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Perfect. Balance Board.

Exercising with a balance board strengthens many of the dozens of muscles you use reflexively to regain your balance at the moment you sense you’re about to fall. And it trains those muscles to react fast. It’s actually fun – kind of like being on a tiny surfboard. After a couple of weeks of training, you’ll feel the difference every time you step onto an uneven surface, a slippery surface or anything unstable.

How the balance board works
The board doesn’t balance you; you balance you. The board’s bottom is curved. When you stand on it, it’sgoing to tip to one side or the other. The object of the game is to balance yourself and the board by perfectly centering your weight on the absolute center of the board. Which really isn’t that hard; do it a few times and you’ll be an expert. In the first few seconds, you’ll feel dozens of small muscles in your calves, ankles and feet working to make the fine adjustments.

1-Leg Stand with Knee Lift exercise on Height-Adjustable Balance Board, $20.

Strength: Tubes, Bands, Weights

Strength training is also called “resistance” training because you overcome the resistance of the gravitational force. When you lift a hand weight, the gravitational force pulling it back to earth resists your effort.

As far as your muscles are concerned, resistance tubes and bands provide just as much resistance as weights; they just use a different force. They’re really big elastic bands. Their elasticity lets you stretch them, but their elasticity in the other direction – contraction – resists your effort to keep them stretched out.

Personally, I prefer the feel of pulling and stretching to the feel of lifting. Bands and tubes are cheap; they take up almost zero space; you can pack them up and take them with you. If you drop one, you don’t break your toes.

Resistance Tubes, beginner

Resistance Tubes, advanced

Resistance Bands, advanced

Hand Weights, 2, 3 & 5 lbs.
Adjustable Hand Weights, 2.5 – 12.5 lbs. in 2.5-lb. steps

Be Flexible. Stretch Yourself.

Double Knee Hug, one of my dozen favorite Stretching Exercises

Get Down. I do this on a soft rug. If your exercise spot has a hard floor surface, you’re probably not going to exercise much – unless you use a padded mat. Here’s one with excellent cushioning and traction; it’s biodegradable and recyclable.

Sweat A Little: Indoor Walking and Running

Have a nice 30-minute jog in 3 square feet. Actual aerobic exercise. No track, no field, no treadmill. Real sweat. Real calorie burn. Step on it.

All you need
A simple Step Deck for $20

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