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Balance is an important part of your physical fitness but it can be a challenge to train. What are some balance exercise equipment options you can use?
Balance is a fitness component that can be trained by doing workouts and activities that are challenging in this area. Lifting weights in the gym and cardio workouts like running do this to some extent but you can speed up progress with some of the following best balance exercise equipment options:
- Check Bosu Ball prices
- Check balance pad prices
- Check rocker board prices
- Check wobble board prices
- Check roller board prices
- Check balance disc prices
- Check stability ball prices
- Check agililty ladder prices
- Check medicine ball prices
Improved balance and coordination are not just helpful for a wide variety of sports, although this fitness component does play an important role in these.
In daily activities as simple as walking the stairs having good balance and coordination can help you avoid accidents.
1. Bosu Ball
The first piece of balance workout equipment on this list is the Bosu Ball. You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.
Balance training beginners can start with exercises where the flat part of the Bosu Ball is on the ground. For example, Bosu ball lunges or simply standing on the Bosu Ball with one or two legs.
Once you get up to a certain skill level you can start doing Bosu Ball exercises where the round part is on the ground instead. Some examples include Bosu Ball squats, mountain climbers, pushups, standing on one leg, etc.
One of the benefits of the Bosu Ball as a piece of balance equipment is that individuals from all skill levels can find exercises for their abilities. You can also use the Bosu Ball for ankle and wrist strength which may align with your training goals.
A potential downside of Bosu Balls is that they can be pricier than some of the other options on this list. If this is an issue, the Bosu Ball is a brand name. Off-brand alternatives may suit your needs too.
2. Balance pad
A balance pad is a thick piece of foam that sinks when you put the weight of your body on it. The concept is very similar to the round part of the Bosu Ball but the material is different.
You can use a balance pad for training balance by doing exercises like squats, planks, pushups, etc. on the balance pad or simply standing on it on one or two legs.
One of the benefits of a balance pad is that it is relatively inexpensive. This piece of fitness equipment can also be used for ankle recovery or strengthening.
The main downside of balance pads is that they can be too easy for more experienced individuals to see a lot of balance progress. This can also be a benefit for individuals like seniors who really want to avoid overdoing it.
3. Rocker board
A rocker board is a type of balance board that is basically a board attached to two curved plates with an anti-slip surface. This setup makes it so the surface is unstable which can be helpful for training balance.
In its most basic form you “use” a rocker board by standing on it with both of your feet and keeping the surface as horizontal as possible. You can also get more creative and do a variety of other exercises on the rocker board.
This piece of equipment can be quite challenging but when it comes to balance boards, the rocker board is one of the easier types. This can be great for individuals new to balance training, seniors, or toddlers.
On the other hand, this can also become a downside at a certain skill level. Only being able to swing in two directions can also sound and feel not very interesting to some people.
4. Wobble board
A step more challenging when it comes to balance boards and balance training equipment in general is the wobble board. This is a flat surface with a rounded bottom. The wobble board can move in all directions.
You can use the wobble board for basically all of the typical balance board exercises. Even just standing on it can be a great way to train your balance.
One small study with 23 elderly individuals divided into a training group and a control group observed that balance board exercises twice a week for 9 weeks improved their standing balance compared to the control group (1).
Wobble boards can be a great choice for more experienced individuals. Both because it can move in all directions and because the range between the board and the ground is a nice amount. You can also find wobble boards for a low price due to their simplicity.
A downside of wobble boards is that the “ball” at the bottom is not always made of anti-slip material. You want to choose the surface you use this equipment on wisely to avoid any accidents. Wobble boards may also be too challenging for some individuals.
5. Roller board
The next and last type of balance board on this list is the roller board. A roller board set is made up of a separate board and a cylinder object to balance the board on.
To use it you simply put the board on the cylinder and try to keep both sides of the board off the ground. Once that becomes too easy you can start moving or doing exercises in that position to train your balance even more.
Roller boards are another difficulty level higher than wobble boards. This can be both a benefit or a downside depending on your current skill level.
Something that is definitely a downside is that roller boards can slide away from under you quite fast. You preferably want to use this type of balance training equipment on a soft surface where falling would be less bad.
Another potential downside is that you have fewer exercises available on the roller board compared to some of the other options like the Bosu Ball or wobble board. This can make rollers boards less interesting to use.
6. Balance disc
Balance discs are plastic inflatable discs sized to put one foot on them. Because of the air in them, they are an uneven surface. You can describe them as a mini version of the round part of the Bosu Ball.
The balance exercises you can do with these discs are similar to the Bosu Ball and balance pad. Some examples include squats, planks, mountain climbers, etc.
One of the benefits of balance discs is that they are relatively inexpensive. You can also use them for ankle recovery and strengthening.
An advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it is that the range of possible motion is not that big in balance discs. This means that they are more of a balance workout equipment option for beginners, seniors, or toddlers. When using balance discs, at a certain point, your balance skill progress will slow down a lot.
7. Stability ball
A stability ball, also known as an exercise or yoga ball, is a soft elastic ball. Basically the same material as the top part of a Bosu Ball but in a complete ball.
You can use a stability ball for exercises like a pike crunch that require considerable balance and coordination.
One small study looked at the impact on 44 elderly individuals of 12 weeks of exercises with a Bosu Ball and exercise ball twice a week compared to doing nothing.
They concluded that these exercises and Bosu Ball exercises can lead to an improvement in balance and decreased risk of falling (2).
The stability ball is a great piece of workout equipment to train balance and coordination, especially in plank position exercises. Using it in certain core exercises also increases their effectiveness. On top of that, a stability ball is relatively budget-friendly.
A downside of the stability ball is that you are not really able to train your balance when standing up. This can make it less useful compared to certain stability ball alternatives for training balance in the same way you generally use the balance fitness component in your daily life and popular sports.
8. Agility ladder
An agility ladder is a rope with plastic ladder rungs that are horizontal to each other. To use it you put this agility ladder on the ground. After that, you can jog/run over it facing forward, backward, or sideways. You can also do specific step sequences.
Something more unique in the agility ladder compared to the other equipment options on this list is that you are training your balance in a dynamic, moving way, instead of more static, staying in on spot.
This can be helpful for training your balance in a way that you will actually use it in your daily life or sports. On top of that, the agility ladder requires a relatively low investment.
A straightforward downside is that you don’t get this more static balance training. Depending on your training goals you may want to implement this other category of balance training too.
9. Medicine ball
A medicine ball is a weighted ball that is made from relatively soft material and doesn’t bounce that well. This piece of fitness equipment can be used in types of exercise ranging from rehabilitation training to strength training to balance training.
Besides the more standard use of using a medicine ball as external weight in balance exercises, you can also use medicine balls in throwing exercises. Both on one and two legs.
This is where the medicine ball is a more unique option on this list. Bracing your body in terms of balance to throw heavy things is a type of balance training category on its own. And there are not many equipment options besides a medicine ball that can help you train this.
The downside of this particular use of a medicine ball is that not many people will need this type of balance in their daily lives. Certainly not compared to balance when simply standing up. Even so, medicine balls can be used in so many different ways that they may be worth the investment anyway.