The 10 Best Balance Boards
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in March of 2015. If you've ever been working out and thought to yourself, "This is fun, but it would be better if I were struggling to stay upright," then these rocker boards are for you. They're great for surfers, skateboarders, and people rehabbing from injuries, as they promote lower-body and core strength while improving balance. Plus, they give you a new and exciting way to hurt yourself, which is always fun. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 06, 2021:
There's a great variety of different balance board designs and we're happy to report that all our previous choices are still highly recommended and easy to get your hands on. In particular, we like the Yes4All Stability Trainer for its 360-degree versatility, while the Gabo Wobble is worth mentioning because it's great for beginners and those undergoing at-home physical therapy. On the more subtle side far away from intense training regimens, the Fezibo Stability Rocker functions as a standing desk floor mat and is perfect for keeping your blood flowing while working.
April 20, 2020:
The term balance board can encompass a wide variety of products, from those designed for surf and snowboard training to those intended simply for fitness use. Of course, just because something may have been originally intended for one purpose, doesn't mean it won't work equally well for another. With all this in mind, we did our best to cultivate a nice selection of models to appeal to every one of our readers, no matter what use you have in mind.
If you are looking for a model that improves your balance in a way that should directly translate to better performance on a surfboard, skateboard, or snowboard, the Indo Board Original, 4th Core Trainer, and Driftsun Trainer are smart options. They provide a very high level of instability to really make you conscientious of where you are placing your weight, which is something that is very important on every board sport. While these can be used to workout on, this should only be done by very advanced users.
Those in search of something to do squats or push ups on should consider the Yes4All Stability Trainer, Gabo Wobble, 5Billion Fitness Pad, TheraBand Rocker, or Solofit Board. The Yes4All Stability Trainer and Gabo Wobble are both small, circular models that move in every direction to really activate those stabilizing muscles in the body. That being said, the Gabo Wobble does have an inflatable cushion to limit its movement, making it ideal for true beginners. The TheraBand Rocker is also a suitable choice for beginners, since it only moves along a single plane.
With standing desks being so popular, we thought some readers might appreciate the Fezibo Stability Rocker and FluidStance PLN-3. Both of these are easy to stand on for long periods of time, yet still offer good core and leg muscle activation, so you can make working in front of a standing desk even more beneficial to your health. The Fezibo Stability Rocker even has the additional of fatigue-reducing massage spikes.
Ebb & Flo GoofBoard Classic The GoofBoard Classic is designed to be used with the roller and board parallel with each other and to simulate the feel of surfing with a rail to rail ride. The board itself is made from sustainably-sourced birch plywood, while the roller is crafted from recycled materials. ebbandflobalance.com
Revolution Core 32 The Revolution Core 32 stands apart from most others due to a weight system that provides very smooth movement when the board is touch it, but keeps it in place when it isn't, so you get a more consistent landing after doing tricks. It has a concave shape to mimic a skateboard and a gripped surface for secure footing. revbalance.com
StrongBoard Balance The StrongBoard Balance sits on four powerful springs and is designed to add extra stimulation to your leg and core muscles while working out or doing yoga. Though a bit heavy a bulky, it is durable option that should last through years of regular use, which is good because it is rather expensive. strongboardbalance.com
Health Benefits Of Balance Boards
The use of a balance board is likely to bring to mind images of a pro athlete taking their training to higher levels.
The use of a balance board is likely to bring to mind images of a pro athlete taking their training to higher levels. In reality, balance boards offer a great number of health benefits to anyone who uses them, from the beginner to the highly advanced practitioner.
A balance board obviously trains the balance. Equilibrium is our center of balance, which is required in almost every activity we do. From walking to running, riding a bicycle and even sitting upright, daily life requires a strong equilibrium. As we age, this equilibrium naturally deteriorates if left untrained, leading to a greater number of slip and fall incidents, hospital visits, and a decreased quality of life due to reduced mobility. It does not have to be this way, however. People who regularly participate in balance training show less degenerative equilibrium as they age.
Balance boards also increase coordination. Using one requires all parts of the body and brain to work together, making minor changes as necessary in order to stay on the board. This concerted effort increases awareness of the body as a whole, and lets the brain make adjustments as necessary in the daily life, as well, protecting the muscles of the body from deterioration or atrophy due to lack of use.
Regular practice on a balance board is also effective for prevention of ankle sprain recurrences in those prone to ankle injury. As ankle sprains are the most common form of injury in sports, keeping the ankles strong is important to any athlete. Balance boards have proven themselves useful for strengthening the muscles and joints of the legs.
How Important Is Core Strength Gained From Balance Boards?
The strength training provided by balance boards is an important part of a healthy body. In addition to strengthening the legs and helping to protect the joints, balance boards also help to train the core.
As back pain is the single most widespread pain in the western world, this may be reason enough to use a balance board.
In all athletes, an increase in core function directly translates to an increase in performance. The reason is that proper core strength allows a person to control the position and motion of the torso over the pelvis, which allows for optimal production and control of the force and motion exerted during athletic exercise. Any activity which helps increase core stability in an athlete can be seen as a beneficial training method. As such, balance boards are a highly effective method of core training.
As we age, core strength becomes even more important. Keeping a strong core helps to increase everyday balance, musculoskeletal performance, and fall prevention. A strong core also prevents back pain. As back pain is the single most widespread pain in the western world, this may be reason enough to use a balance board. Back pain is a direct result of having a weak core, and is influenced by activities such as sitting for long periods of time, slouching, and walking with incorrect posture. Regular use of a balance board positively influences core strength and posture, reducing the likelihood of experiencing chronic back pain.
For Whom Balance Boards Are Ideal
Balance boards lend themselves well to strength and coordination training in a wide variety of users. The first and most obvious users are those who seek to improve their expertise at various board sports. A skateboarder can use one to help hone their technique in a relatively risk-free environment. Many balance boards offer a more slim appearance which replicates that of a skateboard, making them especially useful for skaters who need to practice their technique with flip tricks without chasing their board after every failure.
The first and most obvious users are those who seek to improve their expertise at various board sports.
A snowboarder will enjoy using a balance board to keep up their abilities when their is no snow around for practice. For serious riders, balance boards are nearly a requirement, as snow becomes harder to navigate on more advanced slopes. A balance board perfectly trains the core strength required to navigate a board with your feet locked into it.
Those who participate in water sports such as wakeboarding, surfing, kitesurfing, and skiing will also find a balance board to be an irreplaceable tool in their training regimen. All water sports require very specific core training, which can hardly be achieved through sit-ups. Water sports challenge the internal and external obliques, multifidus muscle, and the transverse abdominal muscle.
Competitive athletes looking to avoid common injuries, like a torn ACL, will also do well to use a balance board. The boards train the body to walk correctly, reducing stress on the ligaments and joints. They also help strengthen the thighs and hips, which further reduces the impact on the knees. Proper use of a balance board may also help treat ACL injuries, and may be used as part of a rehab treatment for a torn ACL instead of surgical options.
For people looking to reclaim lost equilibrium, a beginner balance board can be an easy way to train the body to keep itself more stable, strengthening the joints, ligaments, muscles, and even training the brain's ability to coordinate.