Your core is a prominent stabiliser muscle group that helps in maintaining the balance and stability of the body to move freely in any direction.
Are six-pack abs built in the kitchen or at the gym? The truth is both! Training your core muscles will help you gain muscle mass and strength while the right nutrition will also help to reveal those abs.
A strong and well-defined core is something we all aspire to, but are you really training all the muscles located in your core area? Core muscles can be broadly classified into two categories: the stabilisers and the movers.
- Transverse abdominis
- Lumbar multifidus
- Internal obliques
Pelvic floor muscles
- Rectus abdominis
- Erector spinae
- External obliques
- Latissimus dorsi
- Hip abductors
- Hip adductors
Your core is more complex than you think, and it’s impossible to train the whole core solely with crunches and leg raises. This is where balance boards can help you train your whole core with minimal movements.
How do balance boards improve core strength?
You don’t need lots of fancy weights to work out: your own bodyweight can be just as effective. A balance board is a simple tool to improve core strength and all-round definition.
Here is how it works:
1- Added instability:
When you add in a balance board to your workout, you add the element of instability. The movement of the board demands your body to work harder and engage more muscle fibers to do the work.
2- Mind-body connection:
Added instability not only helps in the recruitment of more muscle fibers, but it also improves the mind-body connection to gain added body coordination.
3- Corrects posture:
How many exercises train your entire core and abdomen area? Your core is more than just your abs and back. It contains a set of muscle groups that support the spine to provide strength and stabilization.
A strong core also provides stability to the shoulder, hip, legs, and entire torso.
4- Prevents muscle imbalance
What is a muscle imbalance? When you have a muscle on one side bigger and stronger than the corresponding muscle of the other side of the body, this is called a muscle imbalance.
Introducing little instability with the balance board activates the muscle tissues that were not activated before, which helps in improving balance and muscle symmetry.
Best balance board moves for core strength
Let me share some of my favourite exercises that will fire-up your core to develop into a stronger version of itself.
1- Basic forearm plank:
Forearm planks are difficult when you start out, but they get easier with practice. If the basic plank is too easy for you, then it’s time to introduce a little more instability to the movement.
Planking on a balance board will help you develop balanced core muscles while strengthening the shoulders, hip, and glutes.
2- Side to side rock:
This is a straight hand plank done with a balance board. Maintain a strong straight hand plank posture while balancing the body on a balance board.
Now, transfer the weight to the left side to tilt the board to left and then transfer the weight to the right side, this completes a single rep. Do the exercise for 25-30 repetitions for 3 sets. Maintain a strong mind-body connection while doing the movement slowly.
Side to side rock is great to fire-up the obliques.
3- Balance board Mountain Climber:
Mountain climber is a tricky movement, which is even harder to perform with a balance board. A balance board mountain climber works incredibly well to train abs and obliques all at the same time.
4- Isometric Squat hold:
An isometric squat hold is a great exercise to strengthen the legs but when you add instability to it, full-body coordination is required to master the movement.
Holding a squat on a balance board forces the body to activate core muscles to stabilise the movement, improves body balance and coordination.
Additionally, an isometric squat hold with a balance board will help you strengthen the hip flexors and lumbar paraspinal which are usually left untrained.
Your core is a prominent stabiliser muscle group that helps in maintaining the balance and stability of the entire body.
Balance boards have become a staple workout tool in every home gym because of their versatility, simplicity, cost-effectiveness and powerful results!