Countertop Stretch: To stretch everything out
Rest with your forearms on a counter, feet shoulder width apart. Sway your hips forward, left and right. Assume a staggered stance and stretch the calf on the back leg or lunge forward to stretch the thigh. You can straighten the front knee and lift the toes.
Hip Abduction and Extension: For stronger hips and back
Stand behind a chair or at a counter top. Kick your leg out to the side approximately 12 inches. Do 10-20 repetitions. Make sure you don’t bend or arch your back. Now do the same thing, but kick back. Remember only approximately 12 inches and watch your posture. You can challenge yourself by holding the position 30-60 seconds. You can also do these lying down.
Sit to Stand Using Hip Hinging: For stronger legs, improve balance and stamina
Sit on the edge of a firm chair with your feet up under you, and your heels on the floor. Keeping your back straight as if a stick was along your spine, bend from the hip and stand up. You need to bring your weight over your feet as if in a “squatting” position before rising. Perform 10-20 times/day. If you can’t do this from a standard chair, start with something higher such as an elevated toilet seat and slowly progress to a chair.
Cervical Rotation with Weight Shifting: For improved neck and trunk motion
Steep Stance: For stronger legs and better proprioception
Stand with one foot on a stool and one foot on the floor or cushion. See if you can balance for two minutes on each leg. You can increase the challenge by looking around and reaching around. For even more of a challenge, slowly place one foot onto and off the stool. Begin with the floor and stool and once you’ve mastered this, progress to the cushion and stool.
Standing in Various Foot Positions: For stronger ankles and better proprioception
This can be done on a cushion/blanket or on the floor and with the shoes on but better with shoes off. Just as it states, stand in different foot positions such as feet together, staggered stance and/or heel to toe. Once you have confidence, challenge yourself further by looking and reaching in various directions SLOWLY at first.
Rug Hugs: Foot and arch strengthening
Begin by doing this sitting (shoes on or off) and as you get stronger, you can do this standing. Pretend that you are trying to pick up the carpeting with your arch and NOT your toes. Start with 25 times and work up to 300 times!
Sacral Fulcrum: For improved postural alignment
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place a FIRMLY rolled towel in the shape of a “hotdog” down the center of your sacrum, 1-inch BELOW your belt line. Remain here for 3-4 minutes gently oscillating back and forth. Do this first thing in the morning and again later if in pain or feeling off balance. Although not as effective, you can do this in bed. You need to place a firm surface under you such as a cutting board – then lie on towel as described above.