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6 At-Home Exercises to Help Prevent Falls

- Pained & Inflamed
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The recommendations provided on this page are for educational purposes only and are not to be interpreted as medical advice or a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product, or course of action. Please consult your clinician for personalized medical advice.

If you or a loved one have experienced a fall this year, you're not alone: Each year, approximately three million older adults in the United States are treated in the emergency room for fall injuries (CDC, 2022). Falling is also the leading cause of injury death for adults 65 and older. In 2019, falls among this age group caused over 34,000 deaths. Unfortunately, falling once doubles your chances of falling again (O’Loughlin, 1993).

Although falls are common, they are also preventable. If you recognize changes in your or a loved one’s balance, you can make a difference. Even small changes—like practicing these simple do-at-home exercises which strengthen your core and lower body—can make a big impact on your fall risk. Studies show that by doing these exercises regularly, you can reduce your risk of falling by 23 percent (Sherrington, 2019)! Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Pelvic Bridge  

✓ Strengthens your hips and lower back  


  • You can do this exercise laying on your bed, couch, or yoga mat. Lay on your back with your knees slightly bent, feet hip width apart, and hands resting by your sides.  
  • Press your heels into the ground, squeeze your buttocks, and lift your hips into a bridge position, forming a long line from your knees to your shoulders.  
  • Lower back down and repeat.
TOP TIP: Be mindful to keep your hips level as you lower and lift into your bridge.

Tandem stance

✓ Helps you navigate tight spaces with confidence  

TARGET REPS: 2-3 per side

  • Stand tall next to a sturdy chair or countertop. Lightly hold on for balance if needed.  
  • Place one foot in front of the other, with the toes of your back foot just touching the heel of your front foot.  
  • Spread your weight evenly across both feet. Let your ankles control the sway.  
  • Try to hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds then return to the start and repeat.  
TOP TIP: You may need to sit in a chair to recover if this exercise is challenging. Remember to breathe and focus on standing tall.


✓ Improves lower body strength  


  • Sit tall in a sturdy chair towards the front of the seat. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.  
  • Cross your arms or hold them out in front of you to help with balance.  
  • Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, push your feet into the floor to stand up tall. Keep your chest upright as you stand.  
  • Sit back down with control and repeat.  
  • As you get comfortable with the exercise, use a timer to see how many reps you can do in 30 seconds. Research shows the more efficient you are at performing sit-to-stands within this time frame, the more you reduce your risk of falling (Wright, 2011).
Top tip: Be mindful not to sacrifice form for speed.

Toe raises  

✓ Strengthens key muscles for balance


  • Stand tall with your feet hip width apart, facing the back of a sturdy chair or countertop. Lightly hold on for support if needed.
  • Shift your weight into your heels and raise your toes off the ground.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and feel the muscles in the front of your legs activate.
  • Return your toes to the ground and repeat.
Top tip: Stand tall throughout. Watch that you don’t bend forward at your hips as you lift your toes.

Heel raises

✓ Helps you walk with confidence  


  • This exercise strengthens your calves and feet in addition to improving balance.
  • Stand tall with your feet hip width apart, facing the back of a sturdy chair or countertop. Lightly hold on for support if needed.
  • Shift your weight onto the balls of your feet and raise your heels off the ground.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds feeling the backs of your legs activate.
  • Lower your heels and repeat.  
Top tip: Keep your weight balanced over both feet.   


✓ Helps you climb stairs without fear

TARGET REPS: 6-8 per side

  • The lunge is a great exercise for strengthening your back, hips, and legs.
  • Pick a location with plenty of room to move safely.  Stand tall with your feet hip width apart. Use a sturdy chair or countertop for support if needed.
  • Take a comfortable step forward with one leg. Shift weight onto your front foot as you raise the heel of your back foot and bend both knees to lower into a lunge.  
  • Bring your front thigh almost parallel to the floor and keep your back knee a few inches above the floor if you can tolerate it.  Line up your front knee with your second toe and hold this position for a few seconds. Feel your bodyweight centered over your front heel and mid foot.
  • Step back and repeat on the opposite side.
  • This exercise can be challenging. As you get comfortable with the movement, try using a timer for 30 or 60 seconds and see how many lunges you can perform with good form.  
Top tip: Keep your chest up and avoid bending your front knee too much over your front toes.

Feel great about your balance

These are just a few of the exercises our clinical team personalizes for older adults to reduce their risk of falling. There are many other strategies, including simple home improvements that can also lower your risk of falls. If you would like to learn more about your balance, sign up for a visit and get a comprehensive Fall Risk Assessment. Our team will provide you with strategies to move your body with confidence.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Accessed October 26, 2022.  
  • O’Loughlin, J et al. Incidence of and risk factors for falls and injurious falls among the community-dwelling elderly. American journal of epidemiology, 1993, 137:342-54.  
  • Sherrington C, Fairhall NJ, Wallbank GK, Tiedemann A, Michaleff ZA, Howard K, Clemson L, Hopewell S, Lamb SE. Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Jan 31;1(1):CD012424. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012424.pub2. PMID: 30703272; PMCID: PMC6360922.  
  • Wright, A. A., Cook, C. E., et al. 2011. "A comparison of 3 methodological approaches to defining major clinically important improvement of 4 performance measures in patients with hip osteoarthritis." J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 41(5): 319-327.  

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