Slant boards aren’t exactly cheap and most gyms won’t have them.
But the benefits of using a slant board are so massive that it’s often a good idea to search for a workaround, so you can get the most out of your workout.
While absolutely none of these alternatives are even remotely as effective as using a slant board, depending on what you’re doing, they’ll often be good enough.
So without further ado, here’s my top 5 slant board alternatives!
1. Weight Plates
You’ll probably have seen people using weight plates as a make shift slant board at the gym.
This is a really effective alternative especially if you’re doing squats.
Simply grab a couple of weight plates and stand on the edges of them so your heels are elevated.
There are a few drawbacks of using weight plates however…
Having personally used this method for far too long, I can attest to how poor of an option it is.
When you use a weight plate to elevate your heels, it shifts your weight forward onto the balls of your feet, which makes it very difficult to drive through your heels.
The surface you’re standing on is also round, which means it’s not evenly elevating your entire heel.
You can literally see her feet moving around as she squats on the weight plates above!
Weight Plates Aren’t An Effective Replacement For Static Stretching
If you’re using your slant board for stretching your calves and/or Achilles, weight plates really won’t be an effective solution for these long holds.
There’s really no way you can replicate the same intensity of stretch as shown above via the use of weight plates.
Another slant board alternative you can try is to get a few old textbooks or a phone book and use that as a way to increase your elevation.
Simply stack a few books on top of one another and perform your normal slant board exercises.
Stacked Books Slide & Aren’t Safe For Squats
One of the obvious issues with using a stack of books or even a phone book is that they’re liable to slip under the pressure of your feet.
This means there’s a risk of your stack toppling over mid set, which is definitely not ideal!
You Constantly Have To Adjust The Stack
A pile of books isn’t exactly convenient to move around.
Not because they’re heavy, but because each time you move them the stack might become unstable and you have to ensure they’re perfectly aligned so they don’t slide out from underneath you.
I guess it depends a bit on what sort of books you’re using… Some might work fine, others might be really slippery.
You Probably Don’t Have A Phone Book Lying Around…
If you’re at the gym, then you almost certainly don’t have access to a pile of books you can use.
And if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have a ton of books in your apartment either.
So it looks like it’s back to the drawing board…
3. Extra Large Door Stopper
One decent idea is to go online an order a pair of extra large door stoppers to act as makeshift squat wedges.
These will set you back about $20.
The door stoppers more closely resemble ATG heel wedges than a slant board but do effectively the same thing.
The problem is that a decent pair of squat wedges will often cost about the same as a decent slant board!
Unfortunately the extra large door stoppers aren’t a great option either…
They’re Still Too Small!
Even the extra large door stoppers are only about 6.3″ in length, which means most people won’t get their entire foot onto the ramp.
Poor Incline Angle
They have less than 2″ of elevation which means you probably won’t reach even 20 degrees of incline, especially since half of your foot will be on the ground!
They’re Not Wide/Stable Enough
These things are less than 3″ wide, which means you’ll barely be able to fit your feet on them and the sides of your feet/shoes will likely protrude over the edges of the stoppers.
This may compromise your balance and cause instability which is dangerous.
4. DIY Slant Board
One of the cheapest ways to get your hands on a slant board is to simply make your own!
While this is a cool idea, there’s so many reasons this isn’t a practical solution for 99% of people…
Don’t Have Access To Tools
I personally don’t have access to any of the power tools necessary to create a slant board.
Don’t Have Any DIY Experience
I’m also pretty useless when it comes to any sort of crafts like this, so I’d probably have a conniption trying to understand the instructions and would likely make far too many mistakes!
Your Time Is Worth More Than The Time It Takes To Build One
It would probably take me at least 2 hours to do something like this and so it would probably just make sense for me to buy a slant board instead!
5. Weightlifting Shoes
If you’re just looking for a good way to elevate your heel during squats, getting a pair of weightlifting shoes might actually be a decent option!
While I’ve found weightlifting shoes helpful for squats, they still don’t provide quite as much elevation as I’d like.
Needless to say, they’re really only useful for squats and split squats and aren’t going to help you stretch out like a slant board could.
Is A Slant Board Worth It?
Is the sky blue?
It still blows my mind that something so rudimentary as an angled piece of wood can be so difficult to effectively replace!
There are simply no really good alternatives to just biting the bullet and getting a slant board!
As far as exercise equipment goes, I don’t think it’s possible to spend $70 on a more valuable training aid!
The returns you get on your investment are truly second to none as I’m a firm believer in very frequent slant board use, even if you’re in perfect health.
Which One Do I Get?
If I’ve convinced you to come to your senses and buy one of these things, I recommend reading my roundup review of the top 7 slant boards currently on the market.