Even though you may not think about it much, good balance and coordination are required for all your daily activities. It is not recommended to underestimate the support provided by good balance and strong muscles, whether you are walking down the street, getting up from a table or bending down to tie your shoe laces. Balance trainers are a great help in these matters, because they allow you to work on your balance and coordination directly from the comfort of your home. Only basic exercises are needed to use the balance trainer (push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, etc.). These exercises are however made more effective by trying to keep balance on the trainer. In this guide, we’ll explain the main advantages of balance training and help you pick out a balance trainer that will suit you the best.
What Are the Advantages of Balance Training?
- Better coordination – If you are exercising on a balance trainer, all your muscles must work in unison to maintain balance. This naturally improves your coordination, not just during training, but also in your everyday life. Because we tend to become less coordinated with age, such training is incredibly useful for everyone.
- Training isolated muscles – To maintain balance on the balance trainer, you need to use isolated muscles, without the support of other muscles that would ordinarily “help”. This way, you’ll strengthen deep muscles that are usually hard to exercise.
- Lower risk of an injury – Balance training will help you to become more in sync with your body, which means you’ll be more aware of the movement of your limbs in the space around you. You’ll be less prone to accidents or falls, preventing potential injuries.
- Stronger joints – Depending on the type of exercise, balance training helps you stabilize your shoulders, hip joints, knees or ankles to improve their range of movement. Regular training also lowers the risk of an injury to these joints.
- Coordination of the nervous and muscle system – During balance training, you engage both your muscle and nervous system. Balance training helps your brain learn how to use your muscles more effectively and reduces your reaction time. Basically, you improve the communication between your brain and your muscles. In time, you’ll be able to engage more muscle fibres during training (i.e. during weight lifting).
- Burning calories – Your muscles need to work hard to maintain balance, and as a result burn calories.
- Improving your posture – When using a balance trainer, you not only improve your coordination, but also strengthen your key abdominal and back muscles. This will in turn improve your posture and alleviate back pain.
What to Consider When Picking Out a Balance Trainer?
1. Who will use the balance trainer?
One of the most important aspects when choosing a balance trainer is its weight limit. If you only want to buy a balance trainer for yourself, choose according to your weight. If you know your entire family will want to use it, choose one with a higher weight limit.
2. Where will your balance training take place?
We offer balance trainers in several sizes. If you want to exercise in a flat where there is not much space, it’s best to buy a small balance trainer. Smaller balance trainers are also easier to carry from place to place.
3. What type of balance trainer will suit you best?
Rubber balance trainers
This type of balance trainers comes in a shape of rubber discs with a smaller diameter, often adorned with massage nubs. They are small, easy to store and can be inflated as needed to regulate resistance. They can be either straight or arched in shape (the straight ones are suitable for keeping balance while sitting, the arched ones are better for exercising). Because these balance trainers are smaller, you can use two at a time – for example one for each leg.
Classic balance trainers with a flat base
With these balance trainers, you’ll have a wider range of exercises than you might expect. Balance trainer with a flat base can be used in two ways – laid on the flat base or the other way around, on the inflated part. This significantly increases your exercise options. If the balance trainer lies on the flat base, it will provide you with an unstable surface to balance on while remaining firmly planted on the ground. This way, there is not much risk of falling off. In this position, you can use the balance trainer for a number of basic exercises, making them more effective. If you lay the balance trainer on the inflated side, you’ll get a highly unstable training surface. Many users use it in this position to strengthen their shoulders through push-ups and similar exercises.
Some balance trainers have nubs to massage acupressure points on the underside of your feet. A massage stimulates your immune system and blood circulation and activates your neural endings and zones that positively affect the functions of your inner organs. It’s up to you whether this kind of balance trainer will suit you.
Balance boards are plastic discs with an arched underside. They work on the same principle as balance trainers. Balance discs can be used for various balance exercises that will help you improve your balance and teach you how to react quickly. Maintaining balance on a balance board is usually harder than on an inflatable balance trainer, because the surface is rigid and inflexible. The advantage of balance boards is that they are fairly cheap.
4. Are there any accessories?
A pump for easy inflation is usually provided with our products. Some balance trainers can be supplied with rubber handles so that you can exercise your arms as well.
Are You Interested in Other Balance Training Equipment?
inSPORTline offers also other balance training equipment. If you want to try something different than a balance trainer, you can choose from the following categories:
A twister is an effective equipment for slimming exercises, especially in the hips and oblique abdominal muscles area. Training with a twister is very easy – all you need to do is stand on it and twist your body from side to side. This equipment is especially suitable for those who suffer from back pain, because the exercise doesn’t put much strain on your spine. You should definitely try the twister out, especially if you have a desk job and spend most of your days sitting. It is fun and results will present themselves shortly.
Balance cushions are and ideal accessory for people who spend long periods of time sitting. They relieve back pain, support proper posture and help with rehabilitation. If your cushion also has massage grooves, it’ll make an ideal massage accessory. If you have problems with your back, balance, stress or muscle tension, be sure to get one.
Yoga balance accessories
Yoga balance accessories are used mainly for Pilates exercises, yoga or core training, however if you are creative enough, you’ll find a way to exercise your whole body. These accessories include foam rollers and blocks, as well as yoga balls. They can be used for deep tissue massage or muscle tension release. The purpose of yoga exercises is to relieve pain in your back or joints and alleviate stress. It also helps you to strengthen your figure.
A swing stick is an unconventional piece of equipment that will help you exercise the long, medium and deep muscles of your back and abdomen. Such exercises help prevent back ache. What’s more, the stick’s flexibility will allow you to train your strength and endurance. During exercising, the stick vibrates and the vibrations are transferred to your muscles, which makes the training even more effective. Swing sticks are suitable for users of any age.
If you are looking for an activity that is a bit more dynamic, you may enjoy training with pogo sticks, Slacklines or suspension systems. Exercising with any of these will improve your balance and coordination.