Its early in the morning…..Your eyes pop open. Sugar plums dancing around in your brain. Reindeer jingles in your soul. Its Christmas morning and you can’t wait to see what’s under the tree. If you are looking to take your athletic skill up a notch, and you’ve been a good boy or girl, you just may have a Si-Board under the tree!
The Si-Board is the brain child of Elysia Tsai. She’s an athletic trainer to professional women’s soccer with a keen eye towards making rehab count, and making it fun. I’m going to be blunt here. there isn’t a single piece of exercise equipment out there that is more FUN, more challenging, and more helpful than the Si-Board. Period.
Is it hard? yes. It makes the balance board and even an indo board seem like child’s play. It will take time, and take some effort to gain command of this crazy tool. But here’s the kicker: This thing is actually fun. really fun. Yes, I said that already, and I said it again.
The Si-board consists of a deck (either from the company, or self-supplied if you go the custom route), a track to keep the ball in place, and a ball. That unique design allows some unique motion. The rocker board rocks. The indo board tilts and goes back and forth. But the Si-board tilts, wobbles, and rolls every which way imaginable. Which means you must learn how to control all this motion.
The first day I got this board I spent 30 minutes literally “surfing” around in my living room. so. much. fun. These days, I begin every single home workout I do with between 60-80 squats on it. And I have a blast thinking of a ton of different ways to use the Si-board in my home gym with kettle bells, swiss balls, TRX slings, and resistance bands. While its not for the timid, the Si-board literally forces you to keep your posture dialed, and move correctly from your core, hips, knees, and ankles. And perfect form = win.
I’ve got 2 different set ups that I use.
a) The Original – the large deck of the original provides a ton of different options for foot placement. the ball it comes with is on the larger side. This makes is slightly slower to respond (don’t let “slow” fool you here though!) to various movements. The deep track on the bottom allows you to mount resistance bands and other fun accessories to take your session up a few levels (when you are ready!). It comes with a half ball as well that you can use alone, or with the bigger ball to change up the stability challenge. The ball is not just any ball. The key is solid urethane construction. The ball doesn’t compress, so there is no “stall.” The board is free to move about with you in control. The balls also bounce really, really well. In effect, you are getting a high bounce weighted ball to do some plyos with as well. And depending on how you position the ball and the half ball that the original set up comes with, you can effectively make a rocker board, a wobble board, and the fully awesome multi-directional unstable Si-board. The Original is my go to board. Expensive? yes. Worth it? 100%.
b) DIY Creator Kits – if the price of the Original (or other model you like) seems too high, look no further. The DIY kits come with a smaller depth track and a smaller diameter ball. This makes the board much quicker to respond, but the you are much closer to the ground. I use my Original board 80% of the time, but do mix it up on my Starter Kit board from time to time as well.
If you are going to spend 75 bucks on yourself, or another athlete you love this holiday season, buy one of the creator kits first. I can guarantee they’ll be talking about it- and using it – all the way through next year, and more to come after that. Screw the Starter Kit or the Skate kit onto a piece of thick plywood or an old skateboard deck out the dumpster, and start having fun. If you are looking to make a little investment for your home gym, go for the full board set up. I guarantee you’ll be stoked. The website has some great content for helping you find the board set-up that’s right for your height, weight, and goals.
I’ve put recreational and elite runners on it. Surfers, skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers who jump off cliffs at the Redbull Rampage, soccer players, football players from high school to professional. Everyone gets a challenge, and everyone improves. You’ll continually progress, and find new challenges to do with your board. Si-boards has an active Instagram community with all kinds of people showing off their latest moves for new ideas. And they even have a free app to that organizes and demo’s a million different uses for the system.
Now, show this post, and the past 4 of this series, to your friends and family, and hope you’ve been a good little athlete this past year. And one last small plug. I take time to do this blog to help you so you can help yourself. If you would like to support these efforts, and are looking for a great gift, I’d like to suggest my book Anatomy for Runners. Amazon has it right now for under 12 bucks! The bang-for-your-buck in this book is unmatched. Yes, I may be biased, but still – Give the gift of knowledge.
Here’s to you and your family and great times this holiday season!