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Two popular pieces of balance training equipment include the Bosu Ball and balance board. How do they compare in features and which one is the best?
Balance board is the term for a variety of balance equipment options like wobble boards, rocker boards, and roller boards. This article will mainly focus on the wobble board. This is a flat round board with a small dome in the middle of one side.
You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.
Balance boards tend to be the best equipment choice if you are on a budget and mostly interested in training standing balance at challenging levels. This type of fitness equipment is also more compact and portable.
On the other hand, Bosu Balls tend to be more versatile, more beginner-friendly, and still very challenging when it comes to balance. Their main downside is that they require a decent investment.
Which one is ultimately the best for you depends on things like your training goals, budget, storage room, personal preferences, etc. This article will also go over these differences in more detail.
Most important differences
Bosu Balls and balance boards both train balance and coordination. However, even in training these things, the two equipment options are different. On top of that, there are many important differences too.
|Feature||Bosu Ball||Balance Board|
|Vertical Balance Training||Great||Really Great|
|Horizontal Balance Training||Decent||Decent|
|Leg Exercises||Decent||Not Really|
|Cardio Training||Yes||Tiny Amount|
|Storage & Portability||Good||Great|
|Skill Level||Beginner To|
|Check Current Prices||Check Current Prices|
In both the Bosu Ball and balance boards a big focus is training balance and coordination. By doing exercises or just standing on an unstable surface, you can train these fitness components.
That being said, the focus and training potential in separate areas in these pieces of fitness equipment is slightly different.
Both the Bosu Ball and balance boards are great to train vertical balance. One potential downside for balance training beginners is that the balance board could be too hard to start with.
At the same time, the training potential of balance boards is higher because they are generally more challenging.
The Bosu Ball and balance boards can also be used for more horizontal balance training with plank exercises. In this area, the Bosu Ball typically offers more options in more comfortable ways.
By making exercises harder when it comes to balance, you typically also engage core muscles like your abs, obliques, and erector spinae slightly more.
On top of that, one of these two equipment options also allows you to do specific core exercises.
Because balance board exercises tend to be more challenging than Bosu Balls, they also generally engage your core muscles just a bit more.
However, the Bosu Ball really stands out in this area because of the larger collection of core exercises you can use it for.
For example, by doing crunches on a good Bosu Ball instead of the ground, the exercise typically becomes more effective because your muscles can go through a larger range of motion.
Doing crunches or similar exercises on wobble boards or balance boards in general is not really an option.
The next popular use for both the Bosu Ball and balance board is doing ankle exercises. You can do these to strengthen your ankles in advance or to recover from an injury.
A potential concern for balance boards is that they could be too challenging for your current ankle strength level. This is mostly a potential issue for people who just had an ankle injury.
In the case of the Bosu Ball, standing on the round dome is not necessarily as intensive. At the same time, you can also turn the Bosu Ball around to get more of a challenge.
Additionally, by putting the Bosu Ball with the flat side on the ground, you don’t have to pay as much attention to balance during your ankle exercises. This could lead to more focus on muscle growth and strengthening.
Other types of training
Balance boards are basically limited to the above types of training. You can use them for a few cardio exercises like mountain climbers and plank jacks but in general, the options are rather limited.
On the other hand, Bosu Balls can be used for a variety of cardio exercises, leg exercises, and more. The Bosu Ball is not always the most effective way to train these things but it can make these workouts a bit more interesting.
Some people are looking for one piece of fitness equipment that can help them train the most fitness components.
In this area, the difference is very clear. The Bosu Ball is more versatile than balance boards like wobble boards and rocker boards.
Storage and portability
A piece of fitness equipment can be the ultimate choice for you when it comes to training benefits but if you are not able to store it, it may not be a great investment after all.
Additionally, you may want to take your Bosu Ball or balance board to the park or anywhere else.
Balance boards are a lot better when it comes to storage and portability than the Bosu Balls. Even if you would deflate your Bosu Ball for every trip or workout session, it would be less convenient to store and carry due to its shape and size.
An important point about the Bosu Ball, balance boards, and fitness equipment in general, is that it needs to be easy enough to start using. If it is too hard you can not use it to start improving.
This point is mainly a concern for balance boards. They can be too challenging for balance training beginners. You don’t have this same concern for the Bosu Ball. The position with the flat part on the ground is relatively beginner-friendly.
The opposite can also be an issue. Many pieces of fitness equipment have an upper limit when it comes to how challenging you can make them. If you reach this point your fitness progress will either slow down or stop.
Bosu Balls and balance boards have a relatively high upper limit when it comes to how hard you can make the exercises on them. Sometimes with the help of Bosu Ball accessories like a medicine ball or dumbbells.
That being said, balance boards typically have a higher limit in this area. So if you are/get really advanced when it comes to balance, the Bosu Ball workouts may become too easy.
For many people a big downside of the Bosu Balls is that they cost a lot compared to other fitness equipment like balance boards.
The thing about balance boards is that they can vary a lot in this area. However, most models, especially wobble boards, tend to be a good amount cheaper than the real Bosu Balls.
Something to keep in mind if you are on a tighter budget is that there are many other brands that offer half ball balance trainers at a lower price. These tend to be lower quality but could suit your workout needs too.