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Seated Balances

This is an excerpt from Fitness on the Ball by Anne Spalding & Linda Kelly.



The vocabulary is the same for all the balance exercises and should be reinforced in each lesson.

Exercise Benefits

Benefits of these seated balance exercises include engaging and strengthening the following muscles:

  • Quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius)
  • Abdominals (rectus abdominis, obliquus abdominis externus and internus, transversus abdominis)
  • Sartorius
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Tensor fascia lata
  • Erector spinae

Hints for Various Age Levels

K-2: Perform One-Foot Lift, perform March, and introduce Static Leg Lift 1.

3-5: Add Static Leg Lift 2. With the time allotments for physical education classes, there is likely not enough time to progress to the dynamic movements, although there are many students of this age who could perform them.

6-12: All the seated balances are appropriate. Keep in mind the wide range of fitness of these students. Be sure to present the exercises in a progression, and emphasize practicing at the level of capability. Build strength so that the exercises can be practiced with correct form to prevent strain.


The assessment forms for these exercises appear as full-size forms for easy printing on the bound-in CD-ROM at the back of this book.

One-Foot Lift


1. Starting position: Sit correctly on the ball with abdominal muscles engaged (see figure 5.2a on page 41).

2. Lift one foot (see figure 7.2).

3. Hold for a count of 5 to 10.

4. Replace foot on floor.

5. Repeat with other foot.




1. Starting position: Sit correctly on the ball (see figure 5.2a on page 41).

2. March with feet in place, using quadriceps to lift feet.

3. Start with low steps, and gradually lift feet higher (see figure 7.3).

Static Leg Lift 1


1. Lift one foot, and extend leg straight in front of hip (or as high as you are comfortable doing).

2. Hold steady for a count of 5, gradually increasing the count on subsequent tries.

3. Repeat with other leg (see figure 7.4).


See Static Leg Lift 2.


Static Leg Lift 2


1. Starting position: Sit correctly on the ball (see figure 5.2a on page 41).

2. Lift one leg straight in front.

3. From the extended leg position, move the leg away from the midline toward the side.

4. Keep leg straight, and lift hip high.

5. Repeat with other leg (see figure 7.5).


See Static Leg Lift 1.








This is an excerpt from Fitness on the Ball.