Balance contributes to your overall well-being in ways most people don't think about normally. This is especially true for older people, since they are more prone to slips and falls. According to Fitness magazine, one of the real must-have tools for a great workout is the balance board, since its effectiveness applies to all ages and body types.
Regardless of who you are and what your workout routine consists of, you will benefit greatly from incorporating the balance board into your regimen. Beginners will especially benefit from integrating this exercise equipment in their workouts because many of the targeted muscle groups, such as the abdominals, are the muscles most beginners need to tone up. Here are some of the basic balance board exercises you can include in your daily workout along with their benefits.
Balance board squat
This exercise can be performed in standalone mode, i.e. without the use of props, or you can generate extra resistance by holding a dumb-bell at waist height between your hands, while your elbows are tucked in at your sides. Starting with both feet on the balance board, shoulder-width apart, slowly perform a sitting motion with chest up, eyes looking straight ahead, and your weight distributed more on your heels than your toes.
As you go down, elevate your arms until it’s at the same height as your face, and when your knees achieve a 90-degree angle, slowly begin to reverse the motion and stand up. Repeat the motion as many times as you are able to do it comfortably, each time tightening the core muscles of your abdomen and back.
Balance board push-ups
Assume the traditional push-up position on your hands and toes, directly behind your balance board. From this starting position, place both hands on the center of the balance board and move your body forward until your shoulders are directly over your hands on the board. Once you have steadied yourself and in a good balanced position, bend your elbows and lower your body to the balance board slowly. Once your elbows achieve a 90-degree position, straighten out your arms and raise yourself up again, repeating this motion until you achieve your desired number of repetition for your routine.
Balance board oblique twist
This exercise targets the oblique muscles running along the sides of your body, strengthening and tightening them. Begin by standing on the balance board, centered and holding a medicine ball or a dumb-bell that suits your strength. Tighten your abdominal muscles, back, and hips then slowly rotate your body as far to your left side as you can without losing your balance.
After holding this position for a couple seconds, rotate back to the center and continue until you get to a position as far to the right as you can go while maintaining your equilibrium. Your lower body should be kept straight throughout all movements in this exercise, otherwise the twisting effect will be lost and the targeted muscle groups will not be worked as intended.