Balance boards are typically used by sports enthusiasts to increase balance, hence the name. Balance boards come in many shapes and styles, but the typical idea is that they all have a flat surface that is supported by a ball or dome shaped ball that supports the flat surface against the floor. This further supports your body, which in turn, when in use, requires you to balance your body effectively while using the board to stay balanced and “afloat” as you use it.
There are several benefits to the use of the balance board. Many physical therapists like to use it to assist in correcting strained or sprained muscles in the ankle, improve balance, improve posture and for the improvement of many other physical conditions or ailments that find their way into their facilities.
If you are a sports enthusiast, one of the biggest benefits that you can inherit from the use of the balance board is the versatility it allows. Not only can you stand on the board to strengthen your legs, ankles, and knees, but using two boards to support your hands, requiring you to balance your arms as you do push-ups is a sure way to reap even more rewards from your push-up routine. You can even balance in other ways, because this is a form of isometric training, and you can further isolate one side of the body by balancing on one foot or arm at a time to improve muscle or limb weakness and imbalances. You can find many different ways to balance your body in different positions using a balance board, which in turn, can definitely give you a full body workout while obviously improving strength, endurance, stamina and balance, just from training with your own body weight and a balance board. This versatility alone can allow you to be a better athlete, as you place your body in different positions, quickly, it can improve your agility. This can increase your ability to go from offense to defense and account for unpredictability in sports if you are an athlete. Furthermore, if you are an athlete, just balancing your body for an extended period of time in one position, as opposed to transitioning frequently, can allow you to improve your stance and hold your ground more efficiently, further stabilizing your body in ways that other workouts don’t provide.
The use of balance boards requires that you maintain a level of flexibility. The type of flexibility that balance boards call for can vastly improve your ability to be less prone to injury. As you also increase your balance and flexibility, the focus required to use a balance board can make you more “spatially aware,” when “balance challenges arise or danger arises.” Balance boards can also strengthen joints. Studies have shown that for ankle joints specifically, the use of balance boards increased strength, flexibility, and agility, especially for athletes who had already experienced a sprained ankle. The exercise drastically decreased their level of sprain recurrence and avoidance.
The use of balance boards is perfect for beginners and for those who are uncoordinated. As you use your balance board, you start slow and steady and work with what your body and mind can handle. As we mentioned, there are several different types and styles of balance boards, each style can allow a level of progressive training that can make your efforts more challenging as you switch up your board with something a little different. Most types and styles move a little differently and are designed a little differently, getting you the most out of your balance board training efforts. When one becomes easy, it makes sense to switch up and try new things along with new boards to really improve your body and balance so that you can later withstand more rigorous exercises and routines that you may not be inclined to perform as a beginner. If you are truly afraid of falling, which is an obvious risk of the use of balance boards, you can take your balance board to the water. While you get all the same benefits and full workout that balance boards offer, taking your board to the water can allow you to fall on soft water that decreases the chance of a serious injury.
The use of balance boards can also do amazing things for your brain, not only can it make you a better learner, but whether you are a serious athlete or just a beginner, the following information is “must know.” Most people, serious gym goers or not, fail to participate in workouts or activities that can further enhance or increase your brain to muscle connections. These connections are important. Balance boards allow your brain to focus in on one muscle at a time, the working muscle. As you perform your routine on a balance board, you notice everything about what you are doing, whether or not you feel the burn, whether or not you are executing your form properly, etc. This increases those mind-to-muscle connections by really zoning in on what your muscles are doing. Believe it or not, this is said to carry over into other routines and exercises, as you train your body. Balance boards also help you train your brain, and when performing other skills or routines, you will notice that you are more mindful of what your body and muscles are doing, which is vital for several reasons. Becoming more self-aware can let you know when it’s time to change up a routine to make it more challenging, it can reduce your chance of injury, and it can improve self-awareness overall, in a workout setting that offers best results.
With any balancing exercise or body weight training exercise, you can instantly improve your core strength. We can’t stress how important it is to work your body and back, because improved core strength can improve your posture and ability to perform other exercises and workout routines. Most importantly, it can improve any activity you do daily. We stress core strength and workouts because today, our cores do not get the training or strength they need to support our bodies or posture which in turn can have a damaging impact on our health. The use of balance boards can improve your abs and lower back, and offers a great core workout to help strengthen those muscles, further translating into anything you do daily. You will definitely notice the difference.
As you can see, balance boards are a great way to get started. If you are a beginner who wants to become serious about health and exercise, balance boards are a great way to help you get started on conditioning your body for future exercise and fitness endeavors. If you are a serious athlete, the use of balance board training can definitely enhance your preexisting abilities and performance when on or off the field. You can’t go wrong with balance board training for the ultimate, versatile and progressive form of body weight training and balance training that exists today.