Exercises to improve balance for vertigo: Level 1

Level 1 exercises for vertigo are "beginner" exercises. In all of them, start out slowly and gradually try to do the exercise for a longer time or do more repetitions. When you first begin, it is important to have someone with you to help you if you feel you are going to fall. As you progress, you may be able to do some of the exercises on your own.

If you are concerned about falling, always have someone with you.

Romberg exercise

  1. Stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. If you begin to fall, you may use them for support.
  2. Put your feet together and your arms to your side.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Do this exercise twice a day. Try to progress to doing it with your eyes closed.

Standing sway exercise: forward to back

  1. Stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. If you begin to fall, you may use them for support.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side.
  3. Gently lean forward and then backward so that your weight shifts to your toes and then to your heels. Do not lift your toes or heels. Be sure that your shoulders and hips move together. Do not bend at your hips.
  4. Slowly increase how far you can sway forward and backward without taking a step.
  5. Do the toe-to-heel sway 20 times.

Do this exercise twice a day. Try to progress to doing this 30 times and then with your eyes closed.

Standing sway exercise: left to right

  1. Stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. If you begin to fall, you may use them for support.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your side.
  3. Gently lean to the left and then to the right so that your weight shifts from your left foot to your right foot. Do not lift your toes or heels. Be sure that your shoulders and hips move together. Do not bend at your hips.
  4. Slowly increase how far you can sway left and right without taking a step.
  5. Do the left-to-right sway 20 times.

Do this exercise twice a day. Try to progress to doing this 30 times and then with your eyes closed.

Marching in place

  1. Stand with a chair in front of you and a wall behind you. If you begin to fall, you may use them for support.
  2. Stand with your feet slightly apart (as you normally stand) and your arms at your side.
  3. March in place, lifting your knees high toward the ceiling.
  4. Do this 20 times.

Do this exercise twice a day. Try to progress to doing this 30 times and then with your eyes closed.

Last Updated: December 29, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.