The effectiveness of functional sports training and strength training for athletes on an unstable surface like a balance pad has proven to help athletes perform better regardless of sport. Male and female athletes of all ages can benefit from training with a balance pad.

1. Weighted Balance Pad Squats

Squats are an excellent movement for strengthening the quadriceps, glutes and core. Adding some weight by holding a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells, will increase your stabilization, balance, and strength even more. This movement will make you more efficient and will transition directly to a better performance on the field.

How To Perform

  • Place a balance pad in front of you
  • Add weight by holding dumbbells or kettlebells
  • Stand on the balance pad with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Perform a squat to 90 degrees. Keep your head in a neutral position, tighten your core, knees and toes pointed straight and press the squat through your heels.
  • Perform 3 sets, 10-12 reps

    2. Balance Pad Split Squats (Rear foot elevated)

Split squats are one of my favorite exercises to make my quadriceps really burn. Single leg or unilateral leg training simulates the movement of running or jumping off of one foot as we do in sports like football, soccer, basketball, and track.

How To Perform

  • Place a balance pad in front of you.
  • Elevate your rear leg by placing the top of your foot on top of a bench behind you.
  • Place the front foot on top of your balance pad
  • Add weight by holding dumbbells or kettlebells
  • Now perform a single leg squat with the front leg to 90 degrees.
  • Perform 3 sets, 10-12 Reps

    3. Balance Pad Battle Ropes

This exercise forces you to maintain balance while resisting movement, which is beneficial for in game movement. This will require good focus. This exercise is excellent for your core and upper body strength.

How To Perform

  • Place a balance pad in front of the ends of the battle ropes.
  • Step onto the balance pad with feet shoulder width apart and grab hold of the battle ropes.
  • Bend your knees slightly to about 45 degrees, the alternate moving the battle ropes up and down using your arms and core, while maintaining your balance.
  • Progress to one leg at a time.
  • Perform 3 set, 30 seconds to 1 minute

    4. Balance Pad Single Leg RDL

This exercise is a great movement to work your posterior chain. The RDL works your glutes and hamstrings more than a conventional deadlift, because the quads don’t contribute as much. It improves dynamic flexibility, especially in your hamstrings and lower back.

How To Perform

  • Stand on the balance pad one leg at a time.
  • Bend your knee to a 45 degree angle
  • Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in the opposite hand of the leg you are standing on.
  • Perform a Romanian Deadlift, making sure to keep your back, knee and toe straight and your core tight.
  • Perform 3 sets for each leg, 10-12 reps

5. Balance Pad Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a good movement for strengthening the quadriceps and glute. Adding your balance pad to the movement will create instability in the front foot adding a great challenge.

How To Perform

  • Stand with one leg on the balance pad and the other on the floor just to the side of the balance pad holding a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.
  • Step back with the off leg into a reverse lunge position.
  • Perform 3 sets for each leg, 10-12 reps

    6. Balance Pad Step Ups ( Using A Plyo Box)

Step ups train explosiveness of the leg muscles. This, of course, translates to a general increase in lower body strength. This will translate to an increase in speed and you’ll have a higher vertical jump (especially off of one leg).

How To Perform

  • Place your balance pad on top of plyo box
  • Stand in front of the plyo box and step up on the pad until your leg is straight
  • Hold for a 1-2 second count maintaining your balance then step back down
  • Immediately step back up with the same leg and repeat for 10-12 reps then switch off to the other leg for 10-12 reps. Do this exercise for 3 sets.

    7. Balance Pad Toe Squat

This exercise will strengthen your quadriceps and work the muscles in your feet which will give you more explosiveness out of your stance on the field.

How To Perform

  • Stand on your balance pad with feet shoulder width apart
  • Raise up on your toes with arms straight out in front of you for balance.
  • Perform a squat to 90 degrees.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps, 3 sets

    8. Balance Pad Kettlebell / Dumbbell Snatches

The kettlebell snatch is a full-body, power exercise. It works the hamstrings, quads, back, and shoulders. You pull a kettlebell off the floor from a squat position, swing the weight up, then dip under it, and press it overhead. Adding your balance pad to the movement creates a greater challenge.

How To Perform

  • Stand on your balance pad with feet shoulder width apart
  • Holding a kettlebell or a dumbbell with one hand, swing the kettlebell and perform the snatch movement.
  • Perform 10-12 reps, 3 sets

    9. Balance Pad Prone Plank

Planking on your balance pad will create greater instability to give you a toned belly and will help build your deep inner core muscles, strengthen your back, and increase flexibility.

Fit woman lying on the floor doing planks, for triceps and full body strengthening and balance.

How To Perform

  • Start by getting into a pushup position on your balance pad
  • Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms and not on your hands.
  • Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
  • Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.
  • Hold this position for the prescribed time.
  • I recommend starting at 30 seconds and progressing to a 1 minute hold in the plank position. Perform 3 sets.

10. Balance Pad Side Plank

Builds strength and endurance in the core. This will help keep your lower back protected and stable during activities that require movement in the hips or back.

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How To Perform

  • Lie on your right side, in a straight line from head to feet, resting your forearm on your balance pad.
  • Your elbow should be directly under your shoulder. With your abdominals gently contracted.
  • Lift your hips off the floor, maintaining the line.
  • Keep your hips square and your neck in line with your spine
  • Perform for 30 – 60 seconds each set, 3 sets.

    11. Balance Pad Mountain Climbers

These are a full body workout that works your deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, obliques, rectus abdominals, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, hip abductors.

How To Perform

  • Put yourself in a pushup position on your balance pad with hands shoulder width apart.
  • Bring your knees to your chest`1 at a time. The more forward you bring your knees, the more effective this exercise will be.
  • Keep a straight posture during the motion.
  • Perform 10-12 reps per set for each leg, perform 3 sets

    12. Balance Pad Scissor Kicks

This exercise is great for the hip flexors and the transverse abdominis, the deepest muscle in the belly.

How To Perform

  • Sit on your balance pad with your legs out in front of you
  • Your feet should be 6-12 inches off of the floor and lean back to create a balanced V with your body.
  • Now perform a scissor action with your feet keeping a tight motion of 12 inches up and down
  • Perform for 30 – 60 seconds per set for 3 sets.

13. Balance Pad Single-Leg Kettlebell Overhead Presses

This exercise is great for shoulder work.  You are standing on one leg which creates instability in the feet and lower leg muscles.  You will also feel your core working to keep yourself stable.

How To Perform

  • Stand on your balance pad on one leg holding a kettlebell in each hand
  • Raise the kettlebells to a starting position at shoulder height.
  • Now perform a shoulder press while maintaining your balance on one leg
  • Perform 10-15 reps per set for 3 sets.

14. Balance Pad Single-Leg Kettlebell Curls

This exercise is great work for the biceps.

How To Perform

  • Stand on your balance pad on one leg holding a kettlebell in each hand
  • Perform alternating or double curls
  • Perform 10-15 reps per set for 3 sets.

15. Balance Pad Seated Trunk Rotations

This exercise when performed correctly is excellent for mobility and strengthening your obliques.

How To Perform

  • In a seated position on your balance, sit in a V position with knees slightly bent and feet crossed.
  • Hold a kettlebell, a barbell plate or a weighted plyo ball
  • Rotate the weight side to side (hip to hip)

 

 

Want three amazing alternative ways to use a balance pad? Click here.