SETTING yourself up with a home gym can be an expensive process but there are great bits of kit – such as a balance board – that can be bought for less than a month’s gym membership that will revolutionise your workout.
If you’ve not heard of or used a balance board before, the concept is quite simple.
Although they come in a variety of designs – rocker, wobble and roller are the most common – all are a great low-impact way of working out.
A balance board makes you do just that – balance – and engages your core muscles to try and help you stay upright. This feature makes them a favourite of people with standing desks.
They are for much more than standing on though, and can increase the difficulty of any exercise – whether it’s bodyweight or using barbells and dumbbells.
Rocker and wobble designs are regarded as easier, entry-level styles, while rollers are for experienced balance boarders.
Looking to add some instability to your day? Here are the best balance boards you can currently buy…
1. Best budget balance board: JLL Wooden Balance Board
- (AD) JLL Wooden Balance Board, £16.99 from Amazon – buy here
If you’ve never used a balance board, you might want to get your hands on a cheaper, beginner-focused model before investing in something that is beyond your skill level.
This basic wooden balance board from JLL is ideal for those just getting started.
It has a non-slip surface, 39.6cm wide platform to help evenly spread your load and a stable, dome-shaped base.
It only weighs 1.2kg, so can easily be transported and stored when not in use, while its maximum user weight of 120kg makes it accessible to most.
2. Best rocker balance board: ResultSport 50cm Rocker Board
- (AD) ResultSport 50cm Rocker Board, £28.99 from Amazon – buy here
Rocker balance boards are the easiest to use of all balance boards as they only tilt from side-to-side (rather than having 360° of tilt).
The ResultSport rocker board has a wide, 50cm platform and anti-slip PVC surface that is easy to clean post-workout.
Its wooden construction is built to last, and accompanying A3 poster is full of exercise ideas to get you started.
3. Best wobble balance board: PowerBalance Wobble Board
- PowerBalance Wobble Board, £27.99 from Amazon – buy here
A wobble balance board takes the side-to-side tilt of a rocker board and opens up 360° of possibilities. This makes it somewhat hard that a rocker board, but it is still a lot easier than the harder roller option.
The PowerBalance offering might look similar in design to the JLL product above, but there are some subtle differences that are worth the difference in price.
The inclusion of handles allow for even more exercise possibilities and can be combined with resistance bands.
The dome-shaped base can be removed too, making storage easier.
4. Best roller balance board: Revolution Balance Boards 101 Balance Board
- Revolution Balance Boards 101 Balance Board, £149.95 from Amazon – buy here
Once you’ve mastered rocker and wobble balance boards, it’s time to take the step up to a roller board.
Essentially a plank of wood and a foam roller, it requires a core of steel to stay balanced and has endless possibilities when it comes to tilting.
This design from Revolution Balance Boards is a product that can grow with you. Removable roller stops mean you can easily adjust the difficulty, while an 11-ply hardwood construction means it’ll last for years to come.
Perfect for all-round fitness and training, its shape also makes it the ideal practise tool for board sports such as skateboarding and surfing.
5. Best inflatable balance board: Trideer Extra Thick Balance Cushion
- Trideer Extra Thick Balance Cushion, £11.99 from Amazon – buy here
While all of the above are solid wooden platforms that are fixed to plastic bases of varying shapes to offer a level of tilting, this option from Trideer uses air to provide that all-important wobble.
The amount of resistance can be adjusted depending on how much air you pump into it but it’s worth remembering not to over inflate it as this could cause it to burst.
As well as using it for standing or sitting exercises, the Balance Cushion can be used as lumbar support – leaving you with something great for your home gym and home office.
What’s a balance board used for?
A balance board can be used for a variety of things but is most commonly used to add a level of difficulty to an exercise. The instability of the balance board engages even more of your muscles, giving you a better all-round workout.
Do balance boards really work?
While they have their sceptics, balance boards are shown to have a number of benefits, including stabilising your muscles and strengthening your core.
Do balance board help you lose weight?
Balance boards will help you burn more calories because they make you engage even more of your muscles when used. It can therefore be used to help you lose weight.
Are wobble boards and balance boards the same thing?
A wobble board is one type of balance board. A wobble board generally has a circular platform with a dome-shaped base, while other types of balance board include rocker and roller.
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