After countless research and independent testing, we’ve created a list of the 10 Best Balance Boards For Athletes to Use in 2020.
If you want to be an elite athlete, you got to have balance. We’re not just talking about balance in life – we’re talking about physical balance as well. And, the way that you do that is by having a strong foundation and strong core. That’s so you don’t get knocked off of your mark when the game is on the line.
Elite athletes in all walks of life are using all kinds of training aids today to gain a competitive advantage. And, they’re doing it through constantly challenging themselves on a daily basis with innovative training equipment. One of the pieces of gym equipment that’s being used today by elite athletes all over the world is the balance board.
Incorporating a balance board into your training regimen is a great way to improve your overall balance and coordination. Balance board training also forces those tiny muscles throughout your midsection and lower body to fire, which strengthens your core and lower body too. Why is that important? Well, improving your core strength is vital to the overall health of your back and neck. A strong core also improves your athletic mobility, making you harder to beat on the field too.
Although many people think that you have to plank and crunch your way to a strong core, you can instead incorporate a balance board to supplement your training program. Not only will you strengthen those vital core muscles, you’ll also strengthen to muscles in your legs, abs, lower back and hips.
What are Balance Boards and How Do They Work?
Balance Boards are training devices used by athletes in order to create an unstable surface underneath the body. This unstable surface, in turn, forces your body to use your legs, core muscles and nervous system in order to align your body properly so that you can stabilize the platform you’re standing on.
The way balance boards work is pretty simple. If you don’t apply and equal amount of force in both legs while you’re standing on a balance board, the board will lean to the side where your body is trying to overcompensate. When the board leans, it forces you to react and reapply your strength quickly so that the edges of the board don’t hit the ground.
There are a variety of balance boards available today, including:
The two most common styles used are the circular wobble boards and the roller boards. And, if you’re wondering if balance boards work or not, they do. They’re are an excellent piece of workout equipment to incorporate into your training regimen because they’ll challenge your coordination and develop strength at the same time. Balance board training is being used in all walks of life from elite athletes to physical therapists because the benefits from using them are phenomenal.
If you want to get all scientific, these boards force your body to develop your proprioception, which is your body’s subconscious ability to be able to sense balance, body positioning and posture alignment. Your body’s proprioceptive system is an entire network of nerves located throughout your body’s muscles, tendons and connective tissues. These nerves are able to detect when your body tenses in certain areas and in turn receive signals from your brain to contract countering muscles so that you can balance yourself correctly.
The reason why it’s important to train your body’s proprioceptive system is because it needs to stay engaged in order to quickly react. When you’re not using it, your body’s reactionary time diminishes and causes you to be a step behind. Plus, if you experience an injury (which all athletes do at some point), your proprioceptive system can become damaged. If you do not rehabilitate your injury correctly, your body will start to overcompensate in certain areas to protect your injury, which throws your entire system out of sync. It’s a significant reason why you see so many of these boards being used by physical therapists in sports rehabilitation.
What Are The Benefits of Balance Board Training For Athletes?
Whatever your fitness level or overall coordination level may be, there’s several important reasons why you should incorporate a balance board into your workout routine. The benefits from balance board training that you’ll experience from implementing these devices into your workout will help you transition into a stronger and more agile athlete when you step into competition.
And, when you start implementing balance board exercises into your training regimen, you’ll start to realize that you’ll have sore muscles that you never knew existed. When it comes to developing true strength throughout the midsection while implementing sport specific dynamic movements, the best balance boards on the market are going to be the training devices that you’re going to want to use.
Benefit #1: It Strengthens Your Core Muscles & Improves Your Posture
The most important athletic benefit that you’ll experience from balance board training is in the development of your core muscles. What the balance board forces you to do is to keep your muscles throughout your core engaged. If they’re not firing and keeping your posture in an upright and balanced position, then you’ll topple over and be forced to start balancing all over again. Although the concept of balance board training may seem intimidating, its a fun and engaging way to shake things up and challenge yourself when working out.
And it today’s world, there are way too many people with poor posture out there do to our addictions to screens. Cell phones, computers and televisions have caused us to neglect our necks, backs, and vital core muscles that athletes need to dominate when they suit up. Balance board training forces you to take yourself out of that rounded, hunched over position and strengthen the muscles that support your backside. By implementing a balance board, you will strengthen deep muscles that travel throughout the core of your body and are responsible for your spine’s alignment. When you train for a properly aligned spine, you will start to develop the muscles responsible for proper shoulder and neck alignment as well.
Benefit #2: It Improves Your Agility
When you incorporate a balance board into your training routine, you’re not only going to develop core strength, you’re also going to make yourself more agile in the process. Core strength and agility go hand in hand with each other because you have to have a strong midsection in order to move laterally quickly and efficiently.
Imagine that your midsection serves as a string that keeps your head connected to your feet. When that string is taught (having a strong core), it’s easier to move everything along that string from side to side. However, if your string is loose (having a weak core), it’s much more difficult to have everything move together. The looser that your string becomes, the more slack you’ll have, which means that it will take twice as much energy to move than if you have a tight string.
When you have a strong core, you’re able to change direction much quicker than you would if you have a weak core because your energy transfer from your lower body muscles will continue to travel through your core instead of being absorbed by it.
Benefit #3: It Strengthens Your Foundation & Makes You More Athletic
Every elite athlete – regardless of what sport they play – has a strong physical foundation. When you implement balance board training, you’re helping strengthen those foundational lower body muscles that are going to give you the explosive strength and balance you’re going to need to destroy your competition.
When you incorporate balance board training into your workout routine, you’re forcing your body to use small stabilizing muscles that are often neglected. Instead of training on a flat surface where your primary muscles (quads and glutes) can overcompensate, you’ll be training the muscles in your feet, calves, shins, inner and outer thighs, as well as your hip flexors. When you’re working these muscles, you’re building a stronger foundation that is going to make you harder to move and give you the ability to be more agile with your movements.
So how does balance board training make you a better athlete? Well, when you develop neglected lower body muscles and strengthen fundamental lower body joints, you make your body more agile and injury proof in the long run. Balance board workouts prepare your body to become familiar with balance-related challenges when you’re on the field so that you don’t get knocked off your mark and allow your body to perform dynamically.
Benefit #4: It Improves Your Coordination & Your Muscle Memory
There’s no better way to teach yourself how to be balanced on a stable surface than by training on an unstable surface. When you activate your core muscles and legs while you’re balance training, you’re strengthening your coordination ability as well. That’s because you’re constantly firing your neural receptors and central nervous system to send messages to key muscles throughout your body so that you can stabilize yourself.
When you develop your hand-eye, foot-eye, and mind-muscle connection, you become more spatially aware of what your body is doing. Because of this, you’re more aware of how to use your body to work to your advantage. You become “in tune” with your movements and understand what your body is capable of when you hit the field.
You won’t realize it, but when you develop your neglected muscles and strengthen your neural pathways throughout your body, you’re giving your body the opportunity to focus on the task at hand. You’re focused on what you need your muscles to do to work to your advantage, which makes you more explosive and agile against your competition.
The 10 Best Balance Boards For Athletes
1. Revolution Fit 3-in-1 Balance Board
The best interchangeable balance board you can buy is the Revolution Fit 3-in-1 trainer. This is the most versatile balance board you can buy as it comes with a rocker, an air cushion with 360-degrees of tilt, and a roller as you continue to develop your coordination. It’s interchangeable balance system allows for anyone to experience a challenge and is perfect for athletes of all skill levels and ages.
2. Indo Board
One of the best balance boards to build strength and balance on the market today is the Indo Board. This cabinet grade birch wood balance board comes complete with a 6.5″ indestructible molded roller and instructional dvd with over two hours of balance board training exercises as well. It’s used by olympic champions around the world and its 12 iconic designs allow you to train with style.
Go with the PROFitness Balance Board if you’re looking for a durable and affordable balance board. It’s made of strong poplar wood that can hold up to 330 pounds and is equipped with a anti-slip grip tape standing surface, making it perfect balance board for younger athletes.
4. Everymile Wobble Balance Board
One of the best wobble balance boards for athletes is the Everymile board. It’s got an ABS platform with a non-slip surface and made of lightweight, durable TPR plastic. The Everymile Board also has a 360-degree rotation and 15-degree tilting angle making it perfect for developing your balance, coordination and flexibility.
5. Whirley Board
One of the best balance boards for younger athletes is the Whirley Board. It’s one of the most versatile balance boards that poses the perfect challenge for athletes who are new to balance training. The board is equipped with a cork rubber grip and is sock and barefoot friendly as well. Whenever you want to practice your balance training indoors, all you have to do is hop on and train.
6. URBNFit Balance Board Trainer
The URBNFit is built to withstand punishment from elite athletes, which makes it one of the best balance boards for teenagers that you can buy. It’s pine and poplar deck is equipped with a layer of non-slip grip tape and a PVC roller that bonds naturally to the board. It also comes with a workout guide so that you can start balance training right out of the box.
7. Aduro Sport Wobble Balance Board
If you’re looking for one of the best balance boards that is lightweight and portable, then check out the Aduro Sport Wobble Board. It’s made of high quality plastic and has a textured non-slip surface that holds up to 300 lbs. This board also travels to a 16-degree angle, making it perfect for both balance and injury rehabilitation.
8. Ebb and Flo Goofboard Balance Board
Designed by surf riders, the Ebb and Flo Goofboard is the best balance board that gives a realistic surfing ride. It’s equipped with a U-Block accessory that allows a gentle rocking motion to get you familiar with the board. It’s also 44 inches long, making it a perfect balance board for larger athletes.
9. Revolution Swell 2.0 Balance Board Trainer
The Revolution Swell 2.0 Balance Board Trainer is one of the best balance boards you can buy that is compact and easy to travel with. This premium balance board is equipped with durasoft traction that is comfortable for bare feet and has an adjustable magnetic stopping system to adjust the board’s difficulty.
10. WODFitters Vew-Do
One of the best balance boards for athletes who are heavy on their gear is the WodFitters Vew-Do. It has a hardwood angle tapered rock that travels fast, a 7-ply maple deck that is durable, and a 31 degree taper that makes the board move quickly for intermediate and advanced riders.
That’s our list of the 10 Best Balance Boards For Athletes to use in 2019. Pick one of these balance trainers today so that you can start to improve your core strength, balance, and coordination in time for next season.