If you want to strengthen your core, improve your balance, and work out from home — all in front of a good TV show — look no further than the Gradient Fitness Wobble Board ($30). I've had this piece of exercise equipment for the past two years, and it remains one of my favourites because of its versatility, easy storage, and core targeting.
The Gradient Fitness Wobble Board is a wooden circle with antislip material over a half-sphere. The simplest way to use it is to stand with your feet on either side of the board — close to the edges — then drop into a squat position. You can do this while watching TV or a movie (as I often do while watching The Bachelorette) and tighten and engage your core simply by keeping your balance. Core workouts are something I always neglect, so this simple solution is the perfect way to supplement my typically cardio-based workouts. When I first began using the board, I always woke up pretty sore the next day. Now I just feel my core getting stronger and my posture getting better, which motivates me to continue using it each week.
This balance board is also incredibly versatile. I often use it to make planks more difficult, by holding onto the board with my hands and trying to keep my body from wobbling. Balance boards are also commonly used to supplement yoga sessions, because they require focus and help train the body to remain still. When I want to make my core workout a little tougher, I'll try doing full squats while on the board. (I recommend having something you can grab onto nearby, in case you lose your balance.)
One of the best features of the board is the green antislip material on top. It allows me to hold onto the board with sweaty hands and prevents me from rolling my ankles when I lose my balance. I also love that the board is so easy to store — I can easily tuck it under my bed or in the back of my closet because it's compact and lightweight. For those living in small spaces, it's the perfect piece of equipment that will help elevate your workouts without taking up a third of your apartment.
It really has made all the difference for me, by taking my TV-watching sessions — which would normally feel lazy and unproductive — to the next level. I can't recommend it enough!