In this guide we’re taking a a look at some of the main reasons you might want to check out the slightly quirky form of exercise. What exactly are the main balance board benefits and why having a wobble on a regular basis could change your life.
Don’t wobble on – give me the quick benefits!
So here it is – the super fast version of why you might want to hop on a balance board and get your wobble on. We’ll get into all these and more in greater depth in a second but here’s the main reasons everyone should be wobbling.
- It’s good for your… balance! Well, there’s a revelation. But there’s no other bit of kit out there that trains your balance like the humble board. They’re even used in rehabilitation clinics to fix ankle instability and more.
- Easy to store & great for limited space – This fitness equipment is definitely up there with skipping ropes, yoga matts and adjustable kettlebells when it comes to how easy they are to store.
- They’re incredibly simple to use – There’s no moving parts here, nothing to assemble and no LCD HD panel to connect. Hop on and wobble. Simple.
- Your core will thank you later – Yeah, everyone is always banging on about the core but this simple board is well known for strengthening those all-important muscles.
- One size fits all – Unlike dumbbells, there’s no varying weights or other factors. One board will fit all users.
- They’re versatile – you can do a wide range of exercises with the humble wobble board.
- They make regular exercises way harder – A board can be implemented into just about any exercise you can do standing up, along with ground training like push-ups. You’ll see these humble exercises in a whole new light.
- Balance boards are great for all levels – whether you’re new to fitness or each HIIT workouts for breakfast, this tool will do something for you.
- Perfect for all ages – If you’ve got kids, you’ll know how hard it so to get them off the screens and doing some exercise. Just try to keep them off your wobble board! Similarly, there are many good reasons older users will get a lot out of a balance board.
- They’re a serious training tool – While the idea of hopping on a board might seem like a fun time waster, make no mistake – this can be a VERY tough workout. There are definitely higher level exercises that you can do that will take it out of you.
In the rest of this guide, we’ll dive deep into the plus points and reasons you might want to pick up a wobble board in 2021!
What is a balance board?
A balance board is a simple piece of equipment consisting of a platform and a curved base. The aim is to maintain a steady balance while stood, sat, or leaning on it. Much like a mini see-saw, with only one rider, it’s up to you to maintain balance.
Balance boards keep things nice and simple
There is no interval training, no monitoring your heart rate, no adjusting resistance levels – just remain upright. Now, this is not to say that the balance board is easy, but it certainly is not complicated.
There are several ways to approach using a balance board. The classic standing pose involves maintaining your balance while upright on the board.
The wider the base of the board, the easier it is to use because it reduces the level of wobble. Once you are comfortable with the classic standing move, you can engage your upper body by incorporating a resistance band workout.
One accessory that’s worth getting for your board: resistance bands
Some balance board come with inbuilt resistance bands; however, you can freestyle with handheld bands and achieve the same results.
To really ramp up the intensity, try performing squats…but be prepared to fall off more than a few times!
What’s the best balance board?
If you’re liking the sound of balance boards, but have no idea where to start looking for one, we’ve got a handy guide featuring some of the UK’s best wobble boards here.
Doing squats on a balance board is a whole new world
Squats are difficult on solid ground, the addition of an ever-shifting base and the challenge of maintaining an equilibrium makes for a more intense exercise…
which is good!
Other exercises you can flip on their heads with a balance board
You can also use a balance board to make other parts of your workout more efficient, such as:
- Hip thrusts – lie down on the ground with your feet on the board
- Leg lifts – sit on the board and raise your legs upwards (you can plant your hands on the ground for balance)
- Press-ups – put the board under your feet or hands.
What are some good exercises you can do with a wobble board?
If that new wooden board is sitting looking at you, and you’re not sure where to start, try out some of the exercises in this video:
Why should you use a wobble board?
The primary benefit using a balance board is that, even though is it ‘only’ a body weight exercise, it can strengthen and tone your muscles.
By incorporating a variety of moves you can exercise all the major muscle regions.
Are balance boards good for core strength?
All moves you’ll undertake on your balance board will invariably involve some core work. Because of the imbalanced nature of this bit of gym gear, pretty much every exercise you do – even standing up straight on the board, will involve some important core muscles.
Your core is used for a lot more than looking good
Having a strong core is about more than just the aesthetic benefits of showing off a washboard stomach, your core is essential to a full range of everyday tasks – from cleaning the house to lifting your child out of a car seat – and it is also your frontline protection against back problems.
If you have ever had back pain, you need to work on your core. We are not saying that it will eliminate all back ache, but it will help to prevent against and reduce the pain of flareups.
Are balance boards good for improving flexibility?
It’s easy to get into a pattern with training where you’re not pushing or stretching yourself. A balance board is a fantastic way to improve your body’s flexibility because you’re always having to adjust and move in a way you’re not used to.
Core strength and flexibility will help you in ways that we will leave you to imagine.
Balance boards are great for lower body strength and flexibility
If you use a balance board to perform lower body exercises – for example, to do squats – you will get more benefit from those moves because of the aforementioned added intensity of performing them on an unstable surface. Yes, it is harder while in-session, but the results make it all worthwhile.
Other balance board pros: storage and family fun
In addition to the strengthening benefits, a fitness boards offer a number of other nifty features. It is very easy to store, making it ideal for smaller homes where space is taken up by children or where the home gym has been sacrificed for a home office.
It is also a great way to get the kids involved. Have friendly competitions to see who can stay balanced for the longest amount of time. With older children, you could compete to perform the highest number of exercise sets (e.g. squats, push ups etc.).
How often should I use a wobble board?
Wobble boards make for a great low-intensity form of exercise and can be used as regularly as you want to. They’re ideal for breaking up office work and getting some much-needed movement each hour. Use safely, there’s no reason not to use your board every day, or even throughout the day.
Now get wobbling
If this post has got you interested in balance boards, we recommend you search for workout recommendations on YouTube. We have touched upon some of the moves that you can do in this post so you have some ideas of where to start. It is now up to you to explore what else is possible.
Happy wobbling and enjoy your new balance board!
References & Further Reading
- PubMed – Wobble Board Rehabilitation for Improving Balance in Ankles With Chronic Instability
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research – Effects of Balance Training Using Wobble Boards in the Elderly