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About Those Crazy Balance Devices

In the last ten years, “functional” training has become quite popular, and suddenly every health club has all kinds of balance training equipment.

Most of this equipment involves something that you stand on that wobbles in one direction or another to challenge your balance. The most common are:

Airex Pad – a square of foam that is about 2 inches thick
Half Foam Roll – a 3 foot long foam roller cut lengthwise down the middle
Dynadisc – a Frisbee sized inflatable circle
Bosu Ball – an exercise ball cut in half with a flat base
Wobble boards – flat boards with a small ball or fulcrum under them

These objects range in price from $15 to $130. But before you go buy one of them or try them at your health club, understand this: you do not need a crazy balance device to stand on in order to challenge your balance.

In fact, I believe that for the over-60 population some of these devices are actually dangerous. Most of these things are best used for athletes or young adults who not only have better balance, but can also catch themselves if they fall off.

I should mention that the Airex Pad is the safest to use of all of these, and I do use it regularly with my clients. Just make sure you set it up next to a railing to hold on to. Use the railing while you’re stepping up onto the pad, and keep your hands near the railing as you balance.

We have to remember that doing balance exercises can be dangerous, especially if we’re standing on a very wobbly piece of equipment. I developed my system of balance exercises with safety first and foremost in mind. You can do all my exercises standing on the ground and still challenge yourself adequately.

Learn how to do my balance exercises here

Common Questions About Balance Training

Senior Exercise Tips

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