|Posted by Strength & Speed on January 15, 2019 at 10:25 AM|
Atomik Climbing Holds is a known leader in the world of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) holds and climbing. However, they recently expanded their line of products to include balance products. As someone who previously had balance issues in OCR (2016s inclusion of Z beam at Conquer The Gauntlet Wichita knocked me back into the middle of the elite field), I was curious to see what they had to offer. Atomik has two different versions with several difficulty levels for each.
The two versions are:
1) Two footed version
2) Single foot version
The two footed version comes in three difficulty levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced). The single foot version only comes in two difficulty versions (Beginner and Advanced). I decided to go with the two footed Beginner, two footed Advanced and the single foot advanced. Design: The design is simple but clever. A flat top and a bulge at the bottom make them look like an upside down Bosu ball.
Durability: Atomik always has amazing durability. I've had many of my holds for years and treat them very poorly often dropping them from heights when changing out the holds on my rig (something I don't recommend doing). However, even with my poor treatment I've never had one break or crack. These balance trainers are made out of the same high quality material and still look brand new despite frequent use at home and in a Conquer Fitness ninja competition.
Choices: Atomik offers their full line of colors to choose from with an almost overwhelming number of options. Seriously, take a look at these color choices. Use: While I got them for myself, the person in my house that loves them the most is my four year old daughter. She calls them lily pads (I got green versions) and we will spend an hour crossing them, walking in a circle or trying to change positions without falling. They are so much fun and you can tell your spouse you bought them for the kids. (You're welcome.) We also used them as part of the Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Team takeover at the December event. They provided a nice change of pace and something different to members of the gym. The balance required to cross helped test full body instead of just grip strength.
Overall: The advanced models I am going to give a 5/5 stars. I love the challenge they present and the single foot/two foot variation make for different challenges. I've seen people use other homemade products for balance that are similar but I have also seen people roll their ankles badly on those homemade or lower cost solutions. Despite hours of playtime on these Atomik balance trainers, I've never rolled my ankle. I want to say the design makes it impossible, but I feel like someone will take that as a challenge. Regardless, I can't figure out how you would roll an ankle on these trainers. The beginner model was great for kids, people with very poor balance or if you were going to do other exercises on the trainer besides just walking across it.
They would be a 5/5 stars but for most of the people who read my website, they are probably more of a 3.5/5 stars, because you will find them too easy. I didn't get to test the intermediate model but I suspect based off the beginner and advanced that it works pretty well. However, my recommendation is to go with the two footed advanced, single foot advanced and if you want some more options pickup more single foot advanced models or a two footed intermediate. Every year watching ninja warrior many of the top athletes get knocked out early because of balance obstacles. Balance is just like any other skill, if you don't practice you won't get better at it. I'm just glad we have companies like Atomik to help us to continue to push our limits.