As therapists, we needed equipment but couldn't find it. So we built it & now we want to share it with YOU!

5 Cone Exercises to Improve Balance

Therapy CONES are found in most rehabilitation gyms. Individuals with BALANCE limitations are also found in most (if not all) rehabilitation gyms. Below is a list of 5 exercises that utilize CONES to improve BALANCE:

1. Gait + Quick Turns

  • Equipment needed: Cones, Stacking Pole, & parallel bars (or Tables).
  • Set Up: Cones are placed along parallel bars (or tables), to the left and right of patient. Cones extend a distance of 5-10 feet away from patient.
  • Instructions: Patient walk to a cone, pick it up, pivot, walk back, and rack cone on Stacking Pole. Repeat.
  • Finish: When all cones are used.
  • Benefit: Improve balance with pivoting, walking, and reaching challenges.

2. Randomized Reaching/Stooping + Clocking

  • Equipment needed: Cones, ADL Balance Mat, and Clock Yourself App.
  • Set Up: Individual stands on ADL Balance Mat in center of clock, cones are placed on flat surface in front of patient, and Clock Yourself App is on “Simple Clock” mode.
  • Instructions: Patient stoops down and places cone on number called out by Clock Yourself App. Patient to place cone and return to standing before next number is called out.
  • Finish: When all cones are used.
  • Benefit: Improve ability to balance while reaching to the floor (or other low surfaces).

3. Randomized Pivot, Step, & Reach Behind Midline

  • Equipment needed: Cones, Stacking Poles, Color Widget (free at www.SteadyForLife.com).
  • Set Up: Cones are placed on flat surface in front of patient. Color Widget is set to include black and orange colors at desired rate. Black Stacking Pole is located behind patient and to the left. Orange Stacking Pole is located behind patient and to the right.
  • Instructions: Based on color shown (black or orange), patient grabs cone off of flat surface, pivots, steps to the ipsilateral side, reaches and places cone on Stacking Pole. Patient to place cone and return to standing before next color is shown.
  • Finish: When all cones are used.
  • Benefit: Improve balance with stepping, pivoting, and reaching behind midline.

4. Lineup

  • Equipment needed: Cones, ADL Balance Trainer, & Lineup diagram.
  • Set Up: Cones are placed on matching platforms. Platforms are placed from body at a distance that creates a balance challenge when reaching.
  • Instructions: Using Lineup diagram as a guide, the patient selects and places colored items on black platform in the same order, or “lineup,” as shown on diagram.
  • Finish: Game ends when all items are correctly placed on flat surface, matching the diagram presented.
  • Benefit: Reaching to limits of stability challenges and improves balance. Lineup incorporates cognitive challenges such as attention, pattern recognition.

5. Match Maker

  • Equipment needed: Cones, ADL Balance Trainer, & Match Maker diagram.
  • Set Up: Cones are placed on black platform in front of individual. Colored platforms are placed away from body at a distance that creates a balance challenge when reaching.
  • Instructions: Using a Match Maker diagram as a guide, the patient selects and places colored items on platforms.
  • Finish: Game ends when all items are correctly placed on platforms, matching the diagram presented.
  • Benefit: Reaching to limits of stability challenges and improves balance. Match Maker incorporates cognitive challenges such as attention, pattern recognition.

For more innovative ideas on balance training visit the Balance Blog