Balance Board is a relatively new fitness rage. It is known to improve body balance and stability and can also be used to perform other body part exercises. Primarily exercises performed on a balance board are focused on functional training while improving body stability. It is important to adopt the correct form to find perfect balance on the board while doing the exercises. Some trainers use balance boards to improve the form.
In this article we will guide you to use your balance board to perform a wide range of exercises and make it an integral part of your workout regime.
But going into more details of the exercises you can perform it is important to know how to use a balance board correctly.
How to Use a Balance Board
It is important to correctly climb on your balance board and learn to balance it with both feet firmly held on the board and balancing it with the rest of your body, especially the core.
So, if you are a beginner, here is an ultimate list of things to remember.
- Climb on your balance board from behind. If you climb from the front you will have to move your step backward and you may fumble and fall down.
- The first step should be placed at the center of the board.
- Make sure your first step at the center is firmly placed, and then keep the other foot just beside the first foot.
- Now balance your body and start moving your feet, till they are shoulder width apart.
- Keep your head high (don’t look at your feet), keep your chest out and shoulders wider, making an arch at the back of your body.
How to Attain Perfect Balance on a Balance Board
For beginners it is important to make themselves comfortable with the balance board. Here are few exercises to do that.
#1. Standing Straight
Once you have balanced yourself comfortably on the board, it’s time to stand straight.
Keep your spine neutral and stand straight on the balance board and strike the perfect balance.
Shift your feet as far as possible towards the edges of the balance board to increase the intensity and perfecting the move.
The goal is not to let the board edges touch the ground, and stand still for 30 seconds. You can start with 30 seconds and then increase the duration once you are 100% confident about it.
#2. Bend Sidewards
The second step to make your body familiar of using the balance board is to bend your body sidewards, while making sure that your feet doesn’t slip and the balance board edges doesn’t touch the ground.
You should slowly shift the weight from left to right and vice versa in a controlled manner.
#3. Bend Forward Backward
Some balance boards have an axis at the center, unlike others that have a roller at the bottom. The ones with the axis lets you bend towards front and back.
Similarly to the last step of bending sidewards, you have to move forward and backward in the similar manner.
#4. Single Foot Balance
One of the other effective exercises to improve balance is to stand on the balance board on one foot. As a beginner you can try to balance for 30 seconds and then increase the duration accordingly.
Once you are through with the above 4 stability exercises you can move to the next level of exercises.
#5. Balance Board Squats
Stand firmly on both your feet, start from a standing position, keeping your spine neutral and start performing squats.
While going down make sure to keep the body balance in check, and wait for a second at the lowest point before standing back. Similarly while going back to standing position make sure to keep the balance while keeping your back straight.
You can keep your arms stretched towards the front or keep them crossed over your shoulders depending whatever you are comfortable in.
Please keep in mind the basics of squat, your knees should not go beyond your toe level vertically.
Expert tip: Keep your head and neck straight and stable to achieve perfect balance.
PS: You should only do this exercise if you are comfortable doing squats on a flat ground, otherwise it can lead to injury.
Other Lower Body Exercises using a Balance Board
#6. Balance Board Lunges
Stand straight and keep your balance board in front 1 step away from your body.
Now take one of your feet forward and keep it at the center of the balance board and move your body forward in a lunging position, transferring your body weight on the front foot. Move back to the starting position by moving your feet back, and then keep the other foot on the board and repeat. Keep your spine straight, so that your head, spine and hips are in a same line.
An advanced version of this exercise is to stand on the balance board, and move your foot forward on the ground.
#7. Single Leg Squats
It needs a lot of perfection and practice. Stand on one of the legs and stretch the other leg forward and perform squats using single leg.
#8. Hip Raises
Lie down on your back and keep your feet firmly on the balance board while bending your knees. Keep your hands slightly stretched on the ground for better balance.
Raise your hips and squeeze the glutes. Hold on at the top position for a few seconds and then come back to the neutral position, repeat the steps.
#9. Calf Raises
Keep your balance board near a wall or a table, so that you can hold it for proper balance. Keep your feet on the balance board and move towards the edges so that your toes are on the board and your heels are hanging outside the board. Raise your heels slowly so that you can feel the weight in your calf, and slowly lower your heels. Repeat
Upper Body Exercises using a Balance Board
#10. Push Ups
Place your hands towards the edges of the balance board, or you can even hold your balance board from the edges if it is not too wide or too narrow, and perform your push ups as you normally do.
You can also perform decline push-ups, by placing your feet on the board and your palms on the ground.
#11. Military Press
This exercise works on your shoulder while improving the overall body stability. Stand straight on the board with 2 dumbbells in each of your hands. Raise the hands and stretch towards the top, and then bring them down till the shoulders. Repeat the steps.
#12. Tricep Dips
You can perform tricep dips using a balance board. Keep the balance board behind you and place your palms on the balance board, while stretching your body away from the balance board.
Bend your knees and shift weight on your hands and raise your body, move back to the starting position by lowering your body.
#13. Any other upper body exercises
You can do many other upper body exercises like upright row, bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions, etc. It all depends on your imagination and passion to improve your fitness.
Abs Workout Using Balance Board
The balance board is a very versatile and effective fitness equipment. You can improve your core and abs while performing the following exercises using a balance board.
Place your elbows on the balance board and stretch your body in a plank position. Hold the plank while balancing your body. A very effective exercise to improve your core. Your core is the basis of your fitness.
#15. Ab Roller
You can use your balance board as an ab roller (in some cases). Lie down with your knees on the ground and hands on the balance board. Pull the balance board towards yourself while raising your body, while keeping your knees on the ground. Repeat the exercise. This is a very effective exercise to strengthen your core and abs.
#16. Abs Twister
This is amazing, you can use your ab roller as an abs twister. Place your balance board near a chair or a window. Stand on the balance board, hold the back rest of the chair or the rods on the window firmly and twist your upper body towards left and twisting your lower body towards the right, and then upper body towards right, and lower body towards left, and keep repeating. A very effective home based abs twister.
#17. Knee Tucks
Sit on the balance board and place your palms firmly on the ground behind your back. Raise your heels slightly while bending the knees at about 45 degrees.
Raise your knees towards your body and lower down, and repeat it as long as you can.
CrossFit or Functional Training using a Balance Board
#18. Mountain Climbing
Hold the balance board from the edges and go into plank position.
Slightly raise your hips and keep your face slightly upwards, start moving your knees one at a time like you are running. This is an intense crossfit exercise that works on complete body.
#19. Wood Cutters
Stand firmly on your balance board, and hold a basketball or football with both your hands (you can actually use any other object). Raise your hands towards your right shoulder while moving upper body towards the right as well, then lower your hands and body towards left. Imagine how a wood cutter would cut a tree. Just follow the same movements.
#20. Kettle Swing
This is one of the most popular crossfit exercises. Stand on the balance board while holding a kettlebell firmly with both hands hanging between the knees, and body slightly bent. Stretch both the hands forward with the kettlebell and then bring them down to the neutral position. Repeat the movements.
We have outlined only about 20 exercises that you can perform on your balance board, but use of balance board in your workout completely depends on your imagination and passion. You can perform hundreds of exercises on a balance board. I recommend to invest in a good balance board and make it an integral part of your garage gym. You can read my reviews about the Best Balance Boards available in the market. Find the best one according to your needs and attain a perfect body balance and stability.