If you’ve never done any balance training before, or you believe your balance is poor, it’s essential to get specialist help. Whether from a gym, personal trainer, or physical therapist.
This guide is intended as an introduction to some of the popular types of balance training equipment. Many gyms stock these. You can also click on the images to buy your own from Amazon.com
Just beginning? Looking for inspiration where to start? Leading physical therapist and healthy aging advocate Bill Case has put together a book to take you through some essential exercises to improve posture and balance (click on the image to buy or find out more)
Try Tai Chi. This ancient practise significantly improved balance, as numerous studies on fall prevention interventions have shown. If you don’t have access to a class or teacher near you, this video covers the basics and helps you follow along to learn the sequences.
The basics too easy now? Try a foam pad. You could use any foam you have lying around, the idea behind this is that the surface is slightly unstable, so even standing on two feet, your muscles and neuromuscular pathways are working harder to keep you balanced.
Use the pad for your balance exercises, going through the progressions from easiest to hardest, just like you did on the floor (click on the image to buy or find out more).
Up the challenge? These discs are great as you can either use one, or put one under each foot. They’re less stable than the foam, but still have a fairly low profile so they aren’t too challenging to get onto and off – though it’s a good idea to use them near to support while you get used to them.
Tip: they can also be used for core exercise workouts like plank, pushups and mountain climber, to incorporate additional stability challenge into your regular workout. This one comes with instructional ebook to get you going (click on the image to buy or find out more).
Pushing it even harder? Bosu has an excellent reputation and their core product, the half-sphere can be used hard side down, or hard side up, to increase the challenge even more. It takes up a bit more space than the other equipment, but most gyms have them if you don’t want to keep one at home.
Use it for standing, one leg drills, push ups, plank (placing feet or hands on the Bosu). The Bosu site has more great videos to help inspire you and ensure you’re paying attention to the technique (click on the image to buy or find out more).
If you buy via these links, Zibrio earns a small commission from Amazon, but items are only included here if we’ve used and loved them ourselves. You pay the same price whether you buy through us or directly on Amazon.
Which are your favorites? Do you have a go-to exercise you’d like to share? Do you have any questions for us about other items not featured here? Get in touch, we’re here to help.