When discussing the benefits of using a swiss ball and the differences between active and passive resistance, Liv asked a very good question about the difference between balance boards and swiss balls.

I have a question: aside from the Swiss ball, I have also attemted to use a balance board to work on core strength. The problem is, I feel like when I try to balance on it, all the work is being done by my quads and nothing remotely like my abs. Any helpful suggestions?

I have not done a lot of balance board work for a long time (and when I did, it was when I was juggling professionally and not lifting weights) but those do not really work your abs. They work your legs more.

Swiss balls work your abs because you use your core to control your body from twisting to the left or the right.

Balance boards mostly work your calves, while still hitting your hamstrings and quadriceps, because you are trying to prevent your center of gravity from shifting. Your abs are not going to get an incredibly strenuous workout from standing on a balance board. This is not a bad thing; it�s just making sure you use the correct tool for the appropriate goal.

I haven’t written up next month’s training plan yet, and I am not going to do anything before the Vermont City Marathon. Maybe I will start working a balance board into my training schedule after that, though, so I that I can put some more useful information about them here.