Prosthetic Categories

Balance Exercises for Lower-Limb Amputees

    Lower-limb prosthesis users can benefit greatly from regular exercise as it helps them become more mobile, steady, and strong. These qualities also help boost one's confidence and well-being.

     Balance exercises for lower-limb amputees.

    Working towards a better balance is even more important for older, lower-limb amputees. Age alone increases one's risk of falling and getting injured. Therefore, a more senior prosthetic limb user would have twice that risk.

    Benefits of balance exercises  

    Balance exercises can help build strength and improve posture, stability, and coordination, especially for lower-limb amputees with prosthetic limbs, as most prosthetic users have an asymmetrical gait pattern. Most of the burden falls on the sound side leg, which increases the risk of incorrect loading. A better balance can reduce your risk of falling or bumping into things and getting injured.

    For older prosthetic users, previous studies support incorporating balance exercises into their exercise routine. A study from 2019 has shown that balance and coordination exercises in older adults help improve their quality of life. The study participants reported having enhanced stability and improved mental functioning.

    Some reminders  

    Please approach the exercises below with caution. To prevent falls, use a chair or wall for extra support. Start with the easiest exercises and work your way up.

    Take a break when needed, and keep yourself well hydrated. However, if you're new to fitness, please talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercise program.

    When doing the exercises, we recommend focusing your gaze on a fixed point in front of you. This helps you maintain your balance.

    A slight bend on your knees prevents them from hyperextending. This also makes you more stable.

    Balance exercises  

    If you're doing these exercises for the first time, find someone who can supervise you and provide support. You can also modify the poses as needed.

    Rock the boat  

    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

    • You can hold on to a chair or a wall for support. You can also do this balance exercise without holding on to something.

    • Lift one arm and extend it to the side. Lift the leg from the same side and bend your knee to bring your heel toward your other leg.

    • Do the opposite side.

    • Perform the move on each side three times. 

    Rock the boat exercise

    Back leg raises  

    This exercise strengthens your low back and glutes, which helps support good posture.

    • Place your hands on a wall or the back of a chair.

    • Shift your weight onto your left foot or your sound side leg first.

    • Slowly lift your other leg to the back. Lift it as high as you can. Hold this position for five seconds.

    • Return to the starting position.

    • Do ten repetitions. Then do the opposite side.

    Back leg raise exercise

    Go over objects  

    • Grab any object, like plastic cups or small books. Get five to 10 of these objects and place them on the floor at a distance of 40 to 50 cm.

    • Begin at one end of the row. Lift your legs one by one over the objects as you walk.

    • Focus on keeping your balance on your prosthetic leg.

    • If you can, lift your legs higher as you cross over the objects. The highest point should be when the knee aligns with the hip joint.

    • Go back and forth three to four times. 

    Forward and backward tilt with a balance board  

    You can do this exercise in between parallel bars to support yourself. You can also perform this move without support if you're already advanced.

    • Stand between parallel bars on the outer edges of a balance board. Use both hands to support yourself.

    • Shift your body weight forward until the front of the board touches the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds.

    • Then shift your weight backward until the back of the board touches the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds.

    • Use slow, controlled movements to continue tilting back and forth for one minute.

     Forward and backward balance board exercise

    Single-foot balance with a balance board  

    • Stand with your right foot in the center of the board.

    • Raise your left foot and raise your knee as high as you can.

    • Hold this position for up to 30 seconds. Then do the same on the opposite side.

    • Do each side two to three times.