15 Great Balance Board Exercises You Should Absolutely Try

15 Great Balance Board Exercises You Should Absolutely Try

The benefits of balance board exercises are well established. It will improve sports performance, coordination, core strength, neuromuscular integration and it will speed up your reaction time. With all that going for it, you’d think that everyone would be climbing on board.

Yet, many people feel that balance training doesn’t apply to them because they’re ‘not the balance type’. They’ve got two left feet and missed out on the coordination gene.

They needn’t worry.

In this article, we’ll reveal 15 great balance board exercises that even the most uncoordinated person can work through to advance from balance beginner to coordination champ. These exercises all use a wobble board.

Getting Started with Wobble Board Exercises

Always step onto the wobble board from behind. Plant your first foot in the middle of the board, then bring the other foot right alongside. Having both feet together makes it easier to get your balance. Establish your balance. Now, perform a posture check. Here’s what you should be noting:

  • Your shoulders should be drawn back
  • The feet and knees should be hip distance apart
  • The crown of your head should be lifting upwards toward the ceiling

Slowly adjust the feet to hip distance. Relax the abdominals as you draw the hip bones closer together.

Safety Tips

  • Maintaining a neutral spine is vital to the overall integrity of your body. The neutral spine position involves the tailbone, upper back in between the shoulder blades and back of the head. These three need to form an imaginary line. Here’s quick video tutorial on how to maintain a neutral spine position:
Finding Neutral Spine - Standing
  • Don’t exercise on a slippery surface
  • ​Keep the workout area well lit
  • ​Make sure that you have a spacious workout area to prevent falling on objects
  • ​Don’t jerk or swing your body into position. Move slowly and purposefully at all times
  • ​Take your time and exercise at your fitness level
  • ​Warm up and cool down before and after your balance training workouts
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Exercise slowly and stay in control. If needed, place hands on a wall or chair for support or get the help of a spotter.

Exercise #1: Basic Stance Balance

Balance Board Exercise #1: Basic Stance Balance

Key Focus Area:

  • Developing Stance Confidence

Description:

  • Stand on the board with the edges of your feet on the outer edges of the board. Maintain a neutral spine and keep your torso upright.
  • Balance on the board by shifting your weight to prevent any of the board’s edges from touching the floor. Your goal is to maintain your balance for 20 seconds. A set consists of 5 reps at 20 seconds.

Exercise #2: Forward / Backward Tilt

Balance Board Exercise #2: Forward / Backward Tilt

Key Focus Area:

  • Stabilization muscles of ankles

Description:

  • Stand on the wobble board with your feet on the outer edges. Stand upright in a neutral spine position.
  • Tilt the board to the front to touch it the floor.
  • Tilt it back onto the heels to touch the floor behind you.
  • Continue tilting forward and back in a slow, steady, controlled motion for 60 seconds.

Exercise #3: Side Tilt

Balance Board Exercise #3: Side Tilt

Key Focus Area:

  • Stabilization muscles of ankles

Description:

  • Stand on the balance board with your feet on the outer edges. Stand upright in a neutral spine position.
  • Tilt the board from left to right by transferring your weight from your left leg to your right leg.
  • Move in a slow, controlled manner, keeping an upright torso and tight core.

Exercise #4: Two Leg Tilts – Round the Clock

Key Focus Area:

  • Stabilization muscles of ankles

Description:

  • Stand on the wobble board with your feet on the outer edges. Stand upright in a neutral spine position.
  • In a combination of the two previous exercises, you will roll the board in a 360-degree motion. Begin by tilting the board to the left.
  • When the board touches the ground on the left, transfer your weight to the front to touch the floor to the ground.
  • ​Now transfer your weight to touch the floor to the right side.
  • ​Complete the revolution by tilting the board to the floor behind you. Keep your body centralized throughout. You may need to balance with your arms as you get used to the movement.
  • Reverse the motion to move in the other direction. Continue for 60 seconds.

Exercise #5: Single Foot Balance

Balance Board Exercise #5: Single Foot Balance

Key Focus Area:

  • Stabilization muscles of ankles

Description:

  • Stand on the balance board with one foot positioned in the middle of the board to the front. Elevate the other foot by drawing the knee up toward the torso. Do not brace it against your other leg.
  • Hold your balance in this position for as long as you can. To begin with you may wish to position the board by a wall or other object that you can hold for support. After a few sessions, aim to be completely unsupported.
  • Switch to the other leg and repeat.

Exercise #6: Single Foot Tilts

Balance Board Exercise #6: Single Foot Tilts

Key Focus Area:

  • Stabilization muscles of ankles (plantar and dorsi flexion)

Description:

  • Stand on the wobble board with one foot positioned in the middle of the board to the front. Elevate the other foot by drawing the knee up toward the torso. Do not brace it against your other leg.
  • Tilt the board to the front to touch it the floor.
  • Tilt it back onto the heels to touch the floor behind you. Continue for 30 seconds.
  • Switch to the other side and repeat.

Exercise #7: Single Foot Side to Side

Balance Board Exercise #7: Single Foot Side to Side

Key Focus Area:

  • Stabilization muscles of ankles (plantar, dorsi, inversion and eversion flexion)

Description:

  • Stand on the balance board with one foot positioned in the middle of the board to the front. Elevate the other foot by drawing the knee up toward the torso. Do not brace it against your other leg.
  • Tilt the board from left to right. Keep your hips and torso neutral throughout the movement.
  • If you don’t yet have enough range to touch the floor, just go as far is comfortable.
  • Move in a slow, controlled manner, keeping an upright torso and tight core.

Exercise #8: Single Round the Clock

Balance Board Exercise #8: Single Round the Clock

Key Focus Area:

  • Stabilization muscles of ankles (inversion and eversion flexion)

Description:

  • Stand on the wobble board with one foot positioned in the middle of the board to the front. Elevate the other foot by drawing the knee up toward the torso. Do not brace it against your other leg.
  • In a combination of the two previous exercises, you will roll the board in a 360-degree motion. Begin by tilting the board to the left.
  • When the board touches the ground on the left, transfer your weight to the front to touch the floor to the ground.
  • ​Now transfer your weight to touch the floor to the right side.
  • Complete the revolution by tilting the board to the floor behind you. Keep your body centralized throughout. You may need to balance with your arms as you get used to the movement.
  • Reverse the motion to move in the other direction. This is a challenging move – do 5 circles one way and then reverse direction.

Exercise #9: Squat

Balance Board Exercise #9: Squat

Key Focus Area:

  • Glutes, thighs, core

Description:

  • Stand on the balance board with your feet on the outer edges. Stand upright in a neutral spine position.
  • After establishing your balance, slowly lower down into a parallel squat position, bringing your hands together in front of you.
  • Hold the bottom position as you balance to keep the edges of the board from touching the floor.
  • Slowly rise back to the start position. It is imperative throughout this movement that you do not round your back or hunch over.

Exercise #10: Catch the Ball

Balance Board Exercise #10: Catch the Ball

Key Focus Area:

  • Relying on kinesthetic awareness rather than vision awareness for balance

Description:

  • Stand on the wobble board with your feet on the outer edges. Stand upright in a neutral spine position. Establish your balance.
  • Have a training partner stand about six feet in front of you holding a basketball. Your partner throws the ball at you, which you catch at chest height.
  • Throw the ball back and continue performing passes. Do 10 passes.

Exercise #11: Squat Push

Key Focus Area:

  • Glutes, Quads, Core, Deltoids

Description:

  • Stand on the balance board with your feet on the outer edges, holding a light pair of dumbbells in your hands. Stand upright in a neutral spine position. Establish your balance
  • Bring the dumbbells up to shoulder level with palms facing forward.
  • Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for a second as you establish your balance.
  • Push through the heels to return to the start position.
  • Now perform a dumbbell press by pushing both hands overhead.
  • Go back into a squat for your next rep. Try to do the entire exercise as one fluid motion. Perform 10 reps of this movement.

Exercise #12: Calf Raise

Balance Board Exercise #12: Calf Raise

Key Focus Area:

  • Calf Muscles

Description:

  • Stand on the wobble board with one foot positioned in the middle of the board to the front. Elevate the other foot by drawing the knee up toward the torso. Do not brace it against your other leg.
  • Place your hands on your hips and rise up on your leg by flexing the calf muscles. Move slowly, holding the top contraction for a few seconds. Perform 10 reps on each leg.

Exercise #13: Half Moon

Key Focus Area:

  • Hamstrings, glutes, thighs, core, hip stability

Description:

  • Stand on the balance board with one foot positioned in the middle of the board to the front. The other foot should be slightly touching the outer portion of the board.
  • Focus your gaze on a fixed spot in front of you. Slowly inhale to lift your leg to the side. Lift from your heel to engage the buttocks and hamstrings as you lower your torso to the ground.
  • ​Keep your torso and leg in a straight line out to the side. Your hip points should be stacked on top of one another.
  • Lift one arm to the ceiling and the other to the floor, so that your arms create a straight line.
  • Try to hold this position for 20 seconds. Do the same on the other side.

Exercise #14: Mountain Climber / Push Up Combo

Balance Board Exercise #14: Mountain Climber / Push Up Combo

Key Focus Area:

  • Core / Chest / Triceps

Description:

  • Position yourself on the floor in a push up position. Grab the edges of the balance board and rise to the top position of a push up.
  • Perform 10 mountain climbers by alternately bringing your knees to your rib cage and back again.
  • Now perform a single push up as you lower your torso down toward the balance board.
  • Perform 3 sets of this exercise.

Exercise #15: Shoulder Bridge

Balance Board Exercise #15: Shoulder Bridge

Key Focus Area:

  • Glutes, Hamstrings

Description:

  • Lie on your back with the balance board in front of your feet. Place your hands on the floor alongside you.
  • Place your feet on the balance board so that your soles are resting on the surface of the board.
  • Perform a shoulder bridge by lifting your hips high into the air. Squeeze the glutes in the top position. Slowly lower and repeat. Perform 15 repetitions.

Conclusion

The 15 balance board exercises outlined above will allow you to progress from a novice through to a seasoned balance boarder. Yet they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do on your balance board. Now that you’ve gained confidence on the board, why not experiment to find new and challenging ways to move on it?

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