Terra Core Review: Does Balance Training Work? (2023)
Adding an unstable surface to your existing workout routine can be a game changer. In this Terra Core review, we investigate whether the Terra Core lives up to its Shark Tank notoriety.
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See our high-level takeaways below, or skip to our full review!Our Take:
- Hundreds of exercises
- No wheels like Terra-Glide
- Notches for resistance bands
- Rated for 1,000 lbs.
- App-guided workouts
- Durable Construction
- All fitness levels
Jump to: Full Review
As I get older, those stabilizing muscles get more rigid and my agility and balance are no longer what they once were. Bummer indeed. So I am presented with a few options. I can risk injury and atrophy, or I can target these areas with new exercise routines.Enter Terra-Core.
For the most part, my weekly exercise routine includes running, riding my Peloton, doing some push-ups, and adding in some core exercises. This routine has worked pretty well for me for years, but I am finding that something is missing, and that is what brings us to thisTerra-Core review.
The Terra-Core is an inflated bladder on a versatile platform base that enables you to get a dynamic workout in from the convenience of your home. You can transform a simple workout you typically do on solid ground by incorporating the benefits of a dynamic surface.
Take the simple squat as an example. It's a movement that is easy enough on solid ground, but a movement that is suddenly much more difficult when standing on an air-filled bag. This more dynamic movement summons muscle activation in a manner that develops stability and strength.
It would be easy to assume that the Terra-Core is just a longer version of the Bosu ball, but that would be a mistake. Sure, the Terra-Core is a balance trainer, but it doubles as a bench that can be paired with other fitness equipment, including the TRX system, medicine balls, or your youngest child. And while you might find the Terra-Core in a commercial gym, it's designed to be one of the most versatile pieces of at-home fitness equipment on the market.
Still not sure how you would use the system? Well, there is one more thing we should mention. The Terra-Core team offers some free content on their website to guide you through using the equipment, but they also have an app with premium content, including guided work-outs.
If you're concerned that you lack the creativity to properly use the Terra-Core, the guided work-outs included as premium content on the app are a big deal. If you are interested in premium content, the team offers 14 days of free content to help you decide. That said, the balance board includes a workout poster that will show you most of what you need to know.
The guided workouts add an element of interactive flow that is hard to match with the poster alone, but it is important to know that there is a solution for any budget.
What Does Terra-Core Do?
The appeal of the Terra-Core is in its versatility. The bottom of the board includes handles that can be utilized to complete advanced push-ups and core exercises such as the high plank. In this way, your body weight is enough to get a great workout using this equipment, and the same is true when the unit is turned upright where you can complete squats and lunges.
And when you are feeling more advanced, and ready to target certain muscle groups, the equipment really starts to shine. The equipment can be paired with something as simple as resistance bands (which can be purchased from Terra-Core), or something as unique and complex as the TRX system, which takes bodyweight exercise to unparalleled levels.
Fitness products are a dime per dozen, but there is no doubt that the Terra-Core activates more muscle groups than traditional fitness routines might. Let me give you an example. I incorporate a reasonable number of push-ups into my weekly exercise routine. Nothing crazy, but enough that pumping out some push-ups is fairly routine. When I first received the Terra-Core, I dropped to do a few push-ups on the air-filled bag, and I knew instantly this could be an important fitness tool for improving everyday functional strength.
The unstable surface increased the difficulty of every pushup, requiring more mental focus, and a slower and more controlled exercise movement. Sure, you can primarily use the Terra-Core for stability exercises or balance training if you choose to do so, but in following the Terra-Core fitness guided works out, or using a little creativity, you will quickly recognize that this piece of exercise equipment can help you sculpt muscle in a fun and varied way.
It's also worth noting that this versatile equipment should work well for any fitness level. A personal trainer or fitness professional might use the Terra-Core in tandem with additional pieces of equipment to develop a more complex workout routine. On the other hand, there are plenty of beginner exercises that a new user might complete to either work on core mechanics or to get an entire body workout.
The Terra Core team commissioned a study that showed the Terra Core Balance Trainer is scientifically proven to engage four times more muscle groups than completing the same exercises on a flat and stable surface. That's impressive and offers a glimpse of why the equipment is so versatile and effective. So, how many different ways might you choose to use this fitness board? More than you might think.
Upper Body Workouts
Since this is a device that sits on the floor, you might wonder how many upper body exercises you might be able to complete with this unit, but keep in mind that some of the most effective exercises are bodyweight exercises. Consider this: There are at least three different ways to do push-ups, and probably more. You can do traditional push-ups on the Terra-Core airbag, alternating pushups in which you alternate the hand on the bag and the hand on the floor, or turn the drive over and use the pushup handles.
If pushups aren't your thing, or you prefer to incorporate weights, use the fitness board as a bench replacement. Grab some dumbbells, lay on your back, and pump out your chest press or pec flies routine. You can also stand up, turn the unit over, and use the handles to do an upright row. If you incorporate bands into your routine or a device like the Gorilla Bow, the possibilities are endless. There are a dozen exercises you could do as part of your upper body workout.
If you want to improve your core, this is where possibilities for exercises are nearly endless. The plank is an exercise that on its own has more variations than I can count, and each of those can be done on this fitness board to further activate the abdominal muscles. You can start with a traditional plank, the high plank, the side plank, or the star plank. If you get bored with this routine, you can then incorporate raising one leg, one arm, or both while holding your planks.
The plank is simple and challenging all at the same time, which is funny since it is a hold rather than a movement. If you are looking for toning exercises, there is no more effective workout than mastering the various plank variations to develop core stabilization muscles. Combining plank variations with the unstable surface only further intensifies the results, helping you to truly focus on core strength.
Of course, you can always flip over to your back to work the core, as well. You can start with traditional crunches, bicycles, v-sits, leg lifts, and flutter kicks. You are so many types of exercises you can do to develop a strong core using an unstable platform, that you should never get bored or run out of new variations to incorporate.
Lower Body Workouts
If you are searching for a dedicated workout to engage your leg muscles from the comfort of your living room, say no more. The most obvious lower body exercises to integrate into your routine are the squats and the jump squats. It might be a little tricky at first, as your feet will naturally roll front to back, but that is part of the beauty of training with a dynamic surface. Over time, you will naturally improve your balance, while also improving strength in all of those stabilizing muscles you don't typically work to improve.
Once you've mastered the traditional squat, you can flip the Terra-Core over so that the air-filled bladder is on the ground, and master the reverse squats, which provide a slightly different feel. The Terra Core has notches to hold down resistance bands, so if you need extra resistance for any exercise, you can consider either incorporating the resistance bands or light weights. Disclaimer: This is inherently dangerous, so proceed at your own risk, and make sure that you have developed sufficient balance before integrating more advanced exercises.
HIIT & Cardio Training
Naturally, you can use a platform similar to an aerobic step, but its versatility allows you to use the air-filled surface to take traditional aerobic step exercises to the next level, as HIIT & Cardio Training workouts are possible too. Start by incorporating side-to-side jumps, clearing the platform and bladder each time you jump over. Then add in toe taps. Stand behind the oblong shape of the platform, and alternate tapping toes on top of the bag, as if you are running in place. Lastly, you can always add an advanced version of the burpee. Who doesn't love burpees?!? I kid.
Use these motions above as the build blocks for a HIIT or cardio routine, and then add in function exercises to the mix. As an example, mountain climbers are a great exercise to engage your core while maintaining a cardio pace. The possibilities are only limited by your own imagination, and fortunately, the Terra Core team offers guided workouts through the app to help out when your imagination runs short.
If you like the idea of the Terra-Core, but the size is a little intimidating, you might consider the Terra-Glide instead. It features an air bladder, similar to the Terra-Core, but is much smaller and more manageable.
That said, the big kicker is that the Terra-Glide has retractable wheels, which means you can use the unit as a balance trainer similar to the Terra-Core, or as an ab-roller. Simply pull out the wheels, grab the set of handles, and roll your way to a strong core. This creates a different type of versatility. Not only can you use the Terra-Glide for core workouts, but it is much more portable, due to its smaller size. You could easily throw the Terra-Glid into your car to take with you on a road trip.
Similar to the Terra-Core, the Terra-Glide also has notches for resistance bands, which allows you to do strength training and toning without some heavy fitness machine. And when you are working out at home, you can easily do weighted exercises by incorporating dumbbells and kettlebells into your routine.
The Terra-Glide provides a nuanced type of workout in comparison to the Terra-Core, so the two aren't mutually exclusive. If you are building a small home gym, it might make sense to get both. For the price, both will expand the versatility of your workout regimens exponentially.
Did Terra-Core Get A Deal on Shark Tank?
If the Terra-Core name sounds familiar, but you can quite put your finger on why that is, then you must be a fan of Shark Tank. The company had enough early success that they were given the opportunity to participate in the popular TV show, Shark Tank. After a little back-and-forth negotiation, the founders accepted a deal from Lori Greiner, offering her 22.5% equity in the company in exchange for $300,000.
The deal helped propel the Terra-Core team forward, enabling them to break deeper into the fitness industry, and setting the stage for you to meet your fitness goals using this versatile piece of equipment.
What Are Customers Saying?
You could fill multiple garages with all of the fitness accessories on the market, so we understand why you might want independent feedback in addition to what we are sharing. Hopefully, this is helpful: With nearly 500 reviews on Amazon, The Terra-Core is rated at an incredibly impressive 4.8 stars out of 5 stars. There is hardly anything with that many reviews rated so well on Amazon.
Anthony is a personal trainer, so he tends to be a little skeptical of new products, but Anthony says "well done" regarding the wide variety of exercises you can use the Terra-Core for. He goes on to share that it has one of the most versatile designs of any fitness equipment on the market. Anthony uses the Terra-Core almost daily with his clients and mentions he has trouble envisioning a point at which he runs out of new ways to use the equipment with his clients.
Michele says this will permanently change your workout routine. She likes that the Terra Core is a versatile accessory to other exercise equipment, and mentioned that she paired dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands with the Terra Core to create a full-body workout. She likes it so much, that Michele suggests that pairing other equipment with this balance trainer is like having a full gym at home. Michele shares that adding in this equipment requires more focus, increase the intensity, and activates more muscles.
Ben is a fitness instructor and shares that this is an excellent fitness product, capable of replacing a bulky bench, while also adding a new element to the workout. It's one of his favorite pieces of fitness equipment because there are so many exercises you can use this inflated bag for, which Ben exploits to get his client workout routines varied and fresh.
One customer named Irene shared that she had two total knee replacement surgeries and that this fitness board helped her regain strength in both knees post-surgery. Needless to say, Irene is a believer and says the equipment is well worth the investment.
Adie is another personal trainer that says the Terra Core has become an important part of her home gym and personal fitness journey. She stresses to all of her clients that they don't need to spend thousands of dollars on expensive equipment. Instead, Adie recommends that clients focus on adding versatile equipment that can be used at multiple fitness levels, and in multiple ways. This fitness board checks all of those boxes.
If you are looking for a negative review, there were a few people that lamented the inflatable rubber dome losing air, and that they were not able to fill it back up. In each instance I saw this, the user also said customer service was great to work with and offered various solutions. Truly, the unit received nearly uniformly positive reviews.
There are two areas where Terra-Core immediately stands out to me against the competition. The first is that the oblong shape is a much more sturdy base. This might sound like an odd observation since we are talking about a balance trainer platform, but my experience with the BOSU ball is that it is too unstable, and not wide enough, to complete all of the various workouts you can complete with the Terra-Core.
The Terra-Core will still take an adjustment period and offers more than enough instability to improve your stabilization muscles, but the extra width provides just enough base so that you won't feel like you are floundering around.
The second area where Terra-Core hit a home run is that there are numerous notches, in a variety of positions, where you can attach a resistance band. This increases the Terra-Core's versatility tenfold.
The BOSU Balance Trainer is the most direct competitor to the Terra Core, and I have used the BOSU Ball in the past before Terra-Core was around. The one thing I never liked about the BOSU Ball was that the round and domed shape made my knees feel like they were buckling out if I did any type of squat or jump squat. The Terra-Core's longer shape facilitates a flatter surface. It's still an unstable surface, but a flat surface. It's much more natural than feeling like you are holding the sides of a ball with your feet while standing on top of the same ball.
If you search Amazon, you might also run across the Bobo balance device, which is hyper-focused on adding a gaming element to balance training. It's a neat device, but really a balance device, rather than a fitness device, and that is a very key difference.
Is The Terra-Core Worth It
Whether you are looking to tone muscle, develop balance, or for intense workouts, the Terra-Core is a versatile fitness tool that will get the job done. While the platform is most often used on the ground for core or lower body exercises, you can attach resistance bands to knock out some bicep curls or work your shoulder muscles, too. When paired with a proper diet, the Terra-Core can also be utilized as a weight-loss tool if you develop an effective HIIT routine.
The bottom line is that theTerra-Core is much more than just a balance training device. it can be used for a wide range of exercises and will add complexity to your existing workout routine. If you have limited funds, and are trying to develop an effective, yet simple home gym, the Terra-Core is a must-have because it can be in so many different ways.SUMMARY PROS
- Hundreds of exercises
- No wheels like Terra-Glide
- Notches for resistance bands
- Rated for 1,000 lbs.
- App-guided workouts
- Durable Construction
- All fitness levels
Not sure about the price? Good news. The Terra-Core team has offered our readers a generous 15% discount! Simply use the code MOONLIGHTREVIEWS when checking out. We are excited to offer our readers this coupon code, and hope you buy your new Terra Core today!
My Terra-Core Experience
While the Terra-Core sounds great on paper and in watching other people use it on video, I want to share my own personal experience, too. The Terra-Core arrived promptly, within a week or so of the order being placed. From there, it only took a few minutes to get the platform out of the box and ready for use. At 28 lbs., the platform isn't heavy, but it has a sturdy feel and feels solid below the air bladder.
I've found that the Terra-Core works great for certain exercises, but to fill-out a home gym, you probably need one more piece of equipment. I bought the Gorilla Bow to complement the Terra-Core, and I am very happy with the combination. Both pieces of equipment are affordable and versatile, enabling me to workout nearly every muscle group without spending thousands on something like a Bowflex.
In short, if I was advising someone on how to start a home gym from scratch, I would tell them to start with the Terra-Core and Gorilla Bow.
How I Use The Terra-Core
I've used the Peloton app for core routines for years, so the first thing I did use the Terra-Core is to add it to my existing routine. Doing so immediately enhanced the difficulty of my core workout. Almost all of the core movements I would normally do on a mat could be done on the Terra-Core instead. The one exception to this was bicycles. I felt like I was falling off every time I made the back and forth motion from elbow to knee.
Now, that might say more about me than the Terra-Core, but I made some simple modifications and moved forward. I simply held the base with my hands below my hips and was still able to complete most of the motion. The other exercises were much more natural to complete and offered a more challenging version of the same motion done on the floor. Whereas the movements may have only been activated by abdominal muscles and thighs before, I could feel muscle activation in my back and glutes.
In my opinion, the Terra Core offered a better all-around core workout. As I alluded to earlier, I've also found that it is useful for adding complexity to my push-up routine.
The other thing that I've used this equipment for is rehab. I've been a runner for most of my post-college life but recently hurt my knee when the running stroller picked up too much steam down a knoll. So far, I've been able to avoid surgery, but the experience was still somewhat traumatic for someone that tries to stay active. I couldn't walk for three days, and months later I am still trying to recover.
I've found the Terra-Core to be a useful tool in rehabbing my knee. I can use it alongside my massage gun and other recovery techniques. I can do slow squats and lunges to isolate the stabilization muscles around my knee, and I can also balance on my leg to get some of that same stabilization effect without the impact of the squat or lunge.
So, would I recommend the Terra-Core? Absolutely. Not only is it fun, but it is also effective. While it might take a little getting used to, that also speaks to the effectiveness of unbalanced workouts. And best yet, you can incorporate the Terra-Core into your existing routine, or develop an entirely new routine.
Regardless of your size, fitness level, or intended use, the Terra-Core will work for you, too.
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