Simply Fitboard Review
Get a healthy body is about more than running on the treadmill and lifting weights. Balance and proprioception are also vital, though often neglected aspects of overall fitness. Balance Boards are a relatively recent innovation on the fitness market which are designed to strengthen the body, enhance your balance and assist in rehabilitation.
Fresh of ABC’s Shark Tank show, the Simply FitBoard has become a popular player on the balance board market. In this article, we provide an in-depth review of the Simply Fitboard. We’ll also review a number of Simply Fitboard accessories, along with a number of competing balance board brands.
The Simply FitBoard is a balance board that is constructed from a heavy plastic. It has a wave shape and comes with a non slip surface so that you can get a firm foothold. It also features hand grips so that you can get a firm grip on the board for certain movements.
The Simply FitBoard comes in five different colors.
Benefits of Simply FitBoard
Maximum Weight Limit
The Simply FitBoard is quite similar to other balance boards on the market. Its biggest point of attraction is that it has a weight limit which is higher than most of the competition. The max weight limit on the Simply FitBoard is 400 pounds. This compares to an average of 250 pounds for the rest of the market.
The Simply FitBoard measures in at 26 x 113/4 inches and weighs just 3 pounds.
The Simply FitBoard is a stylish looking unit that looks modern and elegant. It comes in a range of five colors with cool names like atomic orange and bright magenta. The Simply FitBoard has a better look than most other boards on the market.
Your purchase of Simply FitBoard comes with a workout and training DVD. These are well produced, giving you a great introduction to the world of a balance board exercise.The Simply FitBoard people also have a YouTube channel which provides a full range of balance board training guides and workout programs.
The unique design of the Simply FitBoard provided you with the balance motion that you get with all other balance boards. However, you also get an additional twist action with this board. This allows you to work your body through a whole new range of motion and planes of exercise.
Simply Fitboard Workout DVDs:
In addition to the workout DVD that comes with your Simply FitBoard there are three workout DVDs that are available for purchase as follows:
The Low Impact workout is designed for beginners and the elderly. It provides you with different workouts over a 30 minute DVD. These workouts are easy access for people who have no pre-existing balance skills and folks who are struggling with the effects of old age. The six workout that are included are the following:
- Round One: Let’s Get Onboard
- Chest & Shoulders
- Round Two: Back on Board
- Oblique, Biceps and Shoulders
- Back on Board
- Cool down stretch
The DVD also includes a recommended nutrition guide.
The Simply FitBoard 21 Day Challenge combines cardio and strength training into a 40 minute workout program (that’s what the Amazon page claims - the actual workout time is about 28 minutes). The workout is to be done for 21 consecutive days. The workout does require the use of hand weights as follows:
- Beginners - 2-5 pounds
- Intermediate 6-8 pounds
- Advanced - 10+ pounds
The Simply FitBoard Core and Buns Workout DVD provides you with six workouts that are specific to your core and buns. The workouts include the following:
- Warm Up and Intro to Squat Variations
- Weighted Squats
- Plank and Push Ups
- Hip Thrusts
- Ab Attacks
This workout DVD also presents you with a nutritional guide.
The Simply FitBoard 30084 workout mat is a customized workout mat exclusively for use with your Simply FitBoard. It measures 25.5 inches by 18 inches, making it ideal to place under your board. The mat is made from thick rubber, providing a good level of protection to keep your FitBoard scratch free and your floor save as well.
With the Simply FitBoard Mat, you will able to train on any surface, whereas without it you will be limited to a rug or carpet. You can even train outdoors with the Simply FitBoard - just lay your workout mat on a flat surface and then place your Simply FitBoard on top of it.
Simply Fitboard Workouts and Exercises
The Simply FitBoard provides you with a large range of exercises and workouts that allow you to work your entire body as well as to get a
great cardio workout. Here are 9 workout and exercise options that you can make use of once you are down pat with the basic introductory workout:
- Standing Rock (Beginner)
Stand on the board while slightly bending your knees. Start to apply your weight to one side of the simply fit board. Then, shift your weight and rock the board to the other side. Repeat this rocking motion.
- Tricep Kickbacks (Beginner)
Slightly bend at your wait and bring your elbow up so your upper arm is parallel. Then extend your hand back until your entire arm is parallel to the ground. Repeat with the other arm.
- Squats (Beginner – Intermediate)
Stand on the board with your knees slightly bent. Hold your hands in front of your face. Slowly lower yourself while putting the weight on your heels and knees. Then raise yourself back up to your starting position.
- Plank Twists (Beginner – Intermediate)
Get in the basic plank position and twist the board in a circular motion. Focus on using your arms and upper back to move the board. Make sure you hold your core tight during this workout.
- Plank Pike (Beginner – Intermediate)
This one is similar to the plank twists but a little different. Get into the plank position and raise your torso up, while getting onto your tip toes. Once you raise your torso as high as you can, flex your abs. Lower yourself and then repeat.
- Donkey Kicks (Intermediate)
This is another exercise that starts in the basic plank position. Once you are planking, bend one knee so that leg is vertical to the floor, with your other leg still parallel to the floor. Push up your heel as you lift your leg and flex your glutes. Return to your starting position and repeat while switching legs.
- Twisted Bridges (Intermediate)
While laying down, put your feet on the board. Raise your torso off the ground making a bridge. Hold your core tight, and start to twist your feet in a circular motion. Keep twisting back and forth while maintaining the bridge position.
- Spiderman Planks (Intermediate – Advanced)
Start in the plank position (are you notching a trend – this is a excellent tool to add some variety to your typical plank workout). Bring one knee up and towards your elbow. While raising your knee, twist the board and bring your elbow towards your knee. Return the starting position and repeat with the other knee.
- Screaming Squats (Advanced)
Start the exercise by getting into the squat position. Make sure your knees are behind your toes. Once you are squatting, start to rock the board back and forth while holding your squat. This is a great exercise and you can really feel the burn with this one.
Does the simply fit board work for real?
The Simply FitBoard definitely works in terms of doing what it was designed to do - enhance your balance, agility, proprioception and strengthen and tone the muscles of your body.The main muscles that are targeted by the board are the legs, arms and abs. You can also work your arms and shoulder muscles by including such moves as FitBoard push ups. Every exercise you do will improve the conditioning and strength of your core muscles.
You may be surprised at how much of a cardio workout you get when you train on the Simply FitBoard. In fact, you may find that sweat is dripping off you after just a few minutes. The board can provide you with a very effective workout for the heart and lungs, making it a very effective all over body exerciser.
Common Simply Fitboard Complaints?
- Not Designed for Hardwood Floors
Even though the Simply FitBoard people make it very clear in the advertising, people still complain about the fact that the board is only designed for use on the carpet or rug. It is no good on a hardwood floor, concrete or linoleum. If you try to use it on these surfaces, it will slip and slide on you and you will not be able to use it effectively. If you do not have a carpeted area of a rug to place the FitBoard on, then you will have to purchase the Simply FitBoard workout mat which you can pick up for around ten bucks.
- Balancing Issues
If you are a person who struggles with balance issues, you will probably not be able to balance on the Simply FitBoard without holding onto a wall or something else to balance on. However, it won’t take long for you to build up your balancing ability.
- Board Cracking
Of the two thousand or so reviews on amazon, about half a dozen of them mention that the board cracked after only about two months use. That is only around .025% but it is still worth taking note of.
Simply Fitboard Before and After Results
As mentioned, there are more than two thousand Amazon reviews. Many of them relate the before and after experiences that users have had on the Simply FitBoard. Some of them have related that they have managed to lose weight, especially when it comes to trimming their waistline. One woman said that her waist measurement went from 32 inches down to 29 inches in just 6 weeks by working out on the Fitboard four times per week and implementing the nutritional guidance that comes with the FitBoard.
A large number of elderly folks have recorded that they have markedly increased their balance, proprioception and overall confidence when they began using the Simply FitBoard.
Simply Fitboard Alternatives
The Sportneer Balance Board is an ABS plastic constructed wobble board that looks very much like the Simply FitBoard. It has the same dimensions and basic shape and weighs in at the same three pounds. However, this boaird does not provide for the twisting motion which is a feature of the Simply FitBoard. This gives it less versatility and balance functionality than the FitBoard.
A feature that the Sportneer has over the FitBoard is the addition of resistance bands to provide you with a built-in resistance workout. Your purchase comes complete with four detachable latex rubber bands. These connect to the board by way of a series of holes that are on the edges of the board. The bands provide you with a range of resistance levels (green - 15 lbs, blue - 25 lbs) that are stackable up to 40 pounds.
Your purchase of the Sportneer Balance Board also comes with a training manual.
The SoloFit Balance Board is a flat board, so it lacks the wave configuration of the Sportneer of the Simply FitBoard.This sturdy, non slip lightweight board is made from ABS plastic and comes with a pair of attachable resistance bands. This allows you to perform resistance exercises while balancing on the board. The resistance bands are fitted with carabiners so that you can easily fit them to the balance board.
Just like the Simply FitBoard, the SoloFit Board can handle a max user weight of 400 pounds. It is the same size and weight as our previous two boards.
The Revolution 101 Balance Board Trainer is a more advanced design of balance board than either the Simply FitBoard or the two previously reviewed models. It comes as a two piece unit consisting of a flat wooden board and a separate roller. This separation of the fulcrum makes it far more challenging to work on and should not be considered by beginner users.
The base of this unit is made from very sturdy 11-ply hardwood and feature a soft-tack gripped topdeck that provides a superior grip and is comfortable to stand on, even in bare feet. The ultra tough roller is lightweight and has been designed to reduce vibration and sound.
In view of the fact that it is a more advanced model, the Revolution 101 Balance Board is considerably more expensive than either the Simply FitBoard or the two previously reviewed boards.
The MadWorkout Fit Balance Board is a basic balance board that is a direct competitor to the Simply Fit Balance Board. It has a similar shape and is the same size and weight. The MadWorkout board is made from a similar heavy duty plastic material as most other wobble boards.
The board is available in four bright colors. It does not come with any of the support accessories that come with the FitBoard, such as a DVD, training guide or nutritional plan. However this model is considerably cheaper than the Simply FitBoard. It should be noted, however, that a few reviewers have mentioned that the board has cracked after a short period of use.
Purpose of Balance Boards
Balance boards are designed to make you more agile, better coordinated, better balanced and stronger. Let’s consider each of thes benefits one at a time:
Agility relates to the body’s ability to make quick transitions of movement. This is especially important when you are reacting to play on the sports field. In a game of basketball, for instance, you need to be able to instantly react to the unpredictable movement of the ball and make quick changes from one end of the court to the other. Agility training on a balance board will help you to do that.
Training on a balance board will also help you to be able to hold a fixed defensive position when playing sport. This could relate to a volleyballer maintaining a firm position despite an unstable sand base or a basketball player who has taken a firm defensive stand.
Working out on a balance board will give you a greater sense of overall coordination. This will enable you to more effectively move between positions with the greatest energy conservation. At the same time you will better be able to stabilize yourself, whether you are on a balance beam or are skating on ice.
Less Prone to Injury
When you improve your agility, coordination and balance, you will be less likely to injure yourself. You will automatically become more spatially aware. This will give you a greater ability to realign your body where you otherwise may have fallen and potentially injured yourself. At the same time you will enhance your body’s proprioception, giving you are greater control over your body’s balance.
Working out on a balance board will help you to make your joints stronger. This is especially the case when it comes to your ankles. According to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, regular balance board exercise had a marked effect on the number of ankle sprains suffered by athletes. Especially of note were those who had previously suffered an ankle injury. They had the lowest re-injury rate of any of the study participants.
Balance board training has also been found to improve the integrity of the ACL joint in the knee.
Studies have found that there is a direct link between improved balance and coordination and a person’s ability to focus and concentrate on a subject. A lot of that has to do with the balancing of the brain’s two hemispheres. Improving your body’s proprioception will also make you better able to perform fine motor skills. In fact, balance board training has been used with great success in treating patients with sensory integration disorder. The major effect was that balance board training helped to coordinate the actions of the mind and body.
Balance and coordination are areas where a lot of people, especially males, are not very skilled. The beauty of training on a balance board is that it is accessible for people who struggle to stand on one foot for more than ten seconds. They are able to start with simple moves and progressively increase their balance skills over time.
There are a number of balance board varieties, each one designed for a different skill levels. The most basic type of balance board is called a Rocker Board, which is a flat board that sits on top of a fulcrum. From there, you have a Rocker-Roller Board, which provides movement in two planes. A third type of balance board is the Wobble Board, which allows for movement through a 360-degree range of motion. With the Sphere and Ring Board you are now stepping up to advanced balance board challenge. The unique point of this type of board is that the fulcrum is not fixed to the board, meaning that it is easily able to move under the board.
Strengthens Core Muscles
Working out an balance board is a great way to strengthen and develop the muscles of your core. Because the core forms the hinge between the upper and lower body, it is involved in almost everything that you do. The core is the center of your power - and your stability. Of course, a well developed core also looks pretty good.
When you step onto balance board, you immediately provide your core with a challenge. Because you are imbalanced all the time, all of your core muscles keep firing. They simple act of maintaining your balance in an upright position will challenge your abs, obliques, intercostals and erector spinae muscles. When you strengthen these areas, you will ward off injury, especially in your lower back.
Balance board training will directly improve your posture. Our smart phone obsessed society has very quickly resulted in an epidemic of terrible posture that has left us hunching over, rounding our back and dropping our shoulders, none of which is good for us. The balance board will strengthen the stabilization muscles that are contained deep inside your torso. This will provide the support to your spine that pull it back into its proper alignment, bringing your shoulders back and allowing you to stand taller.
With improved posture, you will have an improved body image and sense of self worth.
Even though it appears to be far less physical than working out with weights, balance board training is an effective way to strengthen your muscles. The real benefit of balance board workouts in terms of strength training is that they will allow you to target muscle groups that are normally not hit with conventional strength training. These are the little stabilizer muscles that act synergistically in harmony with the larger muscles groups. It is these small stabilizer muscles that are most challenged when your body is out of balance. When you exercise on terra firma, there is no challenge to these small muscle groups at all.
While you have to wait until they are teengaers before getting your kids into weight training, you can start them off on balance board training from the moment they can walk. A lot of kids, again as a result of our computer obsessed lifestyle, are very weak in terms of balance and coordination. Kids are no longer climbing trees or jumping in puddles. As a result they have lost the ability to balance and demonstrate agility skills. Starting them off with a basic balance board is an accessible way to get kids into overcoming these limitations. In fact, balance boards are being made use of in school gyms all over the world.
Improves Your Muscle-Mind Connection
The majority of people who work out in gyms are unable to develop a strong muscle-mind connection. As a result, they seem to go through their workouts on auto pilot. However, when you are training on a balance board, you are forced to stay zoned in the whole time. If you don’t, you will soon find yourself falling off the board. The more time you spend on the board, the greater your muscle-mind connection will be - and that will translate over to all of your other training.
User Friendly for the Elderly
We’ve already mentioned that balance board training allows you to work up from very basic moves to more advanced ones. Still, some people, especially the elderly, are worried about hopping on the board because of the fear of falling onto the hard ground. Yet, balance board training can also be done in the water, and there are classes springing up all of the place that cater to this. Doing balance board training in the water is just like doing so on land, except that, if you come off the board, you will land on the soft water rather than the hard ground.
The Simply FitBoard is probably the most popular wobble balance board on the current market. This is thanks in part to the massive promotion that it received thanks to the Shark Tank TV show. The board is of very high quality and includes an innovative design which allows for a twisting as well well as rocking action. The mother and daughter team who are behind the Simply FitBoard provide a great level of after sales service and you get some quality support material with your purchase.
We believe that the Simply FitBoard will make a great addition to any home gym and recommend it for all ages and experience levels, including children, those recovering from injury and the elderly.