What is a Balance Block?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Several different pieces of equipment are available for use in fitness training. The balance block is an effective tool used to help improve balance and facilitate leg muscle usage and development. Used in stability training, core training, and balance training, this piece of balance equipment is usually made of water-resistant foam or cork.

Balance training is important for developing coordination and motor skills.
Balance training is important for developing coordination and motor skills.

Stability balance blocks are usually two and a half inches (six centimeters) deep. Lengthwise, they measure 19 inches (48 centimeters). The width of a balance block, also known as a wobble board, is 16 inches (40 centimeters). Considered a simple tool for daily use, the balance block contains destabilizing properties to help improve gross motor skills.

Balance blocks are not completely necessary for a strength training workout for balance coordination. Like chairs, blankets, or mats, they are simply props used to help make the workout more comfortable. They can also help improve body alignment during exercise, which can be helpful for people with poor posture or those who have difficulty maintaining overall balance.

Yoga is one form of specific exercise that utilizes body blocks. Some standing poses during a yoga session, such as the Ardha Chandrasana pose, require one hand on the floor. A balance block can help make positions like these more accessible for those who do not have the flexibility required to complete the exercise in its intended form. Blocks can be used until the exerciser grows more comfortable completing the whole position.

Some sitting yoga positions, such as the Virasana pose, can also incorporate blocks. Lightweight yoga balance blocks are available for those who wish to transport them to a yoga studio or other fitness class. These may be smaller than the typical sized balance blocks, and are considered easier to transport and pack in a gym bag. This type of block is similar in depth to a regular one, but measures nine inches (23 centimeters) in length and six inches (15 centimeters) in width.

Injuries caused by sports or falls, general wear and tear, and aged joints may require ankle stretching and movement. People who wish to work on their ankle stability due to these or other reasons may use a balance block to do so. Using a balance block can also help build stamina, strength, and body coordination.

Workout balance blocks are generally considered durable and safe for most fitness levels. Created from weight-bearing soft but firm foam, balance blocks can be used in rehabilitation exercises as well as in daily general workouts. They are simple to clean and store, and can come in a variety of colors. Blue is a popular choice, though shades of green, purple, black, yellow, and other colors can also be found on the market.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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