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SPRI’s balance and stability training tools, like balance pads and balance beams, offer a variety of options that can be used in conjunction with strength-training workouts. Fitness experts advise that balance and stability exercises be used to help get the most out of other types of workouts because they help retrain the muscles, strengthen the core, prime the nervous system, and assist with body alignment and posture. Balance-training workouts can also add balance challenges to other workouts like crunches, pushups, lunges, and squats, and they are ideal as active-rest training station activities during circuit workouts.
Balance Pads offer moderate stability training that helps improve joint stability, standing stability, and motor-skill training. Balance Pads, commonly made of closed-cell foam, have a non-slip texture for safety, and the extra-large version offers more surface area to accommodate both feet or the entire lower body.
Balance Beams provide a base for walking toe-to-toe, which helps improve upper- and lower-body stabilization and coordination. Beginners can start with a foam balance beam pad that rests directly on the floor and is less than 3 inches high, while more advanced exercisers ultimately switch to wooden, metal, or sturdy plastic beams that rest two feet or higher off the ground.
Fitness trainers (and gymnastics coaches) advise all levels to develop, practice, and completely master an exercise routine on the floor first, before getting on the balance beam. Once you are ready to try the balance beam, you should first test how you feel by walking back and forth on the beam, turning to the side, and so on. Always keep your core (abdominal muscles) “tight” and not “loose” for better balance. Always have a spotter nearby when attempting balance beam exercises, especially if you’re new at it, and if you’re training on a balance beam that sits up off the ground, make sure there is adequate matting around it should you fall off. (If you feel yourself losing your balance on the beam, it’s normally safer to jump off onto the mat, rather than trying to struggle and contort your body in order to stay on.)