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Exercise suggestions for balance platform

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Friends, my wife bought me one of those balance platforms - it is about 18" in diameter with the rigid semicircle pivot on the bottom. The width is actually just about perfect for ski separation at the ankles. So I have been just doing some unweighted single and double squats - eyes open and closed. Also, contraction and extention. It seems to be a great balance builder and hits the quads (and maybe hams as well). I have not added hand weights yet but plan to. This is an adjunct to the 4-5 day per week full weight training program that I have done for years.
Would appreciate suggestions for more balance board routines (reps, posture, techniques, etc) that would emphasize quad and ham development, and overall balance and core strength as well. I have a pretty vivid imagination and find that closing my eyes and visualizing a run down the hill is remarkably persuasive - except for the gravitational forces - and lift lines. Would it be silly to put on the boots, poles and even skis on this balance board? Can you carve a turn on a balance board? Many thanks. David
post #2 of 7
Two exercises my PT (I'm rehab'ing a hip flexor/rector femoris/sartorius injury) has me doing to help with my balance and leg muscles is to stand with both feet on the center of the balance board. I do 30 reps of wobbling the board forwards and backwards, touching each front and back edge to the ground in a slow, controlled motion. Then I do 30 reps side to side. It's pretty basic, but a bit of a challenge when doing it slowly.

Just remembered another one. This is done on a soft platform with no fulcrum underneath, but it might work on a balance board. Stand on one foot for 30 seconds while passing a ball about the size of a softball from hand to hand around your waist. I'm up to two reps on each side. Try it with sneakers on first, then barefoot. It's much harder the second way!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
BatGirl, thanks for the suggestions which I will try. Since I posted this, I started using a Bosu at the gym, doing curls, deadlifts (argh), tryceps cables and chest cables on the Freedom Trainer. A great change in my routine. It seems to have improved my balance already. Good luck with your recovery and thanks again. David
post #4 of 7
Thanks, David. Getting those stabilizer muscles strengthened through work like this has really been helping. My PT amped up the side-to-side and front-to-back exercises by having me try to balance in the center of the fulcrum in between each touch. So it's touch one side of the board to the ground, bring it to center, balance as long as possible, then touch the other side of the board to the ground. Takes quite a bit of control!

Another exercise you may want to try is turning the Bosu ball over with the flat side facing up. Grip the sides of the Bosu ball and extend one leg behind you. Try balancing like that for at least 15 seconds for 5 reps. GREAT core workout!
post #5 of 7
Stand on the flat side of the Bosu with feet shoulder width apart. Holding a five pound weight in each hand, get into a low athletic stance and then rock side to side like you're edging one GS turn to the other. Hold each position as long as you can. It really gets your quads burning!
post #6 of 7
Stand on inflated side of bosu on one foot. Visualize yourself losing control getting off balance on one ski and then pulling it back together.

What Doogie said. Do it in front of a mirror. You don't really know what your stance looks like until you know what your stance looks like.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks friends for the suggestions. Since I started doing the Bosu ball stuff I think that my ability to recover from the brink has improved. Was out yesterday and caught an edge. My body seemed to "know" how to right itself and I pulled it back together. In truth, I have been doing a more balanced leg routine as well, and the greater strength I have probably helped.
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