What’s the Best Balance Board? The Savvy Buyer’s Guide
Are you sick of doing endless repetitions of the same old exercises, day in and day out? Would you rather watch paint dry than spend hours and hours on the same jogging route? To be honest, if you use a treadmill regularly, you really can watch paint dry and workout at the same time, if you are so inclined.
However, if you want to change up your routine, try out a different workout, or improve your regular workout, I think we have the perfect thing for you - the balance board!
Of course, it’s not just for us regular Joes (and Janes) who want to stay healthy and to not look into the mirror and feel an immediate existential crisis.
If you’re a gym rat who loves having a great beach body, a star athlete who knows she can always outrun and outwork the competition or a guy who simply enjoys lifting heavy stuff and putting it down and who wants to keep doing it for years, the balance board is great for you too.
Benefits of Balance Boards
You get rockin' balance and coordination
Trying to get better at snowboarding, skateboaring, SUP, yoga, or surfing?
The balance board is hands down the best at home fitness equipment to help you improve your balance and coordination skills on the waves or snowy peaks.
To use a balance board, you need to stand on the board which wobbles constantly and forces you to maintain stability. Now, this may sound both very simple in execution and in results, but this is far from the truth.
When you use a balance board, you need to use pretty much all the muscles in your body as well as your nervous system and your brain in order to steady yourself. By doing so, you're not only improving your sense of balance, but challenging your brain's proprioception to steadily improve your neuromuscular coordination and overall body awareness.
The result? You balance like a ninja. You gain lightening speed reaction times. You get quicker, nimbler and more agile. And you grow more powerful and capable of exerting maximum effort when you need to.
You get a super strong core
Let’s take our friend who likes lifting heavy stuff and who scares little kids (which is a dreadful stereotype, we all know you’re a teddy bear of a man, really). Now, if you, for example, want to break your deadlift plateau, it’s not as simple as lifting more weights.
Yes, you do need strong legs and back, but you also know, very well in fact, that you need strong core and back muscles as well. When you stand on the balance board, you actually have to tighten your core...and keep it tight. This activation of all the muscles in your core helps you strengthen that area. And of course, the more you balance board, the harder your core becomes.
You can, of course, do thousands of sit-ups instead, be my guest. But that's just nowhere near as fun...
It's a source of healthy fun
You know that guilty feeling you get after watching more TV than you intended to? Well, you can wave bye bye to that feeling forever.
When you get your first balance board, you'll quickly discover that life is a lot more fun when you're wobbling your way to improved balance and coordination...and you'll want to be on your balance board, like, all the time. Which means you can get a workout whenever you watch TV or an endless supply of YouTube videos.
Your abs will thank you
Let’s take a moment to look at our bro, the gym rat. I know you look good, you know you look good, and, most important of all, the girls know you look good. But, why not look better, or research a way to help me (hmm, sorry, I meant others) look good too.
What do you think women find is the most attractive part of the male body? Nope, wrong, it’s the abs. The balance board is perfect for strengthening the abs. The obliques (or the side abs) and the v-line are hit directly by using the balance board. By maintaining balance, you hit your abdominal wall from every angle possible, making this the funnest way to sculpt the washboard stomach everyone dreams of.
Achieve your fullest fitness potential
On to our judo girl. As long as you remember, you were always the star athlete. Your room is full of medals and trophies and, ok, let’s be honest, you kick ass. For any elite athlete, it’s all about that one percent, that one tiny little percentile that helps you achieve your fullest potential, and then achieve some more (the laws of physics and biology don’t mess with judo black belts).
The balance board helps greatly improve your reflexes, by improving your neuromuscular system, stability and hip mobility if you use it regularly. There is no exercise device that can promise you the same.
It's suitable for everyone
But wait...what about the rest of us, the people who are not so prone to fitness, or have not been so for a long time.
Balance boards will help you too.
By using a balance board for beginners (you'll soon find out which ones are perfect), even the most out of shape individual can see tremendous benefits. In just a few minutes of exercise every day, you will see the fat around your waist just disappear. It is also an excellent rehab and pre-hab tool.
By this, I mean that you rehabilitate certain injuries (with the advice of a licensed medical practitioner), but also serves as something that keeps you out of the physical therapist's office. By using a balance board, you strengthen your core muscles, but also the muscles around your spine, helping to keep things flexible and strong.
By training these muscles regularly, you will greatly decrease the chance of developing any kind of back problems in later life. It will also vastly improve your posture and has the added benefit of strengthening your joints, as they are also needed for maintaining balance.
Balance boards are also perfect for children, as developing balance and stability at such a young age will do wonders for their motor skills now and when they get older. Plus, you won't need to convince kids to use it - it's fun enough they'll exercise on their own!
How to Choose the Best Balance Board for You
Now that you know all about the benefits of balance boards, you're probably curious which one you should get. Well, each type of balance board is different and it's important you choose the type that suits your specific needs.
Let's find out a little more about the various types of balance boards, shall we?
The Rocker Board
The rocker board...rocks. As in, it only goes from side to side. As such, this is a balance board that's perfect for beginners.
It’s a simple board, with a cylinder cut in half fixed onto said board. It’s perfect for people just starting to get back into shape after many years of inactivity (or just starting to get into shape after a lifetime of inactivity). It's also amazing for stretching out your calves.
It simple, it’s small and effective (but only for beginners, sorry judo girl, not for you).
The Wobble Board
This is the most popular and available type of balance board. As the name suggests, wobble boards...wobble. Not just in a back and forth motion, but it has a 360 degree rotation, making it more challenging.
The wobble board can be made more difficult (or easy) by adjusting the angles and/or changing the size of the ball underneath the disc. Thanks to the adjustments, a wobble board is suitable for all fitness levels: beginners to intermediate and beyond.
The wobble board is also ideal for those looking for a fun alternative to physical therapy. The movements it allows are especially great for working out the feet, ankle and calves so if you have lower leg injuries - this is ideal!
The Roller Board
The roller board comes with a wooden board and a special cylinder. What makes it special? The cylinder is moves alongside the board, as it is not fixed underneath.
That makes things quite difficult since now, while you don’t move in all directions like the wobble board, you do go up and down and left and right, but also, you have to control the cylinder and the board, not just the board like the above two.
Overall, the roller board is intermediate to advanced and best for active individuals who want to improve their board skills.
"Bosu" is actually an acronym of "both sides utilized" - which is exactly what you get from this funky looking half ball.
Yes, it's basically a ball cut in half and that's what make it unique. When you place it dome side up, it provides an unstable, dynamic surface while the device itself stays stable, allowing you to add a bit of challenge to various kinesthetic exercises.
But that's not all - you can also flip it over and use it for balance, like you would with a wobble board.
Overall, the Bosu ball's mix of balance and explosive kinesthetic exercises makes it perfect for both beginners and advanced athletes looking to add challenge to their regular workouts and improve balance while at it!
Best Balance Board Reviews
Let's dive into the meaty part now – these are the best balance boards on today's market, check 'em out!
As you already know, this is the Bosu Pro Balance Trainer and it's pretty freakin' awesome. Its latex-free material is what makes it special, as it is very very durable and can withstand years of heavy working out and pressure (no judgment, just looking at you big guy). There's little chance of it bursting...even if you're "bigger." It can handle up to 350lbs, no problem.
It weighs a bit less than 19 pounds itself and comes with a DVD, an integrated Training Manual, and a hand pump. It also has a rubberized platform which prevents it from moving and shaking when you work out. The pump will help you increase the difficulty of your workout, by pumping or deflating the ball.
Another wonderful addition is the DVD and manual, which shows you all the different types of workouts and exercises you can do. There are a LOT, by the way, which is one of the best things about the Bosu trainer - it offers massive versatility in exercises.
Weighing at just one pound, this rocker board makes it easy to carry it with you anywhere you go. This way, you won’t have an excuse to not workout - or do your physical therapy - when you’re on vacation.
Very durable, made out of black molded plastic, the device gives you just one plane of instability at a time, helping you work your ankles, calves, knees while becoming better at navigating uneven ground.
This is very good for beginners, but also for people practicing a rehabilitation routine, especially for those with foot and ankle injuries. It’s very simple, but very effective and will bring you back in no time.
One of the most convenient things about this rocker board is that it's got a good grip on it so you can use it barefoot without slipping or sliding off. The downsides? It measures 13x14 which can accommodate most people but if you have a larger foot size, you'll want to get a larger rocker board.
This is another balance that's great for physical therapy, but it's a wee bit different from the rocker board above. For starters, you can adjust the difficulty on this wobble board so it's great for beginners as well as more intermediate and advanced balancers.
The disc measures 16 inches in diameter and its angle can be adjusted from 15 to 17 and to 20 degrees with 15 being the easiest and 20 the most challenging. The adjustability makes it ideal for both rehabilitation needs as well as improving balance and core strength.
Many athletes and fitness enthusiast get this specific brand to recover from lower leg injuries as well as to prevent further injury. By exercising regularly with this wobble board, you will without a doubt greatly strengthen your ankles and joints. Shouldn’t you do everything you can to save yourself from the possibility of an injury that may just take away your passion from you, in an instant?
Revolution 101's roller board is something special, made from a highly durable laminated hardwood and covered with soft foam Soft-trak which grips and is comfortable with or without shoes. Think overall super smooth and very tough. All this keeps the rolling itself as fluid and free as you can get.
Oh, and the board has stoppers on the edges so you don't worry about it scratching your floors.
What makes this roller difficult is the fact that there are no grooves nor tracks on either the board nor the cylinder (or roller). You basically balance yourself on the board and the board on the roller. That's it - and it's a lot more difficult than it sounds but within a few hours of use, you'll notice an improvement in your balance. Just imagine what you can do with regular use over a few months...
Anyway, this board is more intermediate and perfect for people who know they have good balance, but want to improve more, as well as get a harder workout. It's a great balance board for skateboarders, SUP-ers, snowboarders, and surfers!
The Indo Board is probably one of the most popular balance boards in existence and the board of choice for SUP fanatics, skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers.
It's no surprise why since this board, while pricey, is incredibly versatile. And that's what makes it excellent for intermediate and advanced users but also good for beginners. For example, when you're first starting out, you can begin perfecting your balance with the less challenging cushion and then move onto the roller as your balance and coordination improve.
More intermediate and advanced users can raise the balancing stakes higher by using the roller as a warm-up and then getting a real workout by balancing on the board with the cushion underneath. The cushion itself can also be set (instruction is given with the product) thus making it an even greater challenge for the most dedicated of users. Perfect for surfers and skateboarders and athletes who want to bring their game to the next level. You can improve your skateboarding and surfing at home, without strong weather and easy waves stopping you!
The Indo Board original training package includes a seriously sturdy board (it's uber durable and can take long years of use and abuse), an original roller, an IndoFlo cushion and an instructional DVD. The DVD has instructions and information on how to make the most out of your workout with the Indo Board package, while the other items give you more variety in your exercises.
The best part is the flexibility of the tools. While you can use the cylinder like you would the Revolution 101 trainer, the cushion makes it much harder. While it acts like a wobble board, it is not fixed, making it as challenging as you want it to be.
Last, but certainly not least, the StrongBoard Balance Board. Made out of two boards with four compression springs connecting them, this is a balance board in a class of its own.
What makes it so special? Every other balance board has a point of stabilization. This one doesn't. The springs make it impossible for you to find complete balance, which results in full body engagement and maximizes strengthening for your stabilizing muscles.
Oh, and it doesn't get easier. You don't get "used to it." This balance board will give you as good of a workout on the 389th day you use it as it does on the 1st day.
More perks? While other boards can slip under you and move from one part of the room to the next (looking at you, roller board) this one is always keeps you in one place...which definitely comes in handy when you're watching TV while mastering perfect balance.
Overall, this balance board is challenging in the best ways and is best suited for athletic people who are in good shape - you'll definitely get the most out of your workouts with this one!
In case you're wondering, this balance board is sturdy as bricks and can support up to 500 lbs. It also comes with a 3-year warranty!
Tips on Using the Balance Board
- Always check with a certified practitioner before attempting any exercise with a balance board, especially if you have a history of injuries or conditions that affect balance and coordination.
- The balance board is a flexible and multifaceted tool. It can be incorporated into any workout or routine, as long as you have the right type. I honestly suggest just trying out all the possible exercise and routines you can do with your own kind of balance board.
- The center of gravity in your body is in your hips, for women, and waist, for men. However, you can change that, and in turn where you feel the greatest burn, by simply bending your knees. This will also make it a better workout for your legs.
- Remember to keep your gaze forward when using a balance board - it'll help improve your balance and posture.
- Take into account that for each of these boards, you need to look at the angle. The higher the angle, the more difficult it is to use.
- And the last tip for today, the balance board is just perfect for skaters. It builds every muscle and element you need to be the best skater you can be. You’ll be a totally radical and groovy cat on your skateB in no time (this is how young people talk, right?