Want to build muscle mass, especially killer abs, but you are not a weightlifting fan? Perhaps something funky will do? If you think muscle building is always dull and there is no other way to do it, consider balance board exercises.
Balance board exercises build muscles, increase stability, improve body balance and coordination of various muscle groups. They also strengthen your ankle joints. These easy and simple exercises are perfect for those who do not feel in tune with deadlifts and bench presses.
Gaining muscle doesn’t have to be a cut-throat matter; bring home the good old balance board, and build muscles with the following exciting moves.
Garb your tea and read till the end to know how balance boards can be your crafty gym equipment and help you buff in no time.
Do Balance Boards Build Muscles?
Balance boards exercises are excellent for building muscles. Every time you perform a balance board exercise, it engages and strengthens your core muscle. A strong core helps improve body balance. It becomes an internally-sustained circle.
No matter how you do balance boards, you build muscles inevitably, so we’d say they are just perfect for those looking to build big, intimidating muscles.
Balancing on the board brings a lot of challenges because it’s about maintaining balance on something unstable. You have to learn to balance yourself by contracting and engaging your core muscles. It’s going to be overwhelming, frustrating, exhausting, and challenging, but it’s going to be worth it.
Balance board exercises strengthen your body, build more muscles, and correct your posture. They improve muscle-mind connection, proprioception, coordination of various parts for a more stable posture, rip your core, and beef up your ankles to withstand sprains and strains.
Balance board exercises are not isolated core builders: they come with many benefits. They also help you become more active and improve your athletic performance alongside building killer abs and obliques.
What Muscles Does a Balance Board Work?
Believe it or not, you need a good balance for almost everything, from running and exercising to getting out of bed. It is essential for everyone in all walks of life, but it’s essential for sports and fitness enthusiasts whose performance relies on balance.
Balance training primarily targets core muscles. While the work is done by your legs struggling to stand straight on the board, the primary muscle engagement primary area is your abdominal area. These muscles contract to support the body for force balance, activating various muscle groups in the process.
Balance exercises may not come off as strength and muscle training, but they serve the purpose.
You can expect great abs when you are doing balance boards in routine. In addition to abdominals and obliques, ankle joints also benefit from balance board exercises.
These exercises strengthen your ankles which means your athletic performance will be affected positively when you decide to balance training.
Balance exercises are also great for your shins, calves, glutes, and hamstrings, which bear the major brunt of the whole ordeal. You should have sturdy legs if you are training with balance boards.
There are different types of balance boards, and you can perform a plethora of exercises on them, targeting various muscle groups. The balance training involved in these exercises strengthens and builds muscles in each pose you choose.
Use a balance board anyway; the result will be increased muscular coordination and stability. The basic exercises target the core and ankles, but variations can target most major muscle groups. They improve your functional strength and help optimize health in general.
Safety Tips for Balance Boards Exercises
Balance board exercises enhance stability because your body learns to balance on an unstable surface, i.e. a balance board.
It’s shaky and unstable, and there are high chances of a nasty fall, so keep your protection strategy on.
Balance exercises mean considerable risk of injury; there is no need to add to the adventure by neglecting safety rules.
Make sure you follow the safety instructions so you do not end up in a hospital, unable to practice for some time.
Here are some general rules you should be following to ensure your safety.
1. Do Not Exercise on a Slippery Surface
Balance boards are pretty hard already; no need to make things even harder. Make sure the surface is stable and rugged enough to offer some friction to help keep the balance board in position.
2. Keep the Workout Area Well Lit
If the light is insufficient, your eyes will have to concentrate harder. It will consume a lot of your energy, and you will have only a little left for balancing.
3. Find a Spacious Area for These Exercises
Ensure that you have a spacious workout area to prevent falling on objects. When balancing on boards, you will often fall, so make sure there is nothing around you or at least nothing valuable and breakable. Until you get the hang of balance board exercises, falling and bruising are going to be inevitable.
4.Do Not Jerk or Swing Your Body into Position
Move slowly and purposefully at all times. Balance exercises are all about controlled, smooth and levelled moves. Jerks bring no perks in these exercises. Keep training, stay patient, and work hard: you will conquer the techniques in time. Forcing your body into balancing is not the trick.
5.Take Your Time and Exercise at Your Fitness Level
Do not hurry into it: no one can learn balance boards in a day or two. You will need to practice the moves with patience and determination. Balancing on uneven surfaces is challenging, and it’s not your speed test either.
Instead, it’s the technique, skills and experience that help you master the art. All of this required a great deal of patience and perseverance. So, take your time learning these exercises at your own pace without worrying.
6. Warm-up and Cool Down Before and After Your Balance Training Workouts.
You may be tempted to start balance boards without pumping up your blood or cooling things down properly because they do not seem very demanding in terms of physical energy, but it isn’t the case. Balance training is just as demanding as other exercises, and they require warm-up and cooling down as severely as any other workout.
7.Drink Lots of Water to Stay Hydrated
Hydration is essential no matter which exercises you are choosing. When your body is low on water content, you will feel exhausted sooner than expected.
12 Balance Board Exercises
Now you know almost everything about balance board exercises and how they are building your muscles.
It is now time to list down 12 basic and easy exercises for you to do on your next balancing exercise day in the gym. If you are a beginner, it is necessary to ask your instructor to guide and supervise you to perform these exercises safely.
1. Basic Stance Balance
This one is a very simple exercise and perfect for beginners. It helps you get used to the balance board position.
- The first step will be to stand on the balance board and stay still.
- Don’t move and stay in your position for as long as possible.
- Everyone can do this given time and practice.
2. Forward / Backward
This simple move on the board strengthens the ankles and prepares them for better performance.
- Place your board in an unstable position.
- Stand still and slowly try to lift your feet forward and backwards
- Keep your movement slow
- You can also raise your arms parallel to your face to help maintain balance.
3. Side Tilt
Side tilts stabilize ankles just like the forward/backward move.
- Place your balancing board in the correct position.
- Stand on it and firstly try and stay balanced.
- Then lift both of your feet to the side one by one.
4. Two Leg Tilts – Round the Clock
Two leg lifts strengthen the ankles and increase their stability.
- This exercise is a little more advanced than the previous one.
- After balancing on the board, move your legs in a clockwise motion.
- Acing this exercise means you have an almost complete hold on the balance board.
5. Single Foot Balance
This one’s easy again! It helps build leg muscles and strengthen the ankles.
- Lift one foot onto the board and keep it still.
- Hold it as long as you can.
- Repeat it on the other foot.
6. Single Foot Tilt
This exercise improves coordination and flexibility of the ankle joints.
- Single foot tilt includes balancing on the balance board and tilting one of your feet at a time.
- This exercise is comparatively easy and can be done without practice.
7. Single Foot – Side to Side
It works to stabilize ankles muscles – plantar, dorsi, inversion and eversion flexion.
- Stand on your balance board without disturbing your position.
- Raise and move your board side to side
- Move on to your next foot and hold your position while doing so
8. Single Foot – Round the Clock
Round the clock improves flexibility and range of motion of the ankle joint.
- Firstly place your board in a stable position
- Raise one foot and move it clockwise
- Repeat on other foot
- Try and stay balanced
This is a fantastic glute, thighs and core buster.
- Put your board in an unstable position
- Get your muscles tight and ready
- Then get into a squat position on the board
- Hold the position as long as possible.
10. Decline Push-Up
This is a great bicep and tricep builder. Doing it with a balance board helps strengthen your abs and improves stability.
- Start with being in a push-up position.
- Bend your elbows and lower your chest and abs as far as you can go.
- Make sure your body is parallel to the floor and then return to the starting push-up position.
- Try to do at least 10 reps.
11. Squat Push
Squat push targets glutes, quads, deltoids, and abdominals.
- Get into the squat position on the board
- Try to push your lower body downwards
- your entire body will have to work to stay stable.
- Hold your position
12. Calf Raise
As the name suggests, this exercise builds calf muscles.
- Again, place the board in a stable, levelled position for this last one.
- Raise your calves while maintaining your balance.
- Raise your arms so that you can get a better grip at balancing your posture.
Balance board is not just an entertainment sport: it serves some essential purposes if you use it the right way for the right reasons. You can increase lean mass, improve balance and coordination, increase muscle mind connection, and improve athletic performance with the seemingly sporty balance boards.
- Brachman, Anna, et al. ‘Balance Training Programs in Athletes – a Systematic Review’. Journal of Human Kinetics, vol. 58, Sept. 2017, pp. 45–64. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2017-0088.
- Perrier, Erica T. ‘Hydration for Health: So What? Ten Advances in Recent Hydration History’. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, vol. 74, no. 3, 2019, pp. 4–10. www.karger.com, https://doi.org/10.1159/000500343.