Standing at the office is all the rage these days, though it’s not without its own health issues compared to sitting. Using a wobble board is a quick way to at least dispel some of that, by adding small movements to your legs and hip as you work. But it can be so much more.
There are many wobble board exercises that improve specific parts of your body without being too disruptive to force you to stop working at your desk. Others take a familiar routine and takes it to the next level. Let’s get ready to wobble!
Wobble Board Safety Reminders
Before you proceed, here are a some important safety tips to always keep in mind:
- Unless your floor is carpeted, always put a mat underneath to prevent the board from slipping..
- For even greater stability and to lower the height of the wobble board, layer another plush bathroom towel underneath.
- Make sure your workout area is clear of any debris or sharp edges (like a coffee table), in case you lose your balance.
- For beginners, place the wobble board close to a wall or stable high counter where you can grab on for support if needed.
- Have patience. Your balance will surely improve, but it takes time. Never try to rush it.
12 Effective Wobble Board Exercises
Let’s get started now. I’ve grouped the wobble board exercises loosely based on difficulty and which areas of your body they engage. The idea is to start out with exercises you can do standing up first (as you work) before throwing in routines that require you to get down on the floor.
1. Tip the Board Balance Sequence
Focus Area: Ankles, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
These are the first sequences all newcomers to wobble boards should master first before moving on to more challenging exercises.
The “Tip the Board” sequence consists of standing on your board with both feet and tipping the board in different directions- from side to side, front to back, and in a circular motion. These motions help build up your balance, stability, and coordination on the wobble board. They also work your lower limbs, and especially your ankles, strengthening and making them more flexible.
- Stand on the board with your two feet hip-width apart. If that’ too difficult, sit on a chair or hold on to a chair to start.
- Try to balance on the board without letting the edges touch the floor. Hold this starting position for 20 to 30 seconds..
- Once you can do that, start rocking the board from side to side until the edges touch the ground.
- If that feels stable, rock the board front to back.
- After you’ve mastered both sequences, you’re ready for the circular sequence. Pivot the board at all angles in a circular motion a few times.
2. Heel Raises
Focus Area: Foot, ankle, and calf muscles
Heel Raise is the next natural progression in exercises to master on the wobble board. It further increases your balance, and helps tone the foot, ankle and calf muscles simultaneously as you stand.
- Stand on the wobble board with your two feet shoulder width apart. Hold on to something if you’re a beginner for support.
- Position your feet on the lower half of the wobble board closer towards you.
- Slowly raise your heels up off the board.
- Hold the position for a few seconds.
- Slowly go back to your starting position.
- Repeat this up to 10 times without the board edges touching the ground.
3. Wobble Board Lunges
Focus Area: Abs, glutes, and quads
Lunches on a wobble board is a great way to practice having only one foot on a board, which once mastered opens up many other helpful board exercises. This routine gives your core and lower body a more intense workout than without the board.
- Put your left foot forward at the center of the wobble board.
- Position your right leg one large step behind you, right foot extended on your toes.
- Look forward with your back straight.
- Lower your hips until your front leg forms a 90° angle and your back shin is parallel to the floor.
- Exhale and push back up.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times.
- Switch sides.
4. Wobble Board Squats
Focus Area: Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and core
Squats is one of the best compound exercises out there, giving you a stronger core while working your entire lower body. Wobble board squats take all the benefits to a whole new level.
- Stand and balance yourself on the board.
- Position your feet slightly wider than your hips.
- Put your arms out in front of you for balance.
- Bend your knees between 45° to 90° depending on your fitness level.
- Straighten your legs to complete one rep.
- Do 10 to 15 repetitions.
5. Balance Board Tree Pose
Focus Area: Hips, thighs, calves, ankles, and feet
The classic yoga tree pose is one of my favorite sequences I turn to whenever I want to feel more grounded. Doing a tree pose on a wobble board makes the routine so much more challenging and fun.
- Place your right foot on the center of the wobble board. For beginners, add a towel under the board to stabilize it.
- Find your balance.
- Bring the sole of your left foot high onto the inside of your right thigh or knee.
- Slowly bring your palms together.
- Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds.
- Release the position.
- Do the same for the other side.
6. Balance Board Crunches
Focus area: Abdominals.
This is one of my favorite exercises to do on a wobble board. Doing crunches on a balance board is so fun and safe, even kids can take advantage of it.
- Sit down on the wobble board
- Lean your upper body back a little.
- With your knees bent, raise your legs and fan out your arms for balance
- Tense your abs.
- Try to maintain balance for as long as possible without the board touching the edges.
7. Balance Board Push Ups
Focus Area: Arms, chest, and shoulders.
Balancing while doing push-ups gives both your arms and chest a more intense workout. Grab on to the edges of the board for more stability.
- Start on your knees with the wobble board in front of you.
- Put your hands on the board about shoulder-width apart.
- Get onto the tips of your toes.
- Straighten your legs.
- Breathe in while lowering yourself towards the board.
- Breathe out and lift yourself back up.
- Repeat 5 to 15 times.
8. Balance Board Planks
Focus Area: Arms, chest, and shoulders.
Doctors call planks “God’s gift to people with lower back pain” to due their ability to strengthen the core and protect the back from injuries. If a regular plank is too easy for you, instead of doing it for longer, try it on a wobble board to increase its intensity instead.
- Place your forearms on the wobble board. Use a towel to cushion them if needed.
- Starting out with your knees on the ground, engage your core and lift your body up so your legs, hip, back and neck form a straight line parallel to the ground.
- Breathe evenly throughout. Do not hold your breath.
- Maintain this position for as long as you can. I usually go for at least 2.5 minutes.
9. Glute Bridge
Focus Area: Glutes, hamstrings, and core
This is a fabulous exercise for office workers who tend to have tight hip flexors due to prolonged sitting. Glute bridge targets the glutes to improve your hip mobility, posture, and lower back strength. On a balance board, all muscle groups involved are further engaged to maintain balance.
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent.
- Rest your feet on the board with your arms to your sides.
- Push from the heels to lift your hips up until it forms a straight line with your shoulders and knees.
- Engage your glutes and hold this position for a few seconds.
- Slowly lower your hips to the floor.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times per set.
10. Wobble Board Oblique Twists
Focus Area: Obliques, Transversus Abdominis
Wobble boards are made for doing abdominal twists. The board provides an easy way to pivot your waist on the ground to work your obliques very efficiently. Twisting exercises apart from abdominal toning can also help with digestion.
- Place a towel on the board to cushion your knees
- Come on to all fours with your knees on the wobble board, feet suspended in the air.
- Begin twisting your waist right and then left as many times as you can.