Balance board exercises offer the means to improve balance, muscular control, core stability, and coordination. They are also excellent for strengthening and toning muscles, and they may assist with weight loss.
The boards are available in several different designs. Most feature a flat surface atop an unstable pivoting base that moves back and forth, and from side to side. Some tip in a full circle.
While different in appearance, Bosu Balls work in much the same way.
The most basic exercise involves the user stepping onto the board and distributing their weight evenly to balance it. But, as referenced above, balance board exercises can do more than just improve balance.
Below, are ten exercises to try, including one that works the entire body, four the upper body, four the lower body, and one the calves.
You can do fewer or more reps depending on your experience level.
10 Balance Board Exercises to try
This first of the balance board exercises works the entire body.
Plank Holds deliver a total-body workout.
Get onto the floor, and with your arms beneath your shoulders, grip the sides of the board.
Engage your abs, arms, leg, and buttocks muscles and extend your legs behind you so that your body makes a straight line.
Hold this position for 20 seconds.
Return to your starting position for 20 seconds, then repeat the above moves 5 times.
The next four balance board exercises primarily target the upper body.
Incline Push-Ups strengthen and tone the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.
Start in a Push-Up position with your hands flat on the board slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your body should be in a straight line with your legs extended behind you and the underside of your toes braced against the floor.
Engaging your core and looking straight ahead, dip your elbows and slowly lower yourself towards the floor without letting your arms collapse or your knees hit the floor. Hold this position momentarily, then push yourself back to your starting position.
Do 10 reps.
The closer together your legs are, the more challenging the exercise will be.
Decline Push-Ups target the pecs and shoulders.
Begin in a Push-Up position with your feet on the board and your hands on the floor.
Engage your core, look towards the floor, and keeping your back straight, bend your elbows and lower your body as far as you can without allowing it to touch the floor.
Hold this position momentarily, then push yourself back to your starting position.
Repeat the steps above 10 times.
Triceps Dips tone and strengthen the triceps, shoulders, and traps.
Sit in front of the board with bent knees and your feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
Reach back and place your palms flat on the board with your fingers facing forward.
Engage your muscles, push down with your arms, and lift your buttocks about 12″ off the floor. At this point, your arms should be straight but not locked.
Hold the above position for a couple of seconds, then bend your elbows and lower your hips, stopping before they reach the floor.
Repeat the movements above 10 times, letting your arms do most of the work if possible.
Extending your legs straight out to the front will increase the challenge.
Kick Sits focus on the upper body and core.
Assume a Push-Up position with your hands flat and the board, your legs straight out behind you, and the underside of your toes braced against the floor.
Keep your body low, twist to the right, bring your right foot forward and underneath you, and lift your left arm straight up.
At this point, your left leg should be stretched out to the front, and most of your weight should be on it and your right hand.
Do 10 reps, alternating sides.
If the exercise is too strenuous initially, keep your hands on the ground throughout until your strength improves.
The following four balance board exercises focus on the lower body.
Glute Bridges target the hamstrings, glutes, and core.
Lie on your back with your feet on the board about shoulder-width apart, knees bent above your ankles, lower back pressed into the floor, arms by your sides.
Engage all of your muscles, then slowly lift your hips high, keeping your upper body on the floor.
Maintain this position for a couple of seconds before slowly lowering your body back to its starting position.
Do 15 repetitions.
To make the exercise more challenging, lift your right leg so that it is at a 90-degree angle, and raise the toes of your left foot, so you can press through your heel as you lift your hips.
Do 15 reps on each side.
Squats target the glutes, thighs, and core.
Stand up straight on your board with your hands clasped at chest level or straight out to the front, and your feet towards its outside edges, your toes pointing forward.
Engage your core, then slowly bend your knees and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
Stay in this position for a few seconds without allowing the board’s edges to touch the floor.
Slowly straighten your legs to rise to your starting position without leaning forward.
Do 15 repetitions.
Side Squats work the hamstrings, quads, glutes, and core.
Stand up straight with your hands clasped in front of your chest, your left foot flat on the center of the balance board with your toes pointing forward, and your right foot on the floor.
Squat, keeping your right foot flat and your left foot on the board without allowing its sides to touch the floor.
Drive up through your heels to return to your starting position.
Repeat the above moves 15 times on each side.
Reverse Lunges target the quads, glutes, and core.
Stand up straight with your hands on your hips, your left foot flat in the middle of the board, your toes pointing forwards, and your right foot next to it on the floor.
Slowly bend your knees, and lower your body, allowing your right heel to lift. Stop when your right lower leg is parallel to the floor, balancing your left foot on the board and not allowing its sides to touch the floor.
Push back up, slowly rising to your starting position, doing 10 repetitions on each side.
The last of the balance board exercises targets the calf muscles.
Calf Raises tone and strengthen the calves.
Standing up straight, place your left foot, then your right foot on the board with your heels hanging over the edge.
Slowly lift up onto your toes and maintain this position for a few seconds.
Slowly lower your heels to your starting position.
Repeat the above movements 15 times.
For a more challenging workout, bend one leg at the knee and do single leg Calf Raises.
NB: If need be, place your board near a wall to help maintain your balance.
Balance Board Exercises Summary
The many benefits of balance board exercises makes them well worth including in your fitness regimen. Offering far more than solely muscle toning, workouts are suitable for people of any fitness level.