Six of many stability fitness tools will be featured this week – the stability ball, the BOSU Balance Trainer, pillow discs, wobble boards, the TRX Suspension and the Strongboard Balance Board. And the difference between the tools and which, if any of these tools you should purchase or use will be discussed. Locations where these tools might be purchased, the basic cost and how to care for these tools to ensure safety and effectiveness is included as well. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Five of the six stability tools mentioned and more may be purchased at Power Systems (i.e. www.powersystems.com), Perform Better (i.e. www.performbetter.com) via mail order and most may be purchased at retail shops such as REI. While there may be other locations which offer these tools for discounted prices, be cautious about purchasing “knock off” versions. Particularly with stability balls, if the ball is not designed for quality and durability, the integrity of the ball may be compromised which can cause the ball to easily deflate, be punctured or burst, leaving you on the floor rather than on the ball! The Stronboard, which has been featured previously in this column, may be purchased at www.strongboardbalance.com
Basic Cost of and care for Stability Tools
The cost is dependent upon the size of the ball and the designed use of the ball. For example, there are stability balls designed specifically for in-home use, those designed to be burst resistant up to two thousand pounds when utilizing heavy external resistance during weight training and everything in-between.
55cm-75cm in-home use stability ball – Approximate cost – $30-80.00
55cm-75cm heavy external resistance ball – Approximate cost – $180.00
Read the instructions prior to use (i.e. inflation size is specific for each size of ball), clean regularly per instructions and be certain to keep the balls away from open flames, heat sources, and puncture sources.
BOSU Balance Trainer
The BOSU Balance Trainers come in a variety of styles based upon use. There are those designed for commercial use, for in-home use and specific sport uses which affects the cost.
BOSU Pro Balance Trainer – Approximate cost – $150.00
BOSU Home Balance Trainer – Approximate cost – $113.00
There are dozens of “balance/stability” discs designed for different stability uses.
13” diameter disc – Approximate cost – $27.00 per disc
24” diameter disc – Approximate cost – $50.00 per disc
Read the instructions prior to using, clean regularly per instructions and be certain to keep the BOSU and pillow discs away from open flames, heat sources and puncture sources.
There are dozens of shapes and sizes of wobble boards designed for different stability uses.
16” Wobble Board – Approximate cost – $72.00
20” Wobble Board – Approximate cost – $82.00
TRX Suspension Trainer
The TRX Suspension Trainer is a bodyweight-based training tool. Make certain you purchase the pro pack with the training dvd, workout guide and read the instructions carefully for use and care prior to use of the TRX and the wobble boards.
TRX Suspension Trainer Pro – Approximate cost – $200.00
This is a unique stability and balance fitness tool comprised of four springs which are centered between the platform and the base of the board. Purchase training dvd and follow care instructions of manufacturer.
Strongboard Balance Board – Approximate cost – $269-280.00