Balance walk toe to heel backwards


For this task, you’ll need, 2 pylons placed 2 metres apart (or a 2-metre line on the floor)


“I want you to walk backward “toe-to-heel” from one pylon to the next while keeping your balance. Walk backwards as quickly as you can while keeping your balance. Walk backward from here to there while keeping your balance. Ready? Walk now.”

Rating System



Presence of numerous major gaps in execution

  • Loses balance repeatedly
  • Does not use arms to balance
  • Poor or inconsistent placement of feet from step to step


Limited number of major gaps, but able to execute basic sequencing of the task

  • Able to demonstrate features of balance control
  • Tentative stepping action
  • Non-fluid
  • Major balance control problems during stepping
  • May lose balance once or twice in all steps



     Basic level of execution with minor sequencing errors

  • Able to maintain balance through all steps
  • Shows good foot placement, but may be slow
  • Exhibits minor balance control through some of the steps
  • Upper limb wavering may be evident


     Overall proficiency is depicted by the quality of the movements

  • Performs a “cat walk” along the line in a fluid continuous motion
  • Very minor balance adjustments may be evident at ankles
  • May be slight upper limb wavering

Assessment Example

Once Stacy has the class go through the forward task, she then has them walk backward between the pylons by going toe-to-heel. When Rudy begins he again starts tentatively and with some balance issues, but this time he does not work through them as quickly as when he walked forward. Stacy sees weaknesses in his technique.

As Rudy walks backward, he loses his balance often. Even when he slows right down, he struggles to get through the steps without wobbling. His actions lack fluidity and, although he gets his arms out to help him balance, more often than not they are flapping in the air. She does note, however, that Rudy places his feet in the right places each time, even if he loses his balance shortly thereafter.

Stacy finds it interesting that Rudy showed good technique and balance moving forward, but not so much when he moves backward. She places a mark under “Emerging”, slightly closer to the “Initial” side.