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Table 2 Balance exercises to be performed using the senior exercise park with their respective levels of progression

From: A novel dynamic exercise initiative for older people to improve health and well-being: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Exercise Description Functional relevance Progressions
Gangway
Participant walks along the rickety bridge surface. Helps to find a good stance for uneven and unstable surfaces like on the bus or underground. Level 1 – 2 hands support, 1 foot per step.
Level 2 – 1 hand support, 1 foot per step.
Level 3 – no hand support, 1 foot per step.
Balance stool
Balancing on an unstable stool. Exercises the deep muscles that support the spine. Level 1 – Pushing down edges of the stool, 2 hands on the bar.
Level 2 – Pushing down edges of the stool, 1 hand support.
Level 3 – Pushing down edges of the stool, no hand support.
Level 4 – Pushing down edges of the stool, hands overhead.
Level 5 – Pushing down edges of the stool, alternating hands overhead.
Balance Beam
Participant walks back and forth along the beam. Improves walking safely on awkward surfaces such as natural and unpaved paths. Walking on an undulating balance beam is a good balancing exercise. Level 1 – 1 hand for support, normal walking.
Level 2 – Heel to toe walking, hand support.
Level 3 – Heel to toe walking, no hand support.
Level 4 – Walking on toes with hand support.
Level 5 – Walking on toes with no hand support.
Level 4 – Normal walking with semi-squat, hand support.
Level 5 - Normal walking with semi-squat, no hand support.
Level 6 – Cognitive dual-task counting down by 2 and no hand support.
Ramp + Net


Walking Through


Walking on the ropes
Participant walks up the ramp and steps down either through the net or on to the ropes, climbs through under the bar and walks back on heels and toes to the ramp. Strengthens and exercises the lower limbs. Walking through the net without hitting the ropes:
Improves spatial awareness and coordination. Level 1–3 – Narrow stance, ranging from 2 hand support, 1 hand support and no hand support
Improves balance. Level 4–6 – Wide stance, ranging from 2 hand support, 1 hand support and no hand support
Walking balancing on the ropes:
Level 7–9 – Narrow stance, ranging from 2 hand support, 1 hand support and no hand support
Level 10 – On crosses of netting, no hand support
Level 11–13 – Wide stance, ranging from 2 hand support, 1 hand support and no hand support
Participant alternates the way he/she comes up the ramp by walking on toes or on heels.
After reaching level 13, participant can come back to the ramp doing lunges.
If ramp is too high for participant to come down before walking through the net, a wooden block (L 70cm x W 40cm x H 10cm) can be introduced until participants improves level of conditioning, strength and balance.