9 Balance Boards That Engage Your Core, Whether You're Working Out Or Working From Home

by Lisa Fogarty
Originally Published: 

Although all balance boards largely serve the same function — balance and core strength training — there are a variety of sizes, shapes, and features that cater to specific lifestyles, skill levels, and budgets. The key to understanding which one is right for you is knowing what personal fitness goals you're trying to achieve — because the best balance board for a beginner looking to improve stability is not going to be the same as one for an experienced snowboarder looking to train during the offseason.

Before I dive into the different types of balance boards and their individual pros and cons, it should be noted that not all boards are literally boards. If the goal of a balance board is to improve stability, coordination, and reaction time — and by proxy train your core muscles and tone your abs, lower back, and obliques — then there are also non-board options that fall into this category, like balance pads and inflatable balance discs, that offer their own unique benefits.

To help you pick which balance training tool is right for you, I've highlighted some of the best options in a variety of categories and broken down how each one can help you meet your fitness goals.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.


A Classic Wobble Board That's Great For Working Out

A classic wobble board is a solid option for meeting a variety of fitness goals which makes it a great addition to a home gym, and this one in particular is not only affordable, but it's also a quality option thanks to its sturdy and durable wooden plate. The board measures 15.7 inch in diameter and has a 360-degree rotation that lets you tilt 15 degrees side to side, front to back, and practice circular drills. However, be careful not to use this balance board on a slippery tile floor, and note that the weight limit is 300 pounds. Additionally, while many reviewers praised the board for beginners, others felt like it was better suited for those at an intermediate level.

According to one reviewer: "Apparently, I have fantastic balance and didn't even know it. This is great for your core and if you're a runner or do anything where your ankles and calves get sore you can do some great rotation and exercises on this. My husband uses it too. I use this daily for my PT exercises. There is a lot more you can do on this than one would think."


A Rocker Board That's Great For Beginners

Unlike the wobble board, this rocker board only tips in two directions, front to back, or side to side depending on how you stand on it. This means that while it is challenging, it doesn't provide the same difficulty a board with a 360-degree rotation does, so it's great if you're new to balance boards. What's also great about this option, though, is that even once you've improved your stability, you can continue to challenge yourself by using the board while you do common exercises like push-ups and squats.

This rocker board is 14 by 15 inches in diameter and is raised 4 inches from the ground. It supports up to 200 pounds, and most notably, it's significantly cheaper than similar models while still being very well reviewed on Amazon.

According to one reviewer: "Perfect for physical therapy or doing squats! Awesome home workout! Rolling front to back to begin, then turn to rock side to side for a more challenging workout."


A High-Difficulty Roller Board That's Great For Practicing Board Sports

Like the rocker board, a roller board only tilts front to back or side to side depending on your stance. But what makes it unique is that unlike a rocker board, this board moves on the roller changing the point of balance. This makes it more challenging than other boards and particularly useful for anyone who does board sports such as surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, or wake boarding.

But it's not just the skill level that reserves this type of balance board to more serious athletes, roller boards also typically require a little more of a financial investment. This board may be one of the most expensive boards on this list, but if you compare it to similar roller boards on the market, it's actually a great deal. Plus, it comes backed by more than 100 positive reviews, resulting in a near-perfect 4.8-star rating on Amazon.

The deck is made of 10-ply maple and features a gripped top for traction with or without shoes. The roller is lightweight, durable, and reduces vibration and sound. It also can accommodate up to 500 pounds of weight.

According to one reviewer: "I purchased this to help aid in my stability and to build my coordination or core. I like that the board is so versatile and it is fun for the whole family. We challenge one another who can stay on the board the longest, while we are having fun we are also working on stability, coordination and core. It is a challenge at first but gets easier. Overall, feels solid and sturdy. Keeping fit can be fun for the whole family."


A Twisting Balance Board Designed For Higher Intensity Workouts

Standing still and maintaining your balance is just one action you can take with this curved balance board — its real purpose is to get you twisting from side to side to increase your core and leg strength. This board, which was featured on Shark Tank, is lightweight and portable, can support up to 400 pounds.

Once you get the hang of it, the board is excellent to use when pivoting on a carpet or on a mat if you have hardwood or tile floors. It also comes with a workout DVD and you can add weights to your exercise routine for full-body strengthening benefits. Some reviewers say it's worth the extra cost to invest in the warranty plan because, if you are using this daily and putting it to work, it may not last forever and will need to be replaced.

According to one reviewer: "We love this board! It came with a DVD that gives instructions on how to use the board properly for an effective workout. It is great for balance and for someone who may get board with exercise or doesn't like to exercise... it is easy to use, doesn't break the bank, we recommend buying a mat to go underneath it to protect your floor."


An All-Inclusive Home Gym Bundle That Includes A Board With All The Bells And Whistles

If your goal is to gain strength and muscle, this all-include balance board set is great because it includes a balance board that supports nearly 400 pounds, and also five resistance bands that connect to the board, a pulling rope, and a set of sliding discs. The set comes in three colors and the board itself is lengthy enough for twisting. It's always recommended that you use a balance board on top of a mat if you're working out on hardwood or tile floor.

According to one reviewer: "I have been using it for like a year now and my last one needed a replacement as I pretty much lost it. Its a very balanced trainer kit and the material is a top-notch. Well done!"


A Blow-Up Balance Disc That Can Be Adjusted For Higher Or Lower Difficulty

There are several benefits with this inflatable balance disc: it's fairly cheap; it's portable; since it's inflatable, you can adjust the difficulty level; and you can stand, kneel, sit, or lay on it which makes it extra versatile.

It's great for integrating into workouts to increase the difficulty of tried-and-true moves like lunges, calf raises, and stretching. The disc is made from durable PVC, measures 13 inches in diameter, inflates with a blowup pump, and has massage spikes that make it easier to grip during workouts.

According to one reviewer: "Easy to set up and keeps inflated perfectly. Great for traveling too. Seems to be very well made. Can’t beat a great workout tool/back cushion for this price!!!"


A Low-Intensity Balance Board Designed For Standing Desks

This balance board is made specifically for standing desks and features a comfortable ergonomic design that promotes better alignment between your toes and ankles and helps relieve fatigue and increase focus and energy during long days at the office. The lengthy board is made from PU, PVC, and TPR and has a non-slip base that is sturdy on carpets and hardwood floors. The board provides a steady rocking motion that engages your muscles and helps prevent soreness you experience in your back and legs from sitting in one place for too long.

Reviewers say this isn't the board that will make a huge difference in your strength and muscle tone, if that's what you're after — it's simply too easy to keep your balance on it. This is the board that can make a positive impact on your health at work and your concentration.

According to one reviewer: "I found this to be challenging. Standing on it the first time was comical! I was all over the place. I've gotten better. I immediately noticed it working the core muscles which I found surprising."


A Unique Balance Board For Skateboarders That Looks Fun As Hell

This may be billed as a balance board for skateboarders, but it's a fun and functional option for anyone looking to improve balance, agility, and strength. The board is shaped like a classic skateboard deck with a large dome in the center and a smaller dome on either side that allows for a variety of movements. It's not for the faint of heart though, even if you have great balance this board can be humbling.

Of course, if you are a skateboarder, you'll love that this tool can help you practice rotations, improve spatial awareness, quickness, and proper initiation of spins even when you can't get out of your home or office.

According to one reviewer: "This past year, I have started to become interested in working on my balance as I had weak ankles and tight hips which resulted in nasty injuries during trail races. I'm starting to become a big believer than all homes should have wobble boards as they take up very little space and even hopping on one a couple times a day for short periods can strengthen your balance, muscles, and joints. I have not fallen at all since I've been using mine for a year."


A Balance Pad To Increase Mobility — Or To Be Used To Increase The Difficulty Of Common Exercises

This balance pad is the lowest intensity way to build stability and increase mobility. It's best for those with mobility issues like elderly or those recovering from injury, but it's also great for anyone looking to increase the difficulty level of their workout. Since this pad is flat it can easily be incorporated into both common exercise moves like lunges, squats, and calf raises, but it can be used while doing things like yoga, too.

According to one reviewer: "We use this in our physical therapy clinic and I loved it so much, I had to have one for my house. I use this for so many purposes. I do stretches on the floor using this so that my knees aren't directly on the floor. It's also nice for sitting on when you need some extra cushioning. It's very firm and I know it holds its firmness for a long time because of the ones we use at the clinic."

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