How to Use a StrongBoard Balance Trainer At Home

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Exercises to Take Your Balance Training Farther

StrongBoard Balance
StrongBoard Balance

Balance training - whether done while performing single-leg exercises on the ground or while using a balance training device - is a key component of a long and healthy life. As you age, and if your flexibility and neuromotor control decrease, a strong core and well-honed ability to adjust to a changing center of gravity could be the things standing between you and a life-altering fall.

Think about it - how many times a day do you take a misstep, or have to suddenly move in an unexpected manner? It's probably more than you initially think, and if you're a parent of a young child, it's probably all the time. Your ability to stay on your feet is a combination of flexibility, agility, reaction time, core strength and, ultimately, balance and coordination.

The StrongBoard Balance is a new balance tool developed by fitness trainer, Mike Curry. Unlike many other balance tools on the market, the StrongBoard Balance offers a sturdy platform on which to perform traditional strength training exercises, and uses the always-in-motion power of four strong springs to keep users' cores constantly engaged throughout every exercise performed on the board. The result is a core-strengthening balance workout that also enables users to improve their cardiovascular and muscular endurance when used as part of a well-designed program.

While many gyms are beginning to offer StrongBoard Balance classes, and Curry recently released a continuing education certification for trainers who want to teach board-based classes, it still may be hard to find a class near you (for now, at least. Until then, you can pick up your own StrongBoard Balance trainer (starting at $269) and try the following circuit workout at home. Simply perform each exercise for time, as described, rest one minute, then repeat four more times.

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Lunges

StrongBoard Balance Lunge
StrongBoard Balance

  1. Put one foot forward on your StrongBoard Balance. Center your foot on the platform so the middle of your arch is across the logo. Your back foot should be extended behind you by approximately one large step. Rise up onto the ball of your back foot. Your body weight should be evenly distributed between both legs. Look up, and keep your chest tall and your shoulders back.
  2. Bend both knees and lower your torso straight down until your front leg forms a 90-degree angle, while your back knee remains above the StrongBoard Balance platform.
  3. Engage your glutes and your core, and press yourself back to the starting position, using equal strength in both legs.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides

Tips:  Inhale on the way down and exhale as you push up. Be careful not to extend your front knee beyond your toes while doing this exercise.

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Squat to Press

StrongBoard Balance Squat Press
StrongBoard Balance

  1. Stand on your StrongBoard Balance with your feet pointing straight ahead, shoulder-width apart. Check your posture - your chest should be up, shoulders back, and abs engaged.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides. Tip your hips back and bend your knees until you are in a seated position.
  3. Pushing through your heels, engage your glutes and thrust up with your legs while simultaneously pressing the dumbbells over your head
  4. Bring the dumbbells back your sides and continue the exercise for 60 seconds

Tips: Keep a slight bend in your knees while standing on the StrongBoard Balance. By using the your lower body to press yourself from a squat to a standing position, you'll take some of the weight out of your shoulders as you lift the dumbbells. Be sure to exhale on the way up and keep your abs fully engaged as you lift the dumbbells over your head.

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Pushups

StrongBoard Balance Pushup
StrongBoard Balance

  1. Position your hands palms down on the StrongBoard Balance platform on each side of the logo, shoulder-width part.
  2. You'll start in a full plank position, with your abs engaged, hands directly below your shoulders, your body forming a straight line from heels to head.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your torso toward the StrongBoard Balance platform until your elbows form a 90-degree angle.
  4. Press through your palms and push yourself back into a plank position by "pushing" the board away from you.
  5. Continue this movement for 60 seconds.

Tips: Keep your hands flat on the platform at all times during this exercise. Remember to exhale while pushing up. Engage your triceps at the top of the movement while in the plank position. Keep your abs engaged at all times by "pulling" your belly button in toward your spine. There are many types of push-ups. The closer your hands are together, and the closer you keep your elbows to your torso as you bend them, the more you'll engage your triceps. The wider your hands are apart, the more you'll engage your chest. You can also switch the position of your body, so your toes are on the StrongBoard Balance, and your hands are on the floor. By elevating your feet you change your angle, placing more resistance on the upper body.

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Mountain Climbers

StrongBoard Balance Mountain Climbers
StrongBoard Balance

  1. Place your palms flat on the StrongBoard Balance platform, shoulder width apart.
  2. You should start in a full plank position, with your abs engaged, legs extended and body forming a straight line from head to heel.
  3. Place your feet in a "runner's mark" position with one leg extended and the other drawn up, your knee pulled in toward your chest.
  4. Keeping your upper body steady, jump your legs back and forth, alternating the position of your legs.
  5. Continue this movement for 60 seconds.

Tips: Keep your abs engaged at all times by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Stabilize your hips by keeping them from moving side to side. Focus on breathing pattern because this is also an aerobic exercise.

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Plank Row

StrongBoard Balance Plank Row
StrongBoard Balance

  1. Position yourself parallel to the StrongBoard Balace on all fours with a dumbbell held in the hand furthest from the balance trainer. Place the hand closest to the platform on top of the StrongBoard Balance.
  2. Step your feet back so you're in a high plank position, your legs set wide apart and your arms staggered in height.
  3. With your abs engaged, row the dumbbell up towards your torso, as if you're trying to start a lawnmower.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Tips: To make this exercise more challenging, bring your feet closer together. Be sure to exhale as you row the dumbbell upward.

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Bridge

StrongBoard Balance Bridges
StrongBoard Balance

  1. Lie on your back, your knees bent, hip-distance apart, the soles of your feet planted firmly on the StrongBoard Balance. Scoot yourself forward, as close to the board as you can..
  2. Keep your arms at your sides, your palms up. Draw your shoulder blades together, as if you're pulling your shoulders into the floor.
  3. Tilt your pelvis up slightly and engage your abs. Press your feet into the board and lift your hips toward the ceiling, as high as you can.
  4. Do not let your knees splay out to the sides.
  5. Hold the pose for three  full breaths, then release back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 60 seconds.

Tips: Keep your shoulders on the floor to protect your neck. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the bridge.

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