Are you looking for the best balance board to buy in order to improve your balance or just add another dimension to your physical fitness routine? This lightweight and versatile device is used by many people for purposes such as strength enhancement, training for board sports like surfing and wakeboarding, and even physical therapy or rehabilitation.
If you’re the DIY type of person, you can opt to make your own balance boards. However, you can choose from among many different brands if you’d rather purchase one. This page will provide you with helpful information on finding the right type of board balance trainer. We’ll also be sharing with you several of the top-rated and best balance boards we found based on buyer-written reviews online.
Types of Balance Boards
The most basic type of balance board is the rocker type, which is a flat board that has a fixed fulcrum attached to its underside. You place one foot at each end of the board and rock it from side to side until you are perfectly balanced.
There are many other kinds of balance boards, all of which are mostly based on these three types:
Rocker-roller board: Instead of a fixed fulcrum, this board is situated on a cylindrical roller that moves in relation to the board and the ground. Different board shapes can be used with different roller forms and may also be constrained in many different ways. Rocker-roller boards can be ridden leftward-rightward and backward-forward, though the latter is more difficult to do.
Wobble board: The board is usually circular in shape and the fulcrum below it is shaped like a sphere. The board can be pivoted in all directions, and its challenge-of-use level depends on factors such as the fulcrum’s height, the board’s size, and the level of the curve of the fulcrum that touches the ground. The steepness of a wobble board’s maximum incline ranges from 10 to 24 degrees. The fulcrum may be made from materials such as inflated plastic, dense foam, elastic, and rubber.
Sphere-and-ring balance board: This board balances on a fulcrum of either a solid polyurethane ball or an inflatable rubber ball. The user can ride the board in any direction by redistributing his or her weight across it. A ring or railing on the board’s underside ensures the ball stays under the board. This type of balance board permits extensive freedom of movement in board balance. Like the wobble board, the sphere & ring balance board affect muscles that are not worked by boards that only move in two opposite directions.
Benefits of Balance Training Boards
If you engage in a balance activity or sport such as snowboarding, skiing, and dancing, you’ll benefit from training on a balance board. You can also do balance board exercises to strengthen various muscle groups, even just your upper body if you do push-ups on it. A balance disc or board is useful for non-athletes as well. At least one study shows that using a balance board can help improve proprioception, or your body’s spatial awareness — which in turn plays a key part in reducing the risk of ankle sprains. A board balance trainer is also used as a physical therapy tool when recovering from a knee or ankle injury.
Because they are portable and lightweight, you can bring one to your workplace and get a good balance training session during your lunch break; no need to change into exercise clothes for it. Balance boards can also be used by children to help improve their balance and posture, and to increase core strength in the pelvis and trunk.
What to Consider When Choosing a Balance Board
If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to start out with a large rocker board, which sits close to the ground and which tilts only from side to side. Those who are more adept and who are looking for more challenging balance board exercises would do well to choose a board with a smaller platform and a higher pivot point. Using such a board successfully involves more than just shifting one’s weight to achieve balance, you have to use your core muscles too.
A balance board with a textured surface can anchor your feet more firmly to the board and prevent you from slipping. Also, make sure that the base is sturdy and that it’s securely connected to the board.
3 Best Balance Board Products Based on User Reviews & Ratings
Reading reviews about balance boards or wobble boards is a great way to acquire more information about the features and performance of the board you’re considering. Reviews posted by buyers on large Internet shopping sites like Amazon.com provide a wealth of data about the pros and cons of various board balance trainers. Here are three of the bestselling balance boards that enjoy top ratings from consumers.
1. Fitter First Bongo Board
This Bongo board has all five- and four-star ratings by consumers. It’s described as being helpful in improving coordination, responsiveness and sports performance and for enhancing stability and core strength. It could be mistaken for a skateboard except that it has only one independent roller that is connected to the board with a stretchable cord. This balance board weighs 9 pounds and is 32 inches long.
– A customer said it improved his lower body balance, coordination and strength by working muscles such as the adductors and quadriceps.
– The roller will not fly across the room if you lose your balance.
– A reviewer said the product has become a confidence-builder for his daughter and her friends.
– It feels very sturdy.
– There’s no assembly required.
– It feels effective; a user said stomach muscles were burning after 30 minutes of balancing on the board.
– It can carry large people. A reviewer weighing 250 pounds says that device holds him just fine.
– It can take a few days to actually achieve balance on the board.
– It seems shorter than the old Bongo board variety.
2. GoFit Ultimate Wobble Board
This wobble board features an extra-thick wooden board with a non-skid surface. A molded plastic base is screwed into the bottom of the board to enhance safety and product durability. Several reviewers reported using it as a physical therapy tool to strengthen their ankles after an injury. The package includes the “Core Performance” DVD created by author an athletic trainer Mark Verstegen.
– A user with plenty of scar tissue from a serious ankle sprain says she saw a marked improvement in her ankle after just a couple of workouts.
– It sits higher off the ground than several other wobble boards and provides a more challenging workout.
– It works well on hard floors and carpets.
– It’s well-built, with a solid construction.
– The base permits easy spinning, but not slipping.
– It can be used while standing or sitting.
– The top grip tape may be uncomfortable on bare feet if used for more than ten minutes.
– Several buyers said the instructional DVD that came with the package was defective.
3. Carrom 510.01 Balance Board
This board balance from Carrom is another popular balance training device among a number of consumers. It’s constructed from hard plywood and is finished with high-quality polyurethane. The anti-skid strips on the board prevent the user’s feet from slipping off. It measures 31.5 inches long and weighs 8.5 pounds and is capable of a 300-pound load.
– A number of users reported that the product seems strong and well-made.
– Level of difficulty can be increased or decreased by using the board on hard floors or carpet.
– It’s inexpensive.
– It’s suitable for both kids and adults.
– One reviewer said her balance board was still in great shape after two years of use, without any splinters or any part coming undone.
– Some assembly is required, but users say it’s easy to put together.
– It can be challenging for new users, although some say that beginners have no problem learning to use it.
So whether you’re looking to supplement your sports training, strengthen your muscles, improve your equilibrium, or just want to have fun with your family with a simple device, you’re apt to benefit from a board balance trainer. Check out the products and their reviews, and see whether one of them could be the best balance board for you or somebody else who might benefit from using one.