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Balance Board Exercises for Runners to Strengthen Lower Legs

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All the time that is spent on running or other forms of exercise can be easily combined into a single easier and lighter alternative that gives you the same benefits. This fun way to exercise involves balance boards and is very easy to do! The balance board can be a great way to stay in shape and is a low-intensity exercise that will aid your workout even with injuries. There are numerous benefits that come from using this piece of equipment especially if you work regularly and incorporate it into your fitness regime. You will learn how to use a wobble board, all of its benefits, and the different balance board exercises involved in staying in shape with this tool. Read on if you wish to try out a wobble board and unlock its full potential to keep you fit and healthy in a fun way.

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What are Balance or Wobble Boards?

There are many types of wobble boards that you may find in the market today. Depending on what kind of fitness or health goal you have in mind, you need to but the corresponding foot balance board. The exercises you practice will also depend on the type if the board you decide to go with. 

Most of the wobble boards that you could pick have the similar characteristic of a flat surface on top of a pivot that can move about in different directions at that point. To use a balance or wobble board, you will need to be able to stand on the board and keep balance. This requires you to have a basic sense of balance by distributing your weight across the surface of the board. The design of most boards has the pivot fixed in place to the bottom of the board while some have pivots that are able to move around.  

balance board
Right way to shape and strengthen your body (source)

Types of Balance Board

Various types of boards again illustrate the purpose of wobble boards for different fitness exercises and training plans. They can also differ in difficulty and therefore some may be more preferential for your fitness level or disposition to injury. There are four main types of balance boards, these are:

1. Rocker board

This type of balance board has a central fulcrum that lets the user balance and moves from either left or right. 

rocker board
Rocker board for balance (source)

2. Roller board

A board with a similar build as the rocker board but with added flexibility about its fulcrum. This is due to the design where the fulcrum is not connected to the bottom of the board allowing it to roll and tilt in one direction only. 

types of balance board
Roller board for flexibility (source)

3. Sphere board

Also called a ball board, this equipment combines the roller board’s unstable fulcrum and a standard wobble board. The concept of this type involves the board being balanced on a sphere or ball allowing it to be able to roll or tilt in any direction.

4. Wobble board

This board can tilt in any direction requiring excellent balancing skills with the possible 360-degree rotation that it is capable. 

Wobble Board
Wobble Board (source)

Balance Board Exercise Benefits

There are lots of exercises to stay fit, activities and sports you could try out. But no other exercise can provide the combined effect of balance training, muscle strengthening and fun in one session. We hope you read the balance board benefits and decide to use them as an alternative way of reaching your exercise goals. Train to receive the following wobble board benefits:

1. Increase Your Sense of Proprioception

The basic functioning of the proprioceptive system is to allow a human to sense the different parts of our body without actually having to look at them. They work in tandem with the nervous system and every joint of the body. You use proprioception in almost every movement you make in every moment of the day. They aid in your coordination and movement of different body parts together necessary in sports and other complex activities. By using a wobble board or performing balance board exercises, you can train and improve this proprioceptive system. Using the balance board exercises can also train your body to react appropriately and involuntarily to loss of balance or sudden movements on the ground.

2. Build Core Strength

As you step on the board, in order to stay balanced you will need to be constantly using your muscles to stay put. This requirement improves your muscle strength, especially at your core. You can, therefore, work on the necessary elements of training your body like your core which is frequently overlooked in most workouts.

3. Prevention Future Injury

When you strengthen your muscles you are also building up strength in the joints and most of your body. This allows you to be less susceptible to new injuries that may come your way. With stronger muscles, you can withstand getting muscle pulls or tears as easily. With the practice of a balance board, you will prevent falling and injuring yourself in the first place. Read further as we mention which wobble board exercises for ankle and wobble board exercises for the core are great for strengthening against injury.

4. Faster Recovery

These boards are very suitable for use in rehabilitation of injured muscles or bones. With a wobble board, you can slowly and safely strengthen the torn or injured parts without stressing them too much.

5. Mental Focus

You can even steady your thoughts and focus the mind on relaxing and taking it easy. Your sense of balance and proprioception will only improve if you focus yourself on the task at hand. Use this as a way to leave out all bad thoughts and destress yourself from everyday life. It has been studied that balance training involves both sides of your brain and can benefit you immensely in focusing mental energy on a productive cause.

We think it is safe to say that balance board exercises come with a whole range of benefits for your body and mind! So start practicing your balance techniques and use a wobble board to stay fit. Continuous exercise is the best way to stay healthy or lose weight. Staying active with definitely benefit you in the long run and one of the best ways to do this could be to use a wobble board. 

Sports Which Use Wobble Board 

As there are numerous benefits of using a balance board, many sports use them to train their athletes. A few worth mentioning are the following:

  • Running: This activity can be better accomplished if there is a better sense of balance accompanied with it. Along with balance, muscle strengthening, agility, and injury prevention can benefit runners too.
  • Active Sports: There are many sports that require balance and muscle strength as a great combination. One such sport is Baseball, which many overlook as a game that really benefits from balance and coordination. Some athletes use wobble board ankle training for preventing injury.
  • Surf / Ski / Skateboard: Skiing is one of those sports that require a great sense of balance to do well. Instead of practicing in a sea or snowy location, you can use a balance board and enjoy the comfort of the warmth and indoors. These wobble boards allow you to mimic the movements of a board in the water, snow, or skating rink.
balance board exercise
Runner should train using balance board

Balance Board Exercises

Some of these balance board exercises will be extremely useful in helping you reach your fitness goals. You can recover from a running injury, strengthen muscles, improve balance, and work on your core. Use these exercises to stay fit and to prevent getting injured in the first place. Whether you are a skier, surfer, runner, or just want to improve your own abilities, try out these balance board exercises. It is extremely important that you start out using the balance board with another person around you to help out. Bring a friend and ask them to help you get on to the board as it can be difficult to find your balance when you first try using it. Instead of asking someone else, you can use the wall or a flat surface to hold on to. Try to find an area with cushioned or soft floors as exercising on a hard surface can be dangerous.

How to Get Started

These are basic wobble board exercises to improve balance that you can do when on the balance board to get yourself back into shape or to practice your balance.

1. Standing

The first thing you need to try out is to stand properly on the board without the support of any kind. This can be a challenge especially if you have not had any balance training in the past. You will end up using many muscles in the body to just stay up on the board in a stable position.

balance board exercise
Stand on a Balance board for stability (source)

2. Single Leg Stand

The next step to take when on the balance board, after standing with both legs, is to balance with only one leg at a time. Try this out and after mastering this you can try out the next few exercises.

balance board exercises
Strengthen your lower leg muscles (source)

3. Squats

Now that you can stand on the balance board you can try out doing smaller exercises like squats. Stand on the board with your knees apart and slowly try to go down into a squat position. Keep your back straight as you bend the knees. Stay balanced throughout as you work your butt, thighs, and quads. 

balance board exercises
Firm your thighs, hamstring with balance board exericse

4. Push up

Try out doing push-ups on the wobble board with your hands close together or wider apart. This can put pressure on different parts of your chest and arms. When you put your hands on the board ensure that it is maintained balanced without either side of the board touching the floor.

5. Plank

Another basic exercise that you can try out on the balance board is a plank. Doing a plank on the board can effectively increase its difficulty and put more strain on your body to stay balanced. Hold both sides of the balance board, maintain a straight spine, and hold on. One way to increase the difficulty further would be to move up and down while on the board in a plank and prevent the board from touching the ground. Lift a leg at a time while you do this to master planking and getting the best out of this balance board exercises.

balance board exercises
Planks on balance board for stronger upper body

Top Balance Board Exercise Brands

There are so many different types of balance boards to try out and even more, brands to choose from. You can opt for basic models that can be used to rehabilitate injured parts or boards specifically designed for fitness, targeting different muscle groups. They range according to specialty and price. With numerous brands to pick from you can compare and decide for the best balance board suited to you. Here we have listed some great wobble board companies so you can decide which is best for you:

  • Indoboard

The manufacturers of these boards had originally planned to make balance boards for surfers. However today these boards can be used for a wide range of sporting activities and even exercise and training. They help athletes focus on balance and proprioceptive skills. You can find all types of boards in this brand.

  • Rooboard

This brand markets itself as having reinvented balance boards for more efficient exercising today. They manufacture boards that are smaller and easier to transport than most boards. They even sell a board that allows you to practice all the balance board exercises you would do if you had the other separate types of boards. You get the best of four boards all in one. There are also types that are sturdy and compact enough to fit in a backpack. Take a look at what they have in store and pick the best-suited board in your price range.

  • Vew-do

The board manufacturer that began as a snowboarding specialty brand has now advanced into being focused on helping people with building their core. They have experimented with creating boards that tap into more than just balance training but exercise and fitness as well.

  • StrongBoard Balance

Uncommonly but not unusual, this brand puts springs in its boards. They believe that it allows the muscles in the body to flex as the body tries to stabilize itself. They provide a wide range of board types to choose from.

  • FitterFirst

The brand that manufactures all sorts of boards for balance training to exercise also provides the ‘Extreme Balance Board Pro’. This board is a greater challenge to those out there tired of the simpler built balance boards. You can train and test out its all directional roll and tilt ability to any angle.

  • CoolBoard

The boards manufactured by this UK company are different from traditional balance boards. They provide sphere boards where you balance on a ball with a large range of movement in many directions.

Summing Up

There you have it, the best way to work the muscles in your body and practice balance is through these balance board exercises. Try them out with caution and at your own pace. Make sure to start out slow and then as you get comfortable work on more complex balance board workouts.

Let us know which balance board training is your favourite and which balance board exercise you found most helpful to your fitness goals.

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