Most of us spend all day sitting behind a desk. This can have a serious impact on your body, posture, and overall health. A fun way to improve your health through movement is to do balance board exercises.
Whether you are looking to keep your body active throughout a workday, or want to practice your surfing balance on land, a balance board presents a great opportunity.
The best balance board exercises help to activate the core, improve coordination, and neuromuscular integration. Simply spending some time on a balance board during the day can help to make a huge difference in your health, strength, sports performance, and of course, balance.
There are many different ways to make the most of your balance board. Here are 10 of the best balance board exercises for you to try to help keep your body in top condition.
The first of any balance board exercises to try is simply standing still. This is not as easy as you may think, as it will require a great deal of focus and strength. Standing still on a balance board engages your core and works your leg muscles. The particular areas activated are the quads, calves, and hamstrings.
To stand still on a balance board, place your feet on the outer edges of the board and find your balance. You can time your stands for specific reps, or just try to stand still for as long as possible. This can also be a great meditative activity.
This straightforward exercise requires a lot of focus and helps to work the ankle and leg muscles while fine-tuning your balance. Start by standing still on the balance board and holding onto a stable object.
Then apply pressure to one leg and tilt the board until this side touches the floor. Apply pressure to the other side and tilt the board this way.
This should be done while keeping the rest of your body still. Keeping a tight core and steady, slow movements will help to really engage your muscles.
This is one of the first balance board exercises to learn. You start this the same way as side to side tilting by finding a neutral position and holding firmly onto a stable object - such as a table. Slowly tilt the front of the board forwards until it touches the floor. Then tilt backwards until the back of the board touches the floor.
This is an excellent way to strengthen the ankles. Just make sure to do the motions very slowly and gently while keeping the core tight.
Now you can combine the previous two balance board exercises. Start by tilting the board to the left until the edge touches the floor. Then move into a backwards tilt, a tilt to the right, and then a forwards tilt. This should be done in a slow 360-degree movement.
Keep your body centralized throughout this movement and really work the ankle muscles. Make sure to do this motion slowly and carefully, and repeat it for at least 60 seconds. Then you can do the motion again in the opposite direction.
Place one foot in the middle of the board and raise your other leg up to your torso. Try to find a steady balance and hold this for as long as possible. This exercise will work the stabilisation muscles of the ankles. Repeat this exercise with your other foot.
Start by finding your balance on a single foot with your other leg raised up to your torso. Keep the core tight and the body stable, and tilt the board in each direction.
You can start with forwards and backwards tilts, moving to left and right tilts, and then attempt a round the clock motion.This balance board exercise works the stabilization muscles of the ankles while engaging the core.
Position your feet on the outer edges of the balance board and stand up with a straight spine. Find your balance, then lower the body down into a squat position. You can move your hands in font of you and bring them together as you find this position.
Then, gently rise back up to standing. While doing this, make sure that you don’t arch your back at all. While squatting, the balance board needs to maintain stability and not have any edges touch the floor. This exercise works your thighs, glutes, and core.
A squat push takes the regular squat a step further. This exercise engages the quads, core, glutes, and deltoids. Start by standing on the edges of the board and finding your balance. You can follow the same squat motion as above for your lower body.
The difference in a squat push is that you will need to hold a pair of light dumbbells in your hands. They should be held at shoulder level as you squat. When you rise back up from the squat, push both hands up over your head for a dumbbell press.
Bring them back down to shoulder height and go back into a squat. This entire motion should be done as a single movement and be repeated in reps of ten.
This is one of the best balance board exercises for kinesthetic awareness for balance. It works your core, leg muscles, and your reflexes. Stand still on the board and find a steady balance.
Then you will need a partner to throw a ball at you - a soccer ball or basketball is best. Catch the ball without compromising your balance, and throw it back to them. Try to repeat ten catches while keeping the board still and the body straight.
This is one of the most effective balance board exercises for working on hip stability while engaging the hamstrings, core, thighs and glutes. First, find your balance on the board with a single foot placed in the centre.
Look forwards at a fixed position, and inhale as you lift the other leg out to the side. While you do this, you will need to lower your torso down and feel the buttocks and hamstrings engaging. The hip points need to be stacked on top of each other.
As you move the torso forwards, lower one arm (the same side as your planted foot), down to touch a block positioned on the floor. As you do this, the other arm should be positioned skywards, making sure that both arms create a straight line. Hold this position without wobbling and return to standing. Then repeat the motion with the other foot placed on the board.
A balance board is such a simple piece of equipment that offers many exercise opportunities. You can use your balance board in any small space, with exercises that suit completely unstable beginners as well as professional athletes.
A balance board improves coordination, core strength, reaction times, and performance for various sports. Follow our simple balance board exercise above, and you will soon feel the results.