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15-Second Dynamic Balance Test: Do You Pass?

By Marc Perry / February 20, 2016

Balance is defined as the “even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. Balance is a very important area of fitness (especially as we age) because a good sense of balance can help you react quickly, prevent injuries, and accidents. Balance is also an indicator of overall fitness as people who are fit and active on average have better balance than others who are sedentary.

There are two main types of balance tests: static and dynamic. During a static balance test, you maintain a single position for as long as possible while timing the results. During a dynamic balance test, you are testing your balance as you are moving. The following test is a dynamic balance test that only takes 15 seconds. For more balance tests, you can check out this link: More Balance Tests.

15-Second Dynamic Balance Test Instructions

The starting and resting position is standing on one foot, just like in the photo below.

Go back and forth between the 4 balance positions below and the starting position while staying on one foot the entire time. Hold each position for 1-2 seconds.

To make the test harder, complete the test with your eyes closed.

Balance Test Exercise #1: Extend Your Leg Forwards

Balance Test Exercise #2: Extend Your Leg Sideways

Balance Test Exercise #3: Extend Your Leg Backwards

Balance Test Exercise #4: Flex Knee at 90 Degree Angle

Now Do The Balance Test Again With Your Eyes Closed!

Tips on Improving Your Balance

1) Be Active – Most activities that are weight bearing and keep you on your feet will help maintain your bodies balance system. Strength training for example can help you increase joint and tendon strength, and improve stability. Playing sports can also help improve your balance substantially.

2) Stretch – Improving range of motion in your joints will help improve your stability.

3) Try Pilates, or Yoga – Pilates and Yoga can be excellent compliments to a strength training program that can help dramatically improve your balance and flexibility.

How did you do?


  • Ralph Agans says:

    Thanks again Marc for all the great info you share with us.

    • Marc Perry says:

      @Ralph Agans - Really appreciate the comment. Thanks!

  • Mary says:

    Could not do the Balance Test with my eyes closed. Thanks for the challenge.

  • Bim says:

    Most important tip on improving your balance: Avoid mirrors in the gym. You want your balance to come from within, not visually. Squatting or pressing without looking at a mirror is weird at first, and you're going to have to drop some weight to begin with, but it'll give you a much better sense of balance. Use a mirror only to correct your form.

    • Marc Perry says:

      @Bim - Very interesting. Thanks for your comment!

  • TheReviewer says:

    I don't even have to try this to know the answer: no

  • Alicia says:

    I did ok with my eyes closed using my right foot, though I was a little shaky towards the end. I failed on my left foot going backwards with my eyes closed. After I hurt my ankle my PT had me do something similar to build up the strength of my balancing muscles. Its surprising how much closing your eyes changes things!

  • Rhonda Smith says:

    I did the test perfect until I closed my eyes. I guess I will keep practicing! Thanks.

  • Ben says:

    The basic balance test was quite easy. I managed it (though a tad shaky) with my eyes closed. I just got a wobble board yesterday, and I thought I'd try it on that - it was quite fun! I'm not yet game to try it with my eyes closed on the wobble board.

    • Marc Perry says:

      @Ben - Thanks for sharing. You have great balance if doing the dynamic stretching routine with your eyes closed wasn't very difficult. Thanks for stopping by my website and be sure to share it with friends!

  • Jinghao Zheng says:

    Hi there,

    Great vid. Would just like to find out from you what are the parameters for the test? E.g, Is 1-2s hold good or just fair and is 5s hold very good etc.


    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Jinghao Zheng - I think 5 seconds is the ideal, at that amount of time, you are obviously balanced.