14 easy exercise for artificial limbs on improving prosthetic balance in less time
As a prosthetic user, working on improving your balance has benefits beyond merely preventing a fall. Improved prosthetic balance means a significant improvement in the quality of your walking, which lessens injuries and reduces lower back pain.
The first step towards improving your balance requires strengthening your core. This doesn’t mean you will only work on your abs. Instead, core work will take on a holistic approach of strengthening your core which includes your abs, lower back, and hip muscles.
After a few months of working on your balance, you will notice that every step you take with your prosthetic leg will be much stronger and more deliberate. We will talk more about exercises that will strengthen your core in the last section of this blog post; we will first discuss other moves that will also improve your balance. Coping with the loss of a limb, even if it’s a below-the-knee amputation, is a harrowing ordeal, both mentally and physically. To help you, quite literally, move forward, there’s much you can do in terms of exercise to smooth the way, As an Added bonus because You are the Center of our focus by Utilizing our “SERVICES” we have gone ahead to foresee and predict every possible outcome in the future and placed actions that will add to this Educational Guide in Making your life Better.
Here at OrthofitOrthopedics LTD, we specialize in designing and manufacturing prosthetic limbs that allow you to keep moving. Thanks to modern technology and materials, we’re able to give you a better quality of life after you lose a limb, allowing you to better keep up with the world around you.
While we can supply you with the state-of-the-art prosthetics at our Products that you need for mobility, you need to do your part to ensure that you get the most out of your new lower leg. To that end, we’ve pulled together a list of 14 exercises to help make the transition to your prosthetic limb (the number of repetitions is up to you and your physical consultant.
Your quadriceps are the groups of muscles in the front of your thighs. To keep your quads strong, lie faceup on the ground and press your knee into the ground, holding for five seconds. Alternate your legs to ensure that both sides benefit.
Your gluteal muscles in your buttocks need to be strong to propel you, especially up stairs, so target them by lying faceup on the ground and squeezing your buttocks together, holding for five seconds and then releasing. You can also lie on your stomach and raise one leg at a time and hold, squeezing that side of your buttocks.
- Core strength
One of the best ways to strengthen your entire body and help with balance is to work on your core muscles. To do this, place something under your knees to raise them and then perform small situps. Concentrate on using only your abdominal muscles to lift your head, shoulders, and trunk and to resist straining your neck.
- Abdominal bracing
Sit up straight in a chair and hold a ball between your knees. Then brace your abdominal muscles and squeeze the ball.
- Side-to-side abdominal
Taking that same ball from between your knees, hold it in your hands. Brace your abdominal muscles and swing the ball from one side to the other, keeping your muscles taut and engaged.
One of the best ways to exercise a few muscle groups at once is to perform bridges. Lie back and place a roller under your residual limb. Then bend your unaffected leg and place your foot close to your buttocks. Pressing on your foot, lift your torso, leaving your head and shoulders on the ground and squeeze your glutes.
- Hip abduction
Lie on your unaffected side and prop your upper body up on your elbow. Then lift your residual limb and hold to target the muscles in your hips.
With your prosthetic in place, try a series of squats, which strengthens your quads and works on your balance. You can use a wall or chair to help keep you steady.
- Upper body
While it’s your lower limb that’s affected, you’d do well to ensure that your upper body has the strength to pick up any slack. Bicep curls with a weight are effective, or you can sit in an armchair and slowly use your arms to raise your butt out of the chair, and hold. This type of exercise is strengthening and teaches you how to perform certain tasks more easily — like getting out of a chair.
As you become used to your prosthetic, we encourage you to get out and use it. Go for walks that get your heart rate up, which helps your overall health.
- Prosthetic Leg Balance
This move allows you to balance on your prosthetic leg. If you’re a beginner, make sure to have something to hold on to, like a stable chair or a handrail within arm’s reach. Then, with your feet together, lift your sound side foot with the knee facing forward or to the side. Hold the position with eyes open (and fixed on one spot to maintain your balance). Next, hold the same position with eyes closed. Switch feet and repeat 4 times on each foot.
If any move feels wrong or unsafe for you, stop and check with your prosthetist or physician. Depending on your health and physical condition, some exercises may not be recommended.
- Leg Swings
This move is excellent for warming up and stretching your hip muscles and hip joint. To start, stand on your right leg and raise the left leg at least 3-6 inches off the floor. Keep your arms at your sides while you swing your left leg forward and backward, touching the floor for balance. Make sure you keep your torso erect throughout the movement.
Next, increase the level of difficulty by repeating the move but without allowing your foot to touch the ground. Then, switch legs and repeat.
- Prosthetic Leg Clock with Arms
To perform this move, envision a clock. To start, balance on your prosthetic leg. Keep your torso straight, your head up, and your hands on your hips. Point your arm straight overhead to 12 o’ clock, then to the side at 3 o’ clock, and then circle low and around to 9 o’ clock without losing your balance.
Increase the level of difficulty by having someone else call out the different times to you and even switching it up. After you’re done with your prosthetic leg, switch to the opposite arm and leg, and repeat.
- Clock on an Unstable Surface
Once you’re confident that you can balance on a stable surface, level up by trying the exercise moves on an unstable surface, such as a BOSU (Ballast Ball) platform. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to stand near a wall for safety.
Start in the middle of the board on 2 feet. When you feel comfortable, carefully execute the moves in Prosthetic Leg Clock. Trust us, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
We have plenty more suggestions, which we’re happy to share with you.