10 Exercises To Help Prevent Falls in Older Adults

Are you looking for the best exercises to prevent falls? Here are 10 different forms of movement that combine balance, resistance and flexibility to strengthen your lower body and help you react immediately when you’re about to fall. 

Exercise Help Reduce Falls Among Older People

Engaging in physical activities is one way to honor your body. Moving calms the mind, reduces stress and gives you multiple health benefits. It’s crucial for older individuals since exercise can help minimize aging-related falls and accidents.

One study found that exercise reduces the rate of falls by 23% in general. Balance and functional routines decrease accidents by 24%. Tai chi increases older people’s fall resistance by 23%, while programs involving multiple types of exercise minimize the risk by 24%. 

Moving can help counter some consequences of aging, eliminating potential hospital expenses due to preventable accidents.

Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized every year because of a broken hip or head injury associated with falling. Exercise can help bring down the numbers.

10 Exercises To Prevent Falls

If you’re gearing up to start an active lifestyle after retirement, these 10 best exercises to prevent falls consist of balance, resistance and flexibility poses, which can negate some effects of aging on mobility and body strength.


If you trip over a rug, you can avoid falling if your lower body is strong enough to maintain your stance. Here are some examples you can do.

Weight Lifts

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, ensuring you divide your mass equally on both legs.
  2. Slowly transfer your weight to your right side while lifting your left foot with your sole touching the inner thigh.
  3. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds. 
  4. Release the pose to do the other side. 

Decide how many reps you can do and build your skill up by increasing the holding time. 

Single Leg Balance

  1. Stand properly with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Place your hands on your hips.
  3. Gradually lift your left leg off the ground. 
  4. Bend the knee with your toe pointing on the floor.
  5. Hold the position for 30 seconds, but release it whenever necessary.
  6. Return to your initial position and repeat with the other leg. 

Remember to use a wall or chair for support if you need something to grab on.

Bicep Curls

The extra weight from the dumbbell can help strengthen your core, which significantly impacts your balance skills.

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold the dumbbell in your left hand and raise it to your chest level. 
  3. Lift your right leg off the ground and bend it with your toe facing the floor.
  4. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds or until you can no longer hold it.
  5. Release and return to your starting position.
  6. Do it on the other side. 

These easy exercises can strengthen your lower extremities, helping you maintain equilibrium on rough and uneven surfaces. 


Resistance training is undeniably one of the best exercises to prevent falls. It consists of movements that increase your muscle strength and endurance so you can support your weight at any position. Include these in your sequence.


  1. Get into a push-up position, ensuring your body forms a straight line from head to heel.
  2. Feet width should align with your shoulders. 
  3. Slowly lower the chest to the floor until it’s a few inches off the ground. 
  4. Push with your arms up to reverse the pattern and return to your starting position. 
  5. Repeat, but make sure you keep the proper form.

This exercise strengthens your shoulders, triceps and core, which is essential for maintaining balance in activities like pushing yourself from a chair. 

Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle with your hip.  
  2. Ensure feet are flat and hip-width apart.
  3. Raise your hip from the floor to form a bridge while contracting the glutes.
  4. Pause to hold the position for a few seconds.
  5. Slowly drop your hips back to the ground. 
  6. Repeat for your needed reps. 

Strong glute muscles can help maintain your stability while standing.

Fire Hydrant

  1. Start on your hands and knees, shoulder directly above your hands and hips stack on top of the knees. 
  2. Keep your back flat for the appropriate form by drawing your navel toward the spine.
  3. Exhale while lifting your right leg out to the side at a 90-degree angle, ensuring the knee aligns with your hip, the thigh is parallel to the floor and the foot is flexed.
  4. Hold the position for a few seconds. 
  5. Inhale and lower the leg back so the knee hovers above the mat. 
  6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 depending on your target repetitions. 
  7. Switch legs and do the same reps.

When lifting the leg, refrain from shifting your weight on one side. Instead, keep your weight centered by activating your core to maintain stability. 


Declining mobility is a common concern among older people, often leading to injuries. Improving the range of motion through exercise can taper the risk of falls. Here are easy exercises to do.

Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lie on the floor near a door frame or a wall corner.
  2. Raise your left leg, resting your left heel against the wall. You can keep your knee slightly bent if it’s painful.
  3. Slowly straighten the left leg to stretch the back of the thigh. 
  4. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds.
  5. Switch legs and repeat. 

Doing this exercise regularly helps the hamstring build flexibility until you can do it without any wall or door frame.

Warrior II Pose

Yoga has plenty of gentle poses that are safe for older people, like the Warrior II pose. It tones and energizes your legs, helping you gain better stability when standing.

  1. Stand and keep a distance of about 4 to 5 feet width apart.
  2. Turn the right toes out directly facing the top of the mat. 
  3. Turn your left toes forward about 45 degrees to face the long edge of the mat. 
  4. Align the front heel with the center of the left leg. 
  5. Bend your right leg to form a 90-degree angle with your foot. Keep your left leg straight and strong.
  6. Lift your arms and extend them to shoulder height. Focus your gaze on your front middle finger.
  7. Engage your front knee while your right foot is planted firmly on the ground. Feel the stretch in your hamstrings, quads and glutes.
  8. Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds. 
  9. Reverse your feet with your right on the back and left on the front this time. Repeat for the same length. 

Yoga is an excellent way to increase whole-body flexibility. If you want guidance, consider joining a class. An instructor can correct your form to ensure you can execute the poses safely. 

Wall Roll Down

This simple pilates move stretches the back and hamstrings deeply. Here’s how to do it. 

  1. Stand with your back flat on the wall, your chest open and your hands on the side.
  2. Roll down slowly as far as you are comfortable with. 
  3. Hold for a few seconds. 
  4. Release the pose by slowly returning to the standing position. 
  5. Repeat for a few more times. 

Doing this strengthens your hamstrings and contributes to stability when standing up.

Tai Chi

One of the best exercises to prevent falls in older adults is tai chi, a soft version of martial arts practiced by people for their health benefits. It’s a continuous transition of poses with each breath, combining mindfulness, physical activity and meditation.

Learn the basics from an instructor to understand the sequence. Tutorials on YouTube may also help you get started with the practice. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it on your own.

Prevent Falls in Older Adults Through Movement

Exercise is crucial to living an active lifestyle and reducing the incidence of injuries caused by falls in older people. Try any of these 10 best exercises to prevent falls, improve your range of motion and build strength in your lower body. Do it on your own, or sign up for a fitness program near your area. 

Beth Rush
Author: Beth Rush

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