Looking for more stability training equipment to add to your arsenal? Check out the best balance trainers right here, including BOSU, wobble boards, Swiss balls, foam rollers and slide boards. Options to suit all space requirements and budgets.
Balance aids used to be something you only saw older people or those recovering from injuries using as part of a rehabilitation process. Over recent years, it seems that even the most elite athletes are becoming aware of the benfits of using balance equipment as part of their everyday training and the importance of ‘prehab’ when it comes to injury prevention.
Here are a few of the most popular balance aids designed to challenge and strengthen your from top to toe.
The Best Balance Training Equipment:
The BOSU is an abbreviation for the term “Both Sides Up” and is essentially half a swiss ball mounted on to a rigid plastic plate. It is incredibly versatile and can be used for upper body, lower body and core strength exercises.
Almost any bodyweight or dumbbell exercises that you are currently doing can be taken up a notch by incorporating the BOSU. You can use it with the rounded side up and stand on it while doing squats or upper body dumbell movements, to get you working on an unstable surface. The same exercises can be done with it fipped over, but that’s harder again!
With it’s rounded side facing down, you can hold on to the sides of the plate while knocking out some pushups, mountain climbers or my personal favorite…burpees!
The most commonly branded type of suspension straps is the TRX system, which is short for Total Body Resistance Exercise. There are alternatives out there, but to be honest TRX have done a brilliant job of creating a full body workout system that caters to all ability levels. All you need is something to anchor your straps from and you’re good to go. You can buy a range of accessories with the TRX system to keep your workouts new and exciting.
The swiss ball can be used in such a variety of ways. Any dumbbell movement you would normally perform lying on a bench can be turbo-charged by resting your shoulders on the swiss ball and having your knees bent and feet on the floor. You should be focused on keeping your hips/pelvis up at all times, which will really engage your core, butt and hamstrings.
One of my personal favorite movements is plank holds with elbows resting on the swiss ball. Once you’ve nailed this, you can start moving your elbows in small circles each way, while maintaining your plank position – brutal!
The only downside to a swiss ball is its’ size – not so easy to stash under the bed when you’re tidying up and not really something you can be bothered re-inflating on a regular basis.
The Sanddune Stepper is a balance pad system designed for the treatment of foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain. Giving similar feedback to walking on the beach, with low impact on your joints, it provides an unstable surface for your foot, requiring your body to adjust and stabilize accordingly.
The Sanddune Stepper can be incorporated into almost any movement you currently perform during your workouts, including deadlifts, squats and upper body work. It’s compact and deceptively, it’s not actually filled with sand, making it easily portable at only 12lbs.
Move over, BOSU, there’s a new kid on the block!
I only recently discovered the Terra-Core and I have to say I’m impressed at the level of thought that’s gone in to this piece of fitness equipment. Filled with air, yet robust enough to take a significant beating, the Terra-Core can be used as a bench, a platform, a barbell and basically a core-crushing beast.
It’s longer shape, means it allows you more flexibility with hand and feet positions than the BOSU would (being able to have a wider stance on it etc) and also means it’s great to use as a weights bench at home (that will make you turn on your core muscles like a standard bench wouldn’t. It also has built in handles, so you can pick it up easily and perform overhead movements. At around 30lbs, you can perform higher reps and slow, eccentric movements to get a good resistance workout using the Terra-Core’s weight itself. It has, however, been purposefully designed to be used in conjunction with resistance bands, in which case there are so many exercise options available! Terra-Core offer a number of Workout Plans to their customers and there are many example workouts available on YouTube and Instagram to give you inspiration.