A balance board is actually a wooden base that has a circular bottom that makes it wobble sideways in random directions when you stand on it. Much like our earth, it also pivots on its axis and allows you to move on different planes. It helps you understand the balance of your body perfectly and also allows you to perform many exercises.
Balance boards are perfect to regain and improve the equilibrium of your body. Improved equilibrium improves the motor functions which in turn reduces chances of injury. The most common type of balance board is the circular bottom board which is ideal for gymnasts as they require a lot of balance in their sport. Maintaining your balance has a lot of benefits to your overall physical appearance as well.
This is the ability of the brain to understand body movement and adjust the joint and muscle movements accordingly. Many people lose this ability as they age or get injured. Balance boards help the brain regain this ability and thus reduce chances of further injury. That is why trained sports professionals use balance boards for rehabilitation often.
Balance boards are also used to help disabled children so that their cognitive skills improve. The other benefits you get from using a balance board are:
- Your motor coordination skills improve.
- The core strength and weight distribution improves.
- Overall balance of the body improves.
- Risks of sport injuries to the knees or ankles can be reduced.
- Simple rehabilitation for various parts of the body is possible.
To get the best of the benefits from balance boards here are some exercises you can perform on your own:
- Stand on the balance board with your feet apart (for support you can hold on to a chair) and rock on the board, both back to front and sideways (left to right). Perform this exercise for not more than 2 to 3 minutes.
- Get on top of the board (feet should be shoulders width apart) and rotate the board round making the edge of the board stay connected to the floor and again for no more than 2-3 minutes.
- Once your balance has improved, try balancing on the board as long as you can without any support and not allowing the board to touch the floor.
- This one is tricky but this will confirm your balance strength. Balance on the board with feet apart and try small knee bends. If successful, start doing squats. If you manage this on a balance board then your body balance is perfect.
All the above given exercises are to be performed with bare feet and on a soft floor like a rug or carpet. Avoid hard floors like wooden or concrete floors, the board is liable to slip on these surfaces and you are bound to get injured. Last piece of advice, if you are new to using balance boards then do make sure that you perform with a wall or a strong support next to you so even if you lose your balance you do not fall on the ground.