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Single Leg Stance


Updated March 24, 2008

Single Leg Stance
Picture by Dr. Laura Inverarity


A multitude of injuries and occurrences can affect our balance and leave us less steady on our feet. An ankle sprain, for example, can leave one with balance deficits due to tears in the fibers that rely balance input to the brain. People who suffer from a stroke also often also have severe balance problems that make walking difficult. We also loose stability as a result of the normal aging pattern.

We can improve our balance by performing simple balance exercises. The single leg stance is a very effective exercise for improving balance. This exercise can be modified as balance stability progresses.

Single Leg Stance:

Initial steps include:

Stand behind a chair
Hold onto the chair back with both hands
Slowly lift one leg off the ground
Maintain your balance standing on one leg for 5 seconds
Return to starting position and repeat X 5
Perform with opposite leg

Exercise Progression:

Follow these steps as your balance improves:
1)Hold onto chair back with only one hand
2)Stand near the chair for safety, but do not hold on
3)Progress finally to lifting your leg off the ground one inch higher

Complete all three modifications to this exercise and your stability will be much improved.

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