Beginners Guide to Balance Boards
Balance boards look like a fun way to workout but they also look intimidating if you are a beginner and have not had any experience with balance boards. Balance training should be a part of everyone’s fitness lifestyle and can benefit you in more ways than you think.
Balance boards will not only help you improve your balance but will also help you strengthen your core and leg muscles. Balance boards have been widely used by snowboarders, surfers, and wake sports enthusiasts.
You don’t have to be a seasoned athlete to feel the benefits of balance training. Lately, balance boards have spread in popularity and used in yoga, pilates, and gym fitness training. Balance training can go a long way in preventing back pain and helping with day-to-day mobility.
What does a Balance Board do?
Balance Boards are used by athletes, yoga enthusiasts, kids, the elderly, and general fitness enthusiasts who are looking to improve their balance and coordination while strengthening their core muscles.
There are a number of different Styles of balance boards but the most popular style is a circular board that attaches to a dome side. The dome-shaped base is the first starting point for beginners looking to get started with balance training.
There are many benefits of balance board training including improving strength and stability in your core muscles. Your posture will also benefit and many athletes add balance board training to their fitness routine because it gives them a challenge and improves their balance which leads to better sports performance.
Athletes are not the only people that benefit from balance board training. Anyone from kids as young as 3 years old to seniors can use balance boards to improve their health and get fit. Even those who work as a standing desk can improve their experience by using a balance board for stand up desks.
- Top Pick: Kumo Board
- Also Great: Indo Board Balance Training with Foam Kit
- Different Types of Balance Boards
Top Pick: Kumo Board
The Kumo Board is the best balance board for beginners regardless of age, fitness level, experience, or fitness goal. How can one board be a good fit for everyone?
As I’ve said, there are many different balance boards for a variety of fitness goals and they are typically created with a single purpose in mind. The Kumo board is different.
This balance board is INFLATABLE and all the balancing accessories are inflatable as well!
With its design, the Kumo Board can be used as a rocker, wobble board, roller board, has a wobble disc and can be used as a balance pad for standing desks.
This is the first inflatable balance board but don’t let that fool you. It’s made of a tough and durable material that is also used in inflatable paddle boards. When inflated to the recommended amount, it is just as hard and sturdy as wood or plastic balance boards and can be used indoors or outdoors.
It’s tough but soft which makes it much friendlier for indoor use and the rubbery cushion and roller have a good grip on tile, hardwood, carpet, and other soft surfaces.
What features the Kumo board has that make it the best choice for beginners (Pros & Cons)
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Also Great: Indo Board Balance Training with Foam Kit
Indo Board has been in the balance board market since they first came out with their balance board in 1991. Indo Board has a great package for beginners: The Original Training Pack with Foam Kit.
Since then it has been used all over the world by athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Indo Board has perhaps the greatest selection of balance boards (View Indo Board Buying Guide).
The have something for everyone. From kids as young as 3 years old to pro athletes and even seniors.
The IndoFLO cushion is a stepping stone to using the roller. Start with first practicing to balance with the board on the cushion. Once you are comfortable with this, you can move on to the roller.
The cushion is inflatable so by adjusting the air pressure you can modify the difficulty levels and is a great balance training workout for anyone ages 3 to 93.
Indo Balance Board Pro’s & Con’s
Different Types of Balance Boards
Balance boards come in many different shapes and sizes. Finding the best balance board for you has a lot to do with what your goals are. Some balance boards are created for those who wish to practice for board sports balance training. Other balance boards might be geared toward rehabilitation, standing desk balance pads, gym/fitness workouts, yoga, and more.
But this is a guide for the best balance boards for beginners. So I will go over some of the top choices for those that are just starting out. Here is a quick summary of the different types of balance boards in the market:
- Wobble Board: a wobble board is typically made of wood or hard plastic and is in the shape of a circle. Underneath in the center you will find a dome that will give you a small point of contact with the floor. This type of balance board can be used with one or two feet and the difficulty level ranges depending on the size of the dome.
- Rocker Board: A Rocker Board is, as the name implies, a solid board with a rocker underside that only allows you to balance in a back and forth motion of side to side nothing depending on how you are standing on the board.
- Roller Board: A roller board allows you to balance a board on a cylinder roller. This type of board is the most fun and will give you the best work as it also is more challenging. This is also the type of board that is commonly used by snowboarders, surfers and wake sports training.
- Balance Pads: A balance pad is a softer pad that gives your feet an unstable surface. They can be used with one or two feet, and have many different exercises that you can do.
- Balance Disc: A balance disc is similar to the design of a wobble board but the disc is not attached to the board and it can be inflated to different amounts of air pressure which gives you a wide variety of difficulty levels.
Factors to Consider
Here are a list of factors that you should take into consideration before buying a balance board:
Design: Think about the different balance board types and what they are specifically designed to do. This also plays into what your goals are and if the balance board was designed to help you reach your goals.
Cost/Budget: What is your budget for a balance board? There are a wide variety of balance boards different costs associated with each. The cheapest balance board might also mean a poor quality product and the most expensive balance board does not necessarily mean the best option either. The sweet spot is finding a balance board that is high quality, has all the features you are looking for while also at a reasonable price point.
Construction/Quality: Balance boards need to be sturdy, smooth, durable and made with high-quality materials. It’s important that a balance board can sustain your weight.
There are other balance boards that are also choices even though they did not make it to the top of my list. Here are a few that were considers and why they were not picked.
Yes4All Wobble Board is the option if you want an affordable balance board that is an introduction to balance training only for body strength workouts and the gym. This wobble board is a balance board that you can get for under $30 and it is a great addition to any workout routine.
If you are looking for a workout that does not involve simply trying to balance and standing still on a board than the SoloFit board might be the choice for you. This balance board is similar to the Simply fit board but it had resistance bands for a greater challenge and variety of workouts.
This is the balance board that is the easiest to learn to balance and does not provide much of a challenge. It has a greater focus on resistance workouts with balance incorporated rather than a focus on true balance training. It’s easy to learn and does not provide you with much of a challenge.
Because it is similar to the simply fit board, there are DVD workouts from the Simply Fit Board that you can use with the SoloFit board.
Revolution FIT 3-in-1 Exercise Balance Board Training System includes three different options: Rocker, Wobble: Roller. The reason this did not make it as a top recommendation is that the Kumo Board also features all of these options and makes these options customizable for a great variety of fitness levels. The Kumo Board is similar in price but has many more features making it a better choice.
What surface should I use my balance board?
Are balance boards safe for complete beginners?
Make sure the area is free of obstacles and hard surfaces like furniture
Only use balance boards in well-lit areas
Wear comfortable shoes, grip socks or if you’re barefoot, make sure the surface of the board has some sort of non slip grip coating
If you have health issues or previous injuries make sure to consult your therapist or doctor before using a balance board.
You might also want to consider protecting gear like knee pads
How long does it take to learn to balance?
Try to practice for 10 to 15 minutes one to three times a day. Do not push yourself or advance too quickly. This can lead to injury.
Can balance board help me lose weight?
You will burn calories and including balance board training in your workouts can greatly improve your progress to your ideal weight.
What muscles does a balance board work?
Are balance board a good way to get abs?
In fact, I find that balance boards make for one of the most fun ways to get fit and you can do it indoors!