Be a better athlete
The use of a balance board enhances your agility and your ability to adapt to changes in external factors when doing sports. Often it is significant for you to very quickly change the direction of movement while not losing your balance. Another significant ability is the understanding and control of the body through improving proprioception – the sense of feeling and understanding the position and movement of the body, its balance, and the notion of force. Our body uses this sense for all activities; therefore, we need to train it – balance board eases the process and our body is more prepared for the change.
Improve your balance
The balance is an ability to maintain secure on both stable and unstable ground either when you are resting or doing an activity. This is a very significant part of our training process and daily activities, as well as it enhances our overall health and quality of life. The use of a balance board speeds up your balance improvements, as it is more effective than doing stability exercises on the ground.
Reduce the risk of trauma
In sports, a large part of trauma comes from the loss of balance and coordination. As mentioned before, training your balance allows you to better adapt to changes in movement, as well as improves the strength and stability of your joints. A dislocated ankle is a very common trauma in football, basketball, soccer, rugby, floorball, volleyball, etc. A research found that a 6-week training with a balance board reduced the risk of a repeated dislocation of an ankle up to 12 months. Therefore, the use of a balance board can be used in rehabilitation for speeding up an athlete’s recovery.
Boost your brain function
The improvement of balance and posture goes hand in hand with improvements to your vestibular system, as well as concentration abilities when doing various tasks. A research done by Dr. Jean Ayers used a balance surface for people with disturbances in their sensory system. The stability of participants’ body, muscle strength, and coordination enhanced, as well as their control of eye movements, speech, and concentration – their neural network was activated.
Challenge your progress
The training on a balance board can be done at various levels of difficulty. First, it is important to hold on to a standing position that can be a challenge at the start. Second, you can start to test your stability by starting to move your arms in vertical or horizontal movements. After that, you can use some sport’s equipment, such as dumbbells, gymnastic rubber or any exercise that would make your training more effective and challenging. You can include it in your daily basketball, volleyball, floorball (or any other) training to improve your competitiveness.
Develop your deep muscles
The deep muscles can be found anywhere in your body; they ensure the stability of your spine, chest, and pelvis. Any movement we do is based on these muscles keeping our body stable. They are significant for keeping us out of the risk of trauma; they need to be trained because we tend to spend more and more time sitting at our computers. It can be found in various researches that approximately 80% of people will face low back pain and for 20-50% of those people, the pain is chronical. In the short-term, core stabilization exercises done on a balance board are more effective than therapeutic gymnastics for reducing low back pain. When your deep muscles are active, your proprioception and balance senses are improved. Standing on a balance board strengthens your core and reduces the lower back pain.
Enhance your posture
Today, incorrect posture is very often observed, as most of us are sitting on our phones, laptops or by the TV. We work, we study and even the little ones are preferring phone screens to outside activities. Most often we do not realize the position we are sitting in – our head is leaned towards together with our shoulders, and our back is arched. That leads to more and more people asking for help from physiotherapists. They are facing various consequences, such as back pain, headaches, muscle pain, limited movement, and others. exercise on the balance board will not only strengthen your muscles but also improve your posture.
The strength of the muscles can be trained in various ways. One of the most popular is lifting weights; however, training muscles is teamwork. For it to be more effective, all the muscles need to work, and they need to work together. The unstable feeling and exercises on a balance board will activate all muscle groups more than it would when standing on the ground. All your muscles will work together, as well as your joints; your position will be stable, as your strength and quality of movements will improve.
The use of a balance board trains your response and reaction to changes in the external environment. Your body can react fast by effectively using the power of muscles that is useful for various sports. The speed, efficiency, and effectiveness come together with training on a balance board.
Give your child a try
The development of balance and coordination starts at an early age when a child is starting to lift the head, standing on the elbows, crawling and walking. These activities are developing in the first year and keep improving, as the child learns how to run, jump, ride a bike, dance, climb, etc. When they enter school, their daily activities change and often children develop back arches, uneven heights of shoulders, incorrect postures or even back pain at an early age. More children have reduced coordination and balance than in previous generations. A balance board can be a good solution, as children learn fast. It is fun and exciting while it significantly improves health.
BEFORE GETTING STARTED
- It takes approximately 15-30 min to fully understand the balance board and how it works;
- For safety make sure that there are no sharp or fragile objects near you;
- When starting to try the balance board, put a gymnastics mat underneath it for higher resistance – there will be less board movement and it will be more stable;
- For better balance, try the first times against a Swedish wall, windowsill, higher table or anything else for reducing the risk of falling;
- If you are not sure about the safety or accuracy of the exercises you are doing, consult a physiotherapist.
TO GET STARTED
- Place your balance board on a stable and horizontal surface.
- Put your first foot one the side which is lying on the ground.
- Put your other foot on the other side.
- Slightly bend your knees, straighten your poisture.
- Slowly try to tranfer your torso over the roller.
- Repeat this process as many times needed till you start finding the balance.
- Enjoy balancing!
- When ready to stop, slowly roll over to one side and put the board on the ground.
Author: Silvestrs Piekūns | Physiotherapist