You have probably heard people talking about core stability, but it’s for a good reason. Having a strong core is one of the most important things you can do to improve your ability to train and avoid injuries that are, unfortunately, part and parcel of sporting endeavours. But let’s face it, doing the exercises can get a bit dull at times. So when the brand new ‘Coolboard’ arrived in The Moment office for us to try out, we got a bit excited!
What is it?
This brilliant new fitness product is designed to not only work core stability, but improve balance and proprioception (the ability to sense the position, location and orientation and movement of the body and its parts) therefore improving your muscle awareness and reducing risk of injury. Made in the UK – Bristol to be exact – the Coolboard is beautifully handcrafted from sustainable wood. It’s like a cross between a balance board, a surfboard, skateboard and Swiss ball. It comes in different sizes to suit your foot size, and with options of balls and balance pads which provide levels of difficulty.
The Coolboard’s original concept was a training aid for surfers, but it soon became clear that it had many more benefits, reaching far into sports performance and fitness training. It has a unique movement pattern which causes a reaction in dormant muscles, waking them up and getting them to work and strengthen. Runners, for example, will find it especially good for developing lateral balance (something they often lack) and ankle strength and flexibility which is vital for cross country running. The Coolboard exercise specialists have developed a series of workout plans which can be downloaded from the website, including exercises such as the classic standing balance but also tilted lunge and squat, press ups, crunches, plank and tilted calf raises. In fact, the options are endless and can be adapted and progressed whether you’re a beginner or a serious athlete. It’ll make you ache in places you didn’t know you had – and it’s highly addictive! We got obsessed with trying to master the simple balance on the pro ball – it’s not as easy as it looks.
It’s worth starting with the ‘balance pad’ underneath to begin with, especially if you’re not accustomed to using a wobble board or you have an injury. Then progress to a rider or pro ball – which is actually pretty hard work. The basic exercise is the ‘standing balance’ which you can build up to 10 minutes. We managed about 10 seconds and then fell off – it’s deceptively tricky! With practise however, you quickly start to pick it up and feel the benefits immediately. Once you’ve mastered the basic balancing, you can add other movements while standing – rather like a surfer. You can also follow the ‘runners’ plan’ which covers almost every resistance and core exercise you can think of.
Where do you get one?
Available online at www.coolboard.co.uk or telephone 0117 949 8338 for stockists
How much does it cost?
A medium board and ball package starts at £97.99 with free p&p.
Additional sizes, balls, balance discs and mats can be purchased directly from