An in depth look at Terra Core features and possibilities

terra core exercises

Terra Core is a super versatile piece of gym equipment that can be used to work every part of your body. At first glance, it appears to be the love child of a BOSU and a Tidal Tank, but thanks to some clever design, it is actually so much more.

The top of the Terra Core features a large air bubble, similar to that of a BOSU. It’s elongated shape means it’s great for standing on or even lying on in lieu of a bench. Don’t let the idea of it being filled with air deceive you – the Terra Core weighs 28lbs (around 12 kgs), so is still able to be used as a functional weight.

The underside of Terra Core is where the really clever design comes in. Handles on all 4 sides of the unit mean there are a range of grip options available and the Terra Core can be utilised to perform a massive range of upper body exercises. It also comes with a set of power bands to provide more movement options and increased resistance as desired. The underside of the Terra Core has been thoughtfully designed with ridges to keep your resistance bands from slipping during use.

How do you use Terra Core?

The more I looked at Terra Core, the more impressed I became with the diverse range of movements that could be done with it. There are free workout resources on the Terra Core website to get you started, but /I highly recommend getting their app, at least to begin with so you can have your eyes opened to all the exercise varieties that can be performed with this piece of equipment.

One point to note here is that you can adjust how much air you pump into the Terra Core. More air creates a firmer surface, so will make stability exercises easier. When it’s less inflated, there is more movement in the bubble, so you will have to work harder to stabilise yourself. I will summarise the main features of Terra Core here, but there seriously are hundreds of variations you could try.

terra core exercises
Image courtesy of official Terra Core website

Terra Core Exercises for Lower Body:

Take anything you currently do standing on your feet and stand on the Terra Core instead. You will instantly start testing the stabilizing muscles in your entire body, from your feet to your core. Something as simple as bodyweight squats are turbo charged on an unstable surface and you can dial up the difficulty by increasing the weights you are holding or the resistance bands you incorporate.

There is also the option to stand on the bubble side with the flat surface on the floor, which will require constant tiny adjustment in your stabilizers, or to work slightly differently on your balance by standing on the underside of the Terra Core with the bubble in contact with the ground.

Terra Core Exercises for Upper Body:

As someone who has had wrist injuries and prefers a neutral grip position when working out, the Terra Core didn’t disappoint. Use the Terra Core as your weight for bent over rows or overhead movements without involving any new balance requirements. My favorite twist on an old exercise is to use it for push ups. You can have it flat side down and place your hands on the bubble for an added challenge. If you prefer to use push up handles normally (like I do), simply flip it to use the handles underneath and challenge yourself with the wobble of the air bubble to contend with while you knock out a set of push ups!

Terra Core Exercises for Abs:

It’s no surprise by the name that Terra Core hits you in the abs pretty much any way you use it. The requirement to balance and stabilize your core constantly is what makes this piece of equipment so great. If you do want to smash your abs a little more, it’s easy to take things up a notch. Any exercise that would normally involve lying on a bench or being on the floor can be performed on the Terra Core to create an unstable surface.

Does Terra Core have a weight limit?

The balloon like air bubble of the Terra Core may give the impression that it’s easily damaged. However, it’s rated to withstand over 4,000lbs, although recommended weight is 1,000 lbs.

Is the Terra Core worth it?

You know from reading this website that I’m passionate about unstable surface training or using water filled weights for instability. If you aren’t currently using some sort of unstable resistance training equipment, this is an excellent investment because of the versatility in provides.

It is fairly solid in size and weight, so while it can easily slide under the bed out of sight between workouts, it’s probably not that practical of you want to chuck it in your luggage for a trip away, like some of my other favorite pieces of fitness gear.

The Terra Core is fairly pricey, but I’m confident you will get years and years out of it because of its robust design and construction.

You can check out everything at the Terra Core website:

terra core features

Advice for returning to the gym after a wrist injury

Anyone who lifts weights regularly has experienced some sort of injury that has interfered with their training at some stage. A wrist injury is one of the most limiting because it really does prevent you from gripping any sort of weight, whether it’s upper body or leg day. Finding yourself side-lined from your regular fitness routine is incredibly frustrating – we’ve all heard the mantra of “use it or lose it”. The problem is that resuming weightlifting before you’re ready can result in more time off overall and potentially making the injury worse. So, when is it time to be returning to the gym after a wrist injury?

What causes wrist pain?

Is your wrist injury acute or chronic? An acute wrist injury can usually be linked back to a specific event or movement – something that made you go “ouch”! A common cause of acute wrist pain is a fall onto an outstretched hand, but it could also be a result of an uncontrolled twisting motion during sports or a workplace accident. Chronic wrist pain can have a more gradual onset and is often due to repetitive movements such as poor weightlifting technique, ergonomically incorrect workspaces or repeated loading of the joint in sports such as golf, tennis or gymnastics.

reducing load through your wrists weightlifting

Diagnosing wrist injuries

Wrist injuries can cause a range of symptoms including pain, instability, clicking, reduced range of movement, swelling, numbness and tingling. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis of your injury, so you can treat it appropriately so you should see a health professional who specialises in sports injuries or upper limbs. A hand therapist is your best choice, but a physiotherapist with an interest in wrists and hands will often be able to diagnose your particular injury.

Diagnosis is made by taking information about the mechanism of injury combined with a physical examination and assessment. Diagnostic tools such as xrays, CT scans or MRI might also be helpful.

Common types of wrist injury

If wrist pain has come on suddenly, it is likely a result of acute trauma, whereas gradual onset of pain may suggest an overuse or repetitive strain induced injury. It’s important to seek guidance from a health practitioner if you believe you have sustained a wrist injury. Common injuries include:

Sprains and strains:

A sprain refers to the damage of ligaments, whereas a strain is an injury to muscles or tendons. Ligaments are broad connective structures than join bones to one another. Tendons are dense connective tissue than join bones to muscles. Damage can range from overstretching of these structures, to partial or complete tears. Symptoms of a strain vs a sprain can be similar, namely localised pain, swelling and limited range of movement, but the main distinguishing feature is that ligament damage is more likely to result in visible bruising.

Most sprains and strains are a result of an acute event such as an impact or being put under load in an awkward position, although repetitive movements can also cause overuse injuries of the soft tissue.


The most common cause of wrist fractures is a fall, because it is instinctive to stretch one’s arm out to break the fall. This type of event can lead to a distal radius fracture (the main bone in your forearm). Another common fracture is to the scaphoid – a small bone in the wrist, near the base of the thumb. Scaphoid fractures can be difficult to detect on x-ray and are sometimes misdiagnosed as a wrist sprain. This type of fracture doesn’t present with obvious deformity, but can trigger exacerbated pain when pinching or gripping.

TFCC tear:

The triangular fibrocartilage complex triangular(TFCC) is a cartilage structure that sits between the ulna bone (in the forearm) and the small carpal bones. The TFCC provides cushioning and stability in the wrist and is often compared to the meniscus in the knee. TFCC tears can be either acute or chronic. Acute tears can usually be attributed to a sudden force, whereas chronic or degenerative tears may be a result of either repeated damage or physiological factors. Athletes such as gymnasts and tennis players who repeatedly load their wrists can be prone to TFCC injuries. Those born with underlying conditions such as positive ulnar variance (the ulna bone being longer than the radius) may also be more at risk of damage to the TFCC.

Treatment for wrist injuries:

For acute or sudden onset of wrist pain, initial treatment should be rest, ice, compression and elevation. It’s important to seek advice from your doctor or health professional so that diagnostic exams such as x-rays or MRI can be carried out if necessary. Some fractures do heal on their own with immobilisation and rest, but in some cases where the bones are misaligned, surgery may be required.

Most soft tissue injuries are treated conservatively first, that is, non-surgically. Treatments may involve splinting to immobilise the joint or wearing a supportive wrist brace. You may be prescribed rehabilitation exercises to strengthen the hand, wrist and forearm – focus is usually on regaining full range of motion before introducing any load.

Cortisone/steroid injections are sometimes used to reduce pain and swelling in the joint. This treatment will not increase healing times, but the relief from pain can provide a window for effective rehabilitation to occur, allowing strengthening of the surrounding tissues. A pitfall of steroid injections is that the rapid reduction in pain can sometimes result in a false sense of recovery. By rushing back into activities because pain is not a limiting factor, some people end up causing further damage.

Non-surgical treatment of wrist injuries can take up to 6 months. Soft tissue injuries that don’t respond to conservative measures may require an operation. It’s always a good idea to seek a second opinion before proceeding with surgery, because different specialists may offer a alternative approach or surgical procedure.

Exercising after a wrist injury:

Do not undertake any sort of load bearing or weightlifting until you’ve spoken with your doctor or physiotherapist/hand therapist. Initial exercises may involve the use of resistance bands so you can gradually adjust the level of effort required. Body weight exercises that require you to use your hands can be modified so that you use push up handles or flat edged dumbbells to grip onto instead of putting your palms on the floor. Some people find it easier to do push ups on their knuckles as well. If you return to placing weight through your palms, reduce the load initially by doing push ups on an incline such as the wall or a table.

A neutral wrist position is often the most comfortable when returning to exercising after a wrist injury. Cable machines often have a variety of handle options available for performing movements such as seated rows, lat pulldowns and pectoral flyes. If you are returning to the gym after wrist injury, chat to the trainers there about what equipment is available to assist you. There may be add-ons for some machines that you aren’t aware of!

Straight olympic barbells can put more strain through the wrists than dumbbells because there is no room for adjusting the angle of your grip. If you are recovering from wrist pain, using dumbbells for chest and overhead exercises may be a safer option than a barbell. An ezy-curl bar can also place less load on the wrists.

exercising after a wrist injury
Alternate handles can place less load through the wrists than a straight barbell.

What about leg day? If you usually use a straight barbell to perform exercises such as squats and deadlifts, you may find incorporating the use of some straps to grip onto is helpful in reducing load through your wrists. There are also barbells with alternate grips such as the Safety Squat Bar or Yoke Bar, which allows you to keep your hands in from of your body in neutral grip during squats or a Trap Bar for deadlifts.

If your looking for a versatile piece of equipment that you can use at home or in the gym, I recommend working with water filled weights or a sandbag. Both of these items feature a variety of grips, which makes them suited to a myriad of exercise movements, but also allows you to find what’s most comfortable if you have had a wrist injury. Sand bags for weight lifting start at a capacity of around 10lb of sand and go upwards of 50lb, but if you want to adjust your weight incrementally, you can also fill them with something lighter that sand such as combining some of the volume with polystyrene foam beads. Water bag weights can be easily increased or decreased by the amount of liquid inside, but the less weight you work with, means the more unstable the weight bag becomes. This is because less water means there is more sloshing around occurring, but can be great for building up stability in your forearms and wrists.

Returning to the gym after a wrist injury is daunting because we literally use our wrists to do pretty much everything! Remember, the key with rehabilitation is to go slow and seek advice. Pushing too hard in a single training session could put you backwards by weeks, even months!

Note: Any reference to treatment options made in this article are general in nature. Seek advice for your specific needs from a registered health professional.