If you’ve always wanted to ride a “Back to the Future” hoverboard, a balance board is the exercise accessory for you. This baby will get you buff and balanced in no time.

Using these boards can improve your balance and make you a better athlete, and it might even keep you from rolling your ankle while walking in platform heels.

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While a balance board workout can help you build stability, these surfaces are shaky by design. That means you could fall off the board (and maybe even get hurt).

To stay safe, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Practice on the right surface. Balance boards are safest when used on smooth, hard surfaces or carpet. Make sure the area around you is clear too. Wooden balance boards especially shouldn’t be used on rough terrain.
  2. Consider using a spotter. Having someone nearby who can support you if you fall can improve safety, especially for beginners. (Pro tip: Pick someone who you can trust fall with.)
  3. Wear safety gear. You might feel silly wearing a helmet, kneepads, and elbow pads while using your balance board, but these items can seriously help!
  4. Use a wall for support. Using the wall or a railing for support in the beginning can help you keep your balance until you get the hang of it. With your hands on the wall, slowly rock back and forth as your balance gets better and better.

Pro tip: If you have notoriously sketchy balance or issues with your ankles, hips, or knees, it’s a good idea to work with a pro (like a physical therapist or certified personal trainer).

Most balance board exercises work your core to some degree. Just standing on the board is a core workout!

Here’s how to get your abs really fired up.

1. Starting position

Board: Any type

  • Start with your feet hip-distance apart and find your balance on the board.
  • Keep your spine neutral and your posture upright.
  • Fix your gaze at a spot on the wall to improve your balance.
  • Shift your weight as needed so the edges of the board don’t touch the floor.
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds.

Make it easier: If needed, use the wall for support.

Make it harder: With your shoulders relaxed and spine straight, stretch your arms straight above your head, palms facing in.

2. Front-to-back

Board: Wobble board

  • Begin in starting position.
  • Slowly and carefully tilt the board forward until it touches the floor.
  • Slowly tilt it backward until it touches the floor on the other side.
  • Tilt back and forth slowly for 30 seconds.

Make it easier: Use the wall or a railing for extra support.

Make it harder: Stretch your arms straight out from your sides.

3. Side-to-side

Board: Wobble or rocker board

  • Begin in starting position.
  • Slowly tilt the board from left to right.
  • Tilt from side to side (Ariana and Nicki style) for 30 seconds.

Make it easier: Use the wall or a railing for extra support.

Make it harder: Stretch your arms straight out from your sides.

4. Round the clock

Board: Wobble board

  • Begin in starting position.
  • Now bring it around town (like Spongebob) — roll the board around 360 degrees clockwise.
  • Pause for a sec, and then roll around counterclockwise.
  • Keep rolling for another 30 seconds or so.

Make it easier: Use the wall to help you keep your balance.

Make it harder: Stretch your arms straight above your head with your palms facing each other and your shoulders relaxed as you roll.

5. Plank

Board: Any type

  • Get into a push-up position with your hands on the board. Keep them just a smidge wider than shoulder width.
  • Work those core muscles, keeping your bod straight like an arrow.
  • Extend your arms with a little bend. Don’t lock them.
  • Hold it for at least 30 secs.

Make it easier: Spread your legs farther apart for increased stability.

Make it harder: Keep your legs closer together for a more intense ab challenge.

Balance board exercises can be great for your lower body too. Here’s how to work those muscles to the max.

1. Mini squat

Board: Any type

  • Start with feet a little wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Extend arms in front of you for balance.
  • Slowly bend at your knees into a squat position. Get as low as you can go while staying steady.
  • Push through heels to stand back up.
  • Do 10–15 reps.

Make it easier: Use the wall or a railing for extra support.

Make it harder: Love a challenge? Try this one with hand weights by your sides.

2. Glute bridge

Board: Any type

  • Lie faceup with knees bent, arms by your sides, and feet pointed toward the board.
  • Lift your feet and place soles on the board.
  • Squeeze those glutes as you press feet into the board to lift your hips. Go as high as you can while keeping steady.
  • Squeeze your glutes and hold for a few seconds.
  • Slowly lower your bod to the floor.
  • Go at it for 10–15 reps.

Make it easier: Use the wall or a railing for extra support.

Make it harder: Grab some dumbbells and hold them by your sides.

3. Flamingo

Board: Any type

  • Stand on one foot in the middle of the board. Brace yourself so your other leg stays steady and elevated.
  • Channel your inner flamingo for 30 secs (or as long as you can go).
  • Switch legs.

Make it easier: Use the wall for a little extra help.

Make it harder: For a serious challenge, extend your leg straight out behind you, like a Warrior III yoga pose. Place your palms together at your chest or extend your arms straight ahead. Keep your spine straight and look down at the floor.

4. Calf raise

Board: Any type

  • Start with one foot positioned mid-board.
  • Put your hands up on your hips (and we dip, we dip, we dip) and slowly raise your heel off the board by flexing those calves.
  • Hold for a few secs. You should feel a nice stretch in your calf.
  • Repeat for 10 reps on each side.

Make it easier: If this one’s a struggle for you, the wall is your friend. You can also try a double-leg calf raise instead.

Make it harder: Try this one with ankle weights to up the ante.

5. Lunge

Board: Any type

  • Stand on the floor with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with one leg onto the board, shifting your body weight forward.
  • With spine straight, slowly lower until your front thigh is parallel with the floor.
  • Stop when your back knee is just above the floor.
  • Slowly press back up through your heel.
  • Repeat for 5–10 reps, and then switch legs.

Make it easier: Keep one foot on the floor and one on the balance board.

Make it harder: Start on the balance board and step backward into a reverse lunge.

Build up your triceps, biceps, and traps with these moves. As a bonus, most of these will work your core too.

1. Incline push-up

Board: Any type

  • Start in push-up position with your hands on the board, just wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Squeeze that core. Look straight at the board.
  • Bend your elbows and slowly see how low you can go while keeping your bod in a straight line.
  • Pause, then return to the starting position.
  • Keep at it for 5–10 reps.

Make it easier: Keep your legs spread for extra support.

Make it harder: Touch your legs together to make this one tougher.

2. Decline push-up

Board: Any type

  • Start in push-up position. Keep your hands on the floor and place your feet on the board.
  • Engage those abs. Look down at the floor to keep a neutral spine.
  • Bend your elbows and lower down as far as you can go.
  • Take a breath, then return to the starting position.
  • Keep at it for 5–10 reps.

Make it easier: Spread your legs farther apart.

Make it harder: Touch your legs together.

3. Triceps dip

Board: Any type

  • Sit with your knees bent and feet on the floor in front of you.
  • Keep the balance board behind you and grasp it with both hands.
  • Pushing with your triceps, lift your butt about a foot off the floor.
  • Bend your elbows, brace your arms and core, and hold for a few breaths.
  • Push back up, straightening your elbows.
  • Repeat 8–12 times.

Make it easier: If your arms can’t do all the work, don’t sweat it. Try pushing up with your legs until you build more upper-body strength.

Make it harder: Instead of bending your knees, extend your legs straight out.

4. Straight arm roll

Board: Wobble or rocker board

  • Start in a plank position with your palms on the board. Keep arms straight but not locked and legs straight behind you on the floor.
  • Slow and steady now, roll the board to one side. Hold it for a few secs.
  • Roll the board back to the middle.
  • Continue alternating sides for about 30 secs.

Make it easier: Put your knees on the floor.

Make it harder: Touch your legs together.

5. Offset push-up

Board: Wobble or rocker board

  • Start in plank position again: hands on the board, arms straight, legs behind you.
  • Slow and steady now, roll the board to one side just like in the straight arm roll. But this time, lower down into a push-up.
  • Push yourself back up.
  • Roll the board to the other side and repeat for 5–10 reps.

Make it easier: Keep your knees on the floor.

Make it harder: Keep your legs close together.

It turns out that standing on a board in your living room could totally upgrade your health and fitness. Here’s what a balance board might do for you.

Better balance (duh!)

As the name suggests, a balance board can really improve your balance.

In a 2019 study, researchers found that wobble boards helped restore functional balance in people who had experienced a stroke. But even if you haven’t had a stroke or an injury, a balance board can do a lot to improve your stability.

You can use those skills for whatever you want, including skateboarding, playing soccer, or just walking down the street without tripping.

Better fitness

Whether you’re looking to get ripped or just want to tone up your bod, balance board exercises can be tailored to suit your unique fitness #goals.

A small 2018 study found that folks who stood on a balance board while typing at work got a big boost in energy expenditure without tanking their productivity. So basically, you might be able to burn more cals while you get that money.

Fewer injuries

A lot of injuries happen due to *ahem* coordination complications. A balance board can strengthen your ankles and improve your balance and posture.

Research suggests balance boards can increase function in people with chronic ankle instability in particular. Some older research also found that regular balance board training significantly reduced the incidence of ankle sprains in volleyball players.

Yes, balance boards help boost your balance! They can also help you build muscle and prevent injuries.

But since there’s a risk of falling off the board, it’s important to take it slow. Talk with a physical therapist or certified personal trainer if you need help getting started.