The balance disc resembles a plump Frisbee, or a whoopee cushion. But the health benefits it can provide, as daily exercise or for people recovering from an injury, are no joke.
Orange County personal trainer Tracy Markley (tracyspersonaltraining.com) uses the discs for her clients to strengthen legs, the abdomen and the back.
GRAPBIC BY FRED MATAMOROS, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Markley uses the Power Systems VersaDisc ($22.95 to $39.48 at amazon.com), which has tiny nubs to help you keep your foot grip.
Standing on one requires the user to correct and adjust and make many little movements simply to stay aboard. Take just about any exercise in which you'd just stand there and it will burn more calories on the disc. "You can't favor one side or the other," Markley said, adding that it helps many of her older clients work on balance.
We'll take a look at two simple exercises you can do with the balance disc:
In a modified push-up, put the knees on the disc and keep the lower legs up (not crossed). To get more resistance and make the exercise harder, put the toes on the disc. Again, this requires you to perform the exercise correctly and slowly, without slipping off the thing.
"It causes a person to have to hold their core muscles tighter, engaged, because when the knees are on the disc, you're on an unstable surface," Markley said.
The second exercise is just a simple arm raise, with one arm, then the other. This gets the back loose and strengthens the small muscles that line the spine.
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