It’s essential to know how to use a balance board, not jump on and hope for the best. This is true for everyone new to the exercise, especially seniors and anyone with balance issues.
The purpose of balance board exercise is to improve your stability, strength, coordination, endurance, and reaction time. With regular use, you will achieve this.
Along with being effective, balance board workouts can be a lot of fun, but you must take precautions to avoid injury.
Please keep reading to find out how to use a balance board and for safety tips you need to know before you begin.
How to Use a Balance Board
Stabilizing a device that rolls and teeters 360 degrees isn’t easy at first.
The idea is to balance your weight on both feet equally and use your core to help keep the board’s edges from hitting the floor.
The boards’ construction will require you to make constant small shifts in your stance to achieve this.
You will feel unsteady initially, and the device will move in directions you don’t want it to until you get the hang of using it.
It may even slide out from beneath your feet. And if you are not careful, you could fall, so proceed slowly and cautiously.
You will feel unsteady initially, and the device will move and tip in every direction until you get the hang of using it.
There are numerous positions and exercises you can do on a balance board.
But first, you will need to know the basics of how to use a balance board. Practice the steps below, one by one. There is no need to rush.
1. Put your balance board on the floor beside a wall or sturdy object such as a table, flat side up.
Hold onto the table or steady yourself against the wall, engage your core, then step carefully and firmly onto the balance board with your left foot, allowing the left side of the board to move to the floor.
2. Focusing on a fixed point straight ahead, steady yourself, then put your right foot on the board so that your feet are approximately 8 inches apart. Align your feet with your shoulders, keep your shoulders back and down, engage your core, and bend your knees slightly.
This bent knee position will make it easier to make the necessary adjustment to balance the board.
3. Stand up straight, resisting the urge to hunch forward over the table or lean into the wall.
Once you get your balance, try to maintain this position for two or three minutes, letting go of the wall if you can for at least some of the time.
I found it helped to hold my arms out to either side.
4. Next, try shifting your weight to the right, then the left, alternating this side-to-side movement without allowing the top edges of the board to touch the floor.
5. Change your movement so that you are shifting from the front to the back of the board.
For a greater challenge, shift your weight from your heels to your toes.
Video demonstration of how to use a balance board (with exercises)
Exercises to try
Regular balance board workouts can help you reach your fitness goals faster and achieve better results from your sporting pursuits.
For example, workouts can help you balance better when using a skateboard. Using your board while barefoot and simulating movements done on a surfboard improve your surfing prowess.
To hone your equilibrium, close your eyes while using your balance board. The benefits from this will be advantageous when undertaking intense training such as weight lifting and rock climbing.
Sitting on a balance board is an excellent way to improve your core strength further. To do this, sit firmly on the board, then move your arms and legs out to the front, using your core muscles to balance.
Balancing on your knees is another option that is easier than sitting on the board, but proceed with caution if you have knee problems.
Doing Push-Ups, Squats, Lunges, and Planks on the board will increase the challenge further.
Balance Board Safety Tips
As referenced above, when new to balance board exercise, work out close to a wall or a solid, heavy object that you can use to help balance. Doing so will enable you to get a feel for the board before you start exercising. It will also allow you to steady yourself if you begin to fall.
Move any valuable and potentially dangerous items out of the way, including ornaments, glass tables, and sharp objects. Doing so is vital, as falling off the board isn’t unheard of when starting out.
Should you fall, you will likely land on your feet, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, and the board itself could cause damage to your household items.
Exercising on a carpeted floor should slow your movement slightly and stop the board from sliding from beneath you as readily.
However, if the surface you’ll be working on is tiles or wood, place a thick mat beneath your board before you climb on. Along with providing a little extra stability, the rug will make for quieter sessions and protect your floor from damage.
Some people choose to wear wrist, elbow, and knee pads, and even a helmet. If you feel safer doing this, go ahead.
How to use a Balance Board Summary
It takes time to use a balance board correctly and safely, but it’s worth persevering.
Don’t give up, even if it feels hopeless at first.
Follow the steps outlined above, take things slowly, and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits that balance board exercises offer.