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If you are serious about core strength, performance, and optimizing for control, stability and balance, there is hardly a better alternative to training with balance boards. Although the category of balance equipment is vast and diverse, balance boards were traditionally used for strengthening the core, and improving different aspects of fitness such as stability, control, and balance. The traditional design has been upgraded throughout the years, so you’ll find plenty of variations on the original variety. From flat boards, to round surfaces and inflatable stability cushions, the balance board should definitely have a special place near the center of your home gym. Training daily can greatly improve several aspects of fitness, for continual improvement and reliable performance increase.
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ProFitness Wooden Balance Board (15.5-inch by 3.1-inch) – Exercise, Fitness and Physical Therapy – Non-Slip Safety Top – Tone Muscles,…$17.95
One of the best balance boards on the market. Lightweight, quality made, and with a non-slip surface, it offers plenty of opportunities to work on your core and balance. The craftsmanship is top-notch, and hard to replicate by other brands.
Training with balance boards
Balance equipment usually includes balls, wooden boards, round inflatable surfaces, and sometimes even rollers, designed for beginners and professionals alike. The goal is to provide a challenging training environment where you can work on your core strength, control and stability. Finding your balance in space can be a difficult task at the beginning, but with the right equipment you can progress really fast.
Training for balance is not an end goal in itself. Neither is balance a single fitness aspect divorced from all other metrics of fitness ability. The way you should see it is that training for balance activates a lot of your stabilization muscle groups that are very difficult to tackle with more traditional types of training.
The nervous system detects a lack of balance and confuses it with real danger, so it mustards tremendous energy to fight the obstacle. This means that you’ll activate a wide variety of muscle groups all at once, having all of them tensed at the same time.
And while stability cushions, balance pads, and different types of balance equipment might help you achieve noticeable results, the best way to train for balance is to get yourself a round wooden balance board or a flat balance board.
How to train with balance boards?
The best way to start training with balance boards is to warm up your body first, and then hop on the board for a short one minute session. You’ll be fairly disappointed at the beginning, and the workout might come as an exercise in frustration, but try to overcome the impatience and hop back on the board after a short one-minute break.
Eventually, you’ll find your point of focus, and you’ll be able to concentrate enough in order to stabilize your body, and control for the imbalance.
Once you are there, the best thing would be to start training with your eyes closed, since most of the balance depends on our field of vision. You’d like to master the balance board by having your body accustomed to the uncomfortable feeling of imbalance, and the best way to overcome this obstacle is to allow your body to adjust without the help of your vision.
Finally, you can start to perform series of calf raising exercises, as you briefly lift yourself on your toes. If you feel comfortable enough and confident enough using the balance board, you can also add some weights in the mix and train with dumbbells (though be careful!).
If you are not able to lift your heal even slightly, you can try some squats in order to further engage your core and lower body.
Our staff has reviewed in detail several balance boards, so you can see them above as product recommendations. The list includes models from brands and manufacturers such as Yes4All, Fluid Stance, IsoKinetics, DynaBoard, Simply Fit, Power Systems and many others.
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