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Twists boards are a type of at-home exercise equipment that you stand and pivot on. Based on brand type, they have different round shapes and are curved on the bottom. They are also referred to as balance or wobble boards.
It’s an inexpensive exercise tool that gained popularity since a version of it called the Simply Fit Board made its debut on the television series “Shark Tank.”
Twist boards can be fun and a good form of exercise for some, but may not be right for everyone. We’ll cover what they do, how to exercise with them, and the potential risks associated with their use.
Twist boards are designed to tone your physique and improve balance. They do this by working your entire core, or midsection.
The core comprises muscles that support and stabilize your body. These include the abdominals, lower back muscles, glutes, hips, and pelvis.
People also use twist boards as a form of exercise to help burn calories.
Twist boards can work your core strength
Twist boards strengthen your core, so they may help you avoid back injury. A strong core is also important for physical strength and balance.
Twist boards may help you achieve some muscle tone and whittle away fat around your midsection. For some women, this can translate into a flatter stomach, tighter hips, and a smaller waist.
Twist boards can’t give you a six-pack
Twist boards aren’t designed to help you achieve a six-pack, or highly-defined abs.
Unless you use handheld weights while you’re twisting, they also won’t help to define the muscles in your biceps or triceps.
As with any aerobic workout, start with a warmup and build in a cool-down period.
A certain amount of balance is needed to get and stay on a twist board. Make sure you’re ready for this type of exercise by doing the following:
- Test your balance. If you can stand on one leg with your eyes closed for half a minute to a minute without wobbling, you’re probably ready to try a twist board.
- Use a spotter. Even with good balance, it may make sense to have someone around the first time you use one.
- Be on an even, stable surface. It’s possible for the board travel with you on it, so make sure the ground you’re on is even. Don’t work out on an area rug that might move, buckle, or slide.
- Use a wall. Exercise near a wall or something stable you can place a hand on if you feel as though you’re losing your balance.
- Place one foot firmly on one side of the board until you feel steady. Some boards have nonskid areas where your feet should go.
- Place your second foot on the other side of the board.
- Keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight.
- Slowly rock from side to side. Then try rocking from front to back, until you feel confident in your ability to balance on the board.
- Twist at your torso back and forth, swinging your arms in the opposite direction.
- Build up speed as you go.
Try adding handheld weights to your workout once you feel confident on the twist board.
Once you get the hang of it, you may wish to deepen the depth of your knee bend to work out your upper thighs. You can also eventually build up to doing squats.
- Experiment with foot placement. Where and how you stand can affect your ability to balance.
- Experiment with arm placement. This may also help you to balance more effectively.
- Start out by rocking gently from side to side. This will help to acclimate you to the board.
- Twist from your hips and waist. Don’t twist from your knees.
- Keep your knees slightly bent to avoid injury. This should help you respond to the movement of the board.
- Tighten your core muscles to keep them engaged. This will help provide stability and balance.
If you’re not sure whether this form of exercise is for you, talk to a doctor, physical therapist, or a fitness coach before trying it.
Following are some of the potential risks:
- Overuse of the twist board may result in lower back injury. Repetitive twisting or a too-wide range of motion may cause back strains or sprains.
- Twisting at the knees may result in a strain or in a meniscus tear. Remember to use your hips and twist at the waist.
- Falls are possible with twist boards. Make sure to twist at an appropriate pace for you and to have something nearby you can brace yourself against if necessary.
- If you have a condition that causes dizziness, the twist board may not be right for you. People with poor blood circulation or who are prone to sudden drops in blood pressure shouldn’t use a twist board without a doctor’s approval.
Keep it fun and challenging
Twist boards are fun to use but may eventually become boring, especially if it’s the only form of exercise you do.
To avoid twist board burnout, change up your routine with a variety of exercises for twist or balance boards. And use your twist board abilities in other activities and movement like dancing and swimming.
A number of different brands of balance and twist boards are available. Here are a few to try:
Twist boards are at-home exercise equipment that many people enjoy using. They’re beneficial for boosting ab strength, muscle tone, and balance. Twisting on a twist board provides an aerobic workout that may help you burn calories and fat.