Balance is important in all aspects of life. Physical balance is also one of those use it or lose it skills. As we get older we tend to lose our ability to balance. Thankfully, it is a skill that we can retain a little longer with practice.
That is why balance training is such an important aspect of a functional fitness workout program. The good news is you can easily incorporate a little balance training in your daily life and in your workouts. It is also important for injury pre-hab and rehab (injury pre-hab involves exercises that help prevent injuries by strengthening muscles that are often weak and can lead to injury due to imbalances or instability).
This is one reason there is such a buzz about the Airex Balance Pad. I myself have coveted one for ages, but it was just outside my home workout supplies budget (often $50-70 for the most basic model). I recently discovered an effective, affordable alternative balance pad ($39.99 for the basic model). The Clever Yoga balance pad is less expensive Airex Balance Pad and it a great budget-friendly alternative that offers the same benefits.
Clever Yoga send me their balance pad to try out, I have been using it for a couple of weeks now. However I use it little by little. Today I challenged myself to use it as much as possible throughout the day. I was impressed how well it fit into my life, there are so many opportunities to use it to add a little extra balance challenge and activity.
I found myself moving more than usual. My muscles did feel tired, but I had none of the usual aches and tightness I feel when I do a lot of sedentary work. My verdict, a balance pad is a great way to add extra activity into my day and also a great way to improve my balance and core strength.
My Favorite Uses For the Clever Yoga Balance Pad:
1. To add a balance challenge to exercises
This is the most common use for a balance pad. The pad causes a slight instability which causes you to engage your smaller muscles that help you balance. I have used my balance pad to add a challenge to body weight squats, pushups, planks, side planks and more. It also adds a challenge to many yoga poses.
I read a review of another balance pad on the American Council For Exercise site where they said a balance pad is best for beginners. This may be true if you are simply standing on the pad. However, it can be used to intensify a variety of body weight exercises, so I respectfully disagree. I didn’t find it as difficult to balance on as a BOSU or Step360, but it is better for some exercises and it is easy to store.
2. To add cushioning during exercises or yoga poses and To use as a nice cushion while sitting on the floor
The Clever Yoga Balance Pad provides a soft yeilding surface and can also be used to cushion bonier parts during exercises and yoga poses. Do runner’s lunges bother your knees? (They do mine, not from the exercise but from my knee touching the floor). My balance pad solves that issue!
The balance pad is also great if you need to kneel on the floor while doing work such as scrubbing a floor or if you want to comfortably sit on the floor.
3. To add core work to my sitting work station with or without my under the desk pedal cycle
As shown above, I sometimes add my balance pad to my desk chair. This makes sitting at a desk a little more active and my back doesn’t feel cramped or tight after doing this. Sometimes, I even pedal my DeskCycle while I work on my tablet or laptop. The combination of the balance pad and the cycle really works my core muscles and legs while I do sedentary work.
4. To add a cushioned, balance challenge to my DIY standing work station
Standing on a soft yielding surface provided by a balance pad creates a slight baance challenge. This also encourages more movement. Really, smaller muscles in my lower leg and core are doing tiny movements most of the time when I stand on the pad.
Standing with both legs is fairly easy, so I am able to stand while I blow-dry my hair, wash dishes or type at my “standing workstation” (by standing workstation I mean my barista height dining room table and a laptop lap-desk). It isn’t quite a treadmill desk, but it is a less expensive, easy way to get a little extra activity. I find that I tend to spontaneously do plie’s, leg lifts, squats and move around when standing on the balance pad.
5. My craziest use: to add a balance and core challenge while hula hooping.
Sometimes I hoop dance for exercise and sometimes I hoop on the spot for a fun movement break or while watching television. (It isn’t unhealthy if I am moving, right?). Sometimes just to mix it up, I hoop while standing on one leg. I decided to try that on the mat. This is one of those exercises where you want to be sure your knees are tracking correctly, but I really feel it in my abs!
About the Clever Yoga Balance Pad:
“There are three main reasons people use our “Clever Yoga” multi-purpose Balance Pad.
- The first is actually for Yogic core training purposes. If you want more challenge for your standing poses or any arm balance poses, you will have much more fun practicing on our balance pad.
- The second most common use is just to improve your coordination, motor skills and balance with its unique destabilization property. It is an excellent fitness equipment for your home gym.
- The third use is probably the most important – for physical rehabilitation. This is why you’re seeing balance pad more and more in Physical Therapy settings. Our soft pads support knees for long periods of kneeling spiritual practice for our scoliosis customers.
Our Clever Yoga Balance Pad is more than just another Balance Pad. In addition to getting the highest quality Balance Pad available on the market, you also working with a family owned business who are attentive to your needs and here to help answer any questions you have.”
(Source: Clever Yoga Publicity Statements)
Some Video Demonstrations:
I thought I would share a few I have seen so you can see ideas of how to incorporate a balance pad. Some use this pad and some use another brand…
I made this short video slideshow highlighting my favorite uses for the Clever Yoga Balance Pad…
This video contains a review and a demonstration of using the Clever Yoga balance pad in a yoga practice. I am unfamiliar with this vlogger, but I was inspired how she used the balance pad in common yoga poses I already do. Video from @workoutwithdi on YouTube.
Here is a demonstration from Clever Yoga on how to use the balance pad to make more advanced yoga poses even more challenging…
As near as I can tell, this pad from Clever Yoga is a less expensive alternative to the better-known Airex balance pad. This video features a personal trainer demonstrating how the balance pad can help improve several body-weight exercises including pushups, squats and v-sit based core exercises. He also discusses the benefits of adding a balance pad to your office chair. Video via @Adrian Crowe on YouTube.
Where to Purchase Clever Yoga Balance Pad:
The Clever Yoga Balance Pad is available on Amazon. At the time when I wrote this the Clever Yoga Balance Pad retailed for $39.99 while the Better known Airex Balance Pad retailed for $51.66 (down from $69.99). Click here to visit the product listing for the Clever Yoga Balance Pad
Also mentioned, I referred to my DeskCycle and it is featured in one of the images. I will post a review of the DeskCycle soon, but in the meantime, here is a link to the Amazon Product Listing for the DeskCycle.