence, I chose to record the “eyes-closed” versions of the above drills. Yes, I did the same drills with eyes open. No, those attempts were not nearly as funny.
Before Having Fun at my Expense…
For reference, Katherine Bragg, DPT was kind enough to give me her thoughts on balance for outdoorsmen and women. Even if you have great balance, you’ll likely pick up some great knowledge from her expert opinions. Thus, this is surely worth a few extra minutes of your time:
Side-by-Side Stance– Eyes Closed
As expected, this one is easy-peasy! It’s also a boring video, so I decided to skip this one. Perform this test exactly as the name implies:
- Stand tall
- Feet are touching, with toes even
- Keep a normal posture: ie. shoulders over hips, over knees,over ankles
Modified Tandem Stance– Eyes Closed
These were a bit more difficult… I was more wobbly than I look!
Tandem Stance– Eyes Closed
Yup, this was pretty awkward! Also, it was embarrassingly difficult. Repeats of the drill this past week were much more successful! Having said that, I”m sure you’d rather see the fail.
Standing on One Foot-Eyes Closed
Note: this did not end well. That’s all I got.
…neither did this one.
BONUS Progress Videos:
Here you’ll find both Left and Right Leg Only versions of the Single Leg Knee Raise. As difficult as the single leg drills were the week prior, I was happy with how these went. I tried extended the leg with both versions. Eyes-closed was only attempted with the first go. I’ll try more of that this coming week!
To find a qualified physical therapist near you, please visit:
(no financial relationship with APTA)