There are many uses of a balance board, and it can be used for exercise, training, and fitness purposes. Balance boards are a great help for building balance, reducing neck and back pains, correcting posture, and easing the pain for weight-bearing joints.
Using a balance to maintain and train postural muscles is a great thing to do to ensure a well-maintained posture and a great balance ability of the body.
Benefits of Balance Boards
It Will Help You Become a Better Athlete
For athletes, fitness, strength, and agility is a must. Balance boards can help you in training. Balance board training helps in improving muscular strength and agility.
Balance boards also help athletes to master the ability to make quick transitions, which is an essential skill to have when you are an athlete and is into sports. Balance boards also help athletes balance and maintain a fixed position for a long period.
Makes you less prone to injuries
Falls are extremely hard. Being fall-and-injury-prone means that you have a lack of coordination and balance. Regular training and exercise on balance boards may help you in maintaining balance, which makes you more spatially aware.
Being spatially aware means you yourself can autocorrect your body position to prevent yourself from falls and injuries. With balance board training, it can also be the key to strengthening your joints that are prone to injuries.
Improves Brain Performance
To those who aren’t aware, balance boards help you to think quickly and become alert at all times. While you train and exercise to maintain your stance, balance, and posture, your brain’s ability to stay alert, give attention, and focus to things around you improves as well.
The brain’s ability to coordinate, think, focus, and stay alert is actually divided into two hemispheres. Two perfect the coordination between the two hemispheres on your brain will depend on your ability to align your body, which is known as vestibular processing.
Generally, vestibular processing is your ability to have a spatial perception and awareness of the world around you.
Must Remember When Exercising On Balance Boards
When using well-designed balance boards, you must keep your focus and concentration on keeping the board balanced and leveled. Because you need to keep the balance of the board, your body stays in continuous motion. Thus, you will need to work and use micro-movements to keep the level and balance.
Using balance boards are beneficial in working the hidden core muscles of the body. Some major core muscles targeted by exercises on balance boards are the Lats, Adductors and abductors, Glutes, Lower Back Muscles, Abdominal Muscles, including the External and Internal Oblique.
Uses Of Balance Boards
There is a lot you can do with balance boards that can help in improving balance and fitness. Uses of balance boards include the following. Balance boards are useful in many aspects.
Balance boards are not just great for those who wish to maintain balance but also great for those who wish to have fitness goals. Exercising on balance boards are great for muscles and joints in the back and also for muscles that have been bearing much weight. You can use balance boards to train and continuously train your balance to maintain fitness and posture.
Performing Core Exercises and training
For preventing injuries and functional activities, having stable and strong core muscles is important and essential. Balance boards are great tools that can help in training the core muscles and making it strong and stable. Using balance boards are also advantageous in balance training and exercise for a sturdy and fit core muscle.
Lower Limb rehabilitation and strengthening
Balance ability and proprioceptive ankles can be improved under a 40-minute session on balance boards, according to a study conducted in 2018. This is also possible and effective for those ankles that function unstably.
Another study conducted on female soccer players, however, says that ACL tear and other major injuries cannot be prevented through balance boards. Instead, the reduction of overall new injury rates can be made possible through training and exercise using balance boards.
Proprioceptive training and Upper Limb training
Training the upper extremities can be good in improving stability, proprioceptive awareness, and balance. This training of the upper extremities can be done on balance boards.
Those who wish to do this training must first be able to perform exercises like push-ups while having a good form before being able to proceed to train on the balance board. Without doing so, they run and have a big tendency to acquire injuries to elbows or wrists and on the shoulders.
Fall prevention training for Seniors
Balanced boards are not just made for the benefit of younger ages, but it can be used by elders as well. A study in the year 2011, finds the effectivity of improving standing balance for the elderly through the use of balance boards.
Studies also suggest that at least using balance boards and training 3x a week on a balance board can help in reducing the risk factors of falling in the elderly population.
Exercises That Can Be Done On Balance Boards
There are a great number of exercises that can be done on balance boards. Exercises that can be done on balance boards are some of the following.
Basic Stance Balance
The exercise’s key focus is to achieve confidence in developing your stance.
- Stand with your feet on the outer edges of the balance board. Make sure to keep your torso upright and that you keep a neutral spine.
- By shifting your weight from both sides, balance on the board, and prevent its edges from touching the floor. The goal here to maintain at least 20 seconds of balancing on the board. 1 set of this exercise is 5 reps of 20 seconds.
Forward and Back Tilts
This exercise targets the stabilization of muscles in the ankles.
- What you need to do is to first stand on the outer edges of the balance board.
- Then, stand upright with a neutral spine position.
- Make the board tilt to the front, making the board touch the floor.
- After, make it tilt backward until it touches the floor again behind you.
- Continue tilting front and back for 60 seconds while maintaining steady, slow, and controlled motion.
“Round the Clock” or Two Leg Tilts
This is another exercise for stabilizing ankle muscles.
Stand in an upright position while standing on the outer edges of the balance board. This exercise is a combination of the Forward/Backward Tilt, Basic Stance Balance, and Side Tilts.
- What you need to do is a roll in a 360-degree motion on the board.
- Start moving by tilting the balance board to the left.
- As the board touches the left ground, you should now transfer the weight to touch the floor ground in front.
- Next step, you now have to transfer your weight to make the balance board touch the right side of the floor.
- Complete the movement in a circular motion by tilting the board to touch the floor behind you.
- As you get used to the movement, you can use your arms in order to maintain balance as you continue to be in motion. Execute the reverse motion as you complete the first set. Do this for 60 seconds.
This is also an exercise for the stabilization of the ankle muscles.
- Standing in an upright neutral spine position, stand on the board with two feet on the outer edges.
- Shift your weight from left to right by tilting the balance board from left to right.
- Continue doing so with maintaining a tight core and an upright torso. So the motion in a controlled and slow manner.
Single Foot Balance
- The exercise is done by standing with One foot positioned in the middle on the balance board. Raise the other leg by drawing your knee up near toward the torso. Do not let your two legs come close to each other.
- For those doing this for the first time, you can position the balance board near a wall to hold for support. As you continue doing the sessions, you must aim to do the exercise without any support. Hold your balance as longs as you can.
- Execute the same manner with the other leg.
Cautions when Using Balance Boards
You have to make sure that you will maintain a neutral and balanced spine position. Be sure that your workout or training area is well lighted. Don’t do exaggerated movements on the balance board, especially if it’s your first time.
Move slowly and according to your body strength. Stay in control and exercise in slow motions. Never exercise on slippery surfaces because accidents are prone to happen. Take it easy and take time to assess your fitness level and move according to your ability. Finally, drink lots of water and stay hydrated before and after workouts or training sessions.