The 8 Best Wobble Boards
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in February of 2016. On the hunt for a stimulating way to stay fit while standing at your kitchen counter or desk at work or even while watching TV? These wobble boards simultaneously build core muscles, increase endurance, and improve balance. They're also a great tool for physical therapy. But if you're thinking of using one at home to help rehab an injury, be sure to check with your doctor or therapist first. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 12, 2020:
A wobble board is a specific kind of balance board that provides a 360 degree balance challenge, instead of the side to side motion offered by the models that are popular with skateboarders, surfers and kids.
For physical therapists and fitness buffs, wobble boards have become standard equipment, plus there's a wellness trend in using wobble boards in conjunction with a standing desk while at work, so our list includes some of the best options for each task.
For this update we replaced the Elite Core FX with the more challenging UrbnFit Wood. It provides athletes looking for an enhanced workout with a 30 degree range of motion, plus its solid wood and rugged base can support up to 550 pounds, hundreds more than the competition.
The brand's plastic model, the UrbnFit Balance is also useful for working out, it's lower center of gravity and lightweight make it great for a standing desk.
We added the Every Mile Portable near the top of the list because of it's added feature of side handles that make certain exercises like push-ups more comfortable, plus the handles make this model even more portable for taking to and from work.
October 17, 2018:
Removed the Reebok Balance and the Isokinetics Inc. due to availability issues. Added the UrbnFit Core because of its distinct reinforced bottom. Added the Rocco Balance because of its sturdy wood and plastic construction.
Fit Paws Wobble Board Humans aren't the only mammals who can benefit from a little cross training or physical therapy. With a little training and a few treats, owners help their best friend improve body awareness, increase range of motion, and even strengthen muscles. fitpawsusa.com
Why Incorporate A Wobble Board Into Your Workout?
Because of this, athletes whose sports require advanced senses of balance are often ones who are in especially good shape.
If you've ever stood on a surface that was particularly unstable, you may have noticed that the muscles in your legs and your core quickly went into overdrive. Even on a stable surface, if you strike a difficult enough pose in yoga, you might experience rapid muscular contractions. This is because the body’s sense of equilibrium is particularly sensitive and will attempt to right itself without your conscious thought, much in the way that your hand will automatically retract from a hot surface before the signal of that temperature can even reach your brain. As your body suddenly loses balance, it immediately takes action to right itself.
Because of this, athletes whose sports require advanced senses of balance are often ones who are in especially good shape. Think of gymnasts, ice hockey players, and surfers, whose sports demand that they maintain balance when speeding along on a wave, or flying across the ice while being slammed into by other players. Now, we're not suggesting that you jump straight into the ocean, or strap a pair of razor blades to your feet to try to get in shape. What we are suggesting is that you incorporate a sense of instability into your workout.
To do this, you would employ a wobble board. This is a simple device made of a flat, circular platform that sits slightly elevated on a half-dome base of rubber or some similar material that causes it to resemble the lower one-quarter of a spinning top. When you stand on the wobble board you'll find it very difficult to steady yourself at first, but you'll soon find a balance provided you don't try anything too crazy.
Now, imagine yourself doing a squat on flat, stable ground. Your hips hinge slightly backward with your weight rested in your heels, and you sit into the motion with relative comfort until you raise yourself back up. If you were to stand on a wobble board and perform these same motions, you would find the muscles in your feet, calves, and thighs all going a little insane as they attempt to perform a motion they thought they understood, but that's been completely thrown off by a lack of stability. This recruitment of additional muscle fibers increases the amount of strain you put on those muscles, resulting in better tone and a bigger build.
It doesn't just stop with the lower body and core either. You can rest your forearms on either side of your wobble board and add an extra layer of difficulty to your planks, or you can grab the sides of the board and use it to destabilize your push-ups. You can even incorporate it into a set of burpees if you really want to torture yourself.
What To Look For In A Wobble Board
Most of the wobble boards that you see on the market are mostly going to resemble one another. The general design of these items is pretty standard, but there are still a lot of little things that differentiate one board from another, and that you would do well to scrutinize before making a purchase.
Depending on your level of confidence and expertise in the gym, you should choose accordingly.
One of the most important aspects of any wobble board is the construction and design of the platform itself, especially when it comes to how well it will grip the bottoms of your shoes or your feet. Some boards provide little to no traction explicitly to make their use more difficult for serious athletes, while others — particularly those intended for physical therapy — try to be as grippy as possible to prevent you from slipping. Depending on your level of confidence and expertise in the gym, you should choose accordingly.
The actual material out of which a given wobble board is made might be important to you, as well. Wooden boards are popular for their cost and durability, but many of these woods are unfinished, and if you're a heavy sweater you may find that these are susceptible to mold and mildew. Plastic boards are fine in terms of durability, and they certainly aren't at risk for mold or mildew, but they tend to give a little more than their wooden counterparts, which may actually make it easier for some users to balance on them and might detract slightly from the intended destabilization of the workout.
Finally, you want to look at the wobbling mechanism itself, which is essentially like the bottom tip of the spinning top we discussed earlier. Some models boast very stiff bases, which will cause the wobble board to topple more quickly and may prove to ensure the most difficult and demanding workout. Models with softer bases may be a little bit easier to use for novices, so if you're looking for just a little bit of difficulty, these might be best for you.
Other Simple Ways To Get A Great Workout
What's great about a wobble board is that it's relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to take with you on the road. This is ideal if you're going to be away from your gym for a while and you want to make sure you still get a decent workout in. There are some additional pieces of equipment you can get your hands on to accompany your wobble board for quick, effective workouts.
Some even let you hang from them to perform leg lifts and other abdominal exercises.
Resistance bands are among the most useful tools in any athlete’s arsenal. Like wobble boards, they are lightweight and incredibly easy to pack up and move around, and they can provide a solid workout to almost any muscle group. You can grab a single resistance band and increase its strength by folding it over on itself, or you can invest in a small set that will provide you with different levels of resistance.
If you're looking to outfit your home with a very small amount of easily storable workout items to keep you fit on those days when you can't make it to the gym, a simple pull-up bar is a great addition. These can quickly pop in and out of a door frame, and provide you with one of the most thorough back and bicep workouts imaginable. Some even let you hang from them to perform leg lifts and other abdominal exercises.