Monday, 27 April 2015

Introduction to the Balance Board

The balance board is a fitness piece of equipment that offers an efficient and enjoyable way to train your balance. It also improves your motor coordination skills, and it strengthens your core. Many people also practice on it because they feel calmer and more relaxed after a session.

Skiers and surfers used it first so they can practice their skills during the off-season. It is now used in therapeutic setting (knee rehabilitation, children with developmental disorders, proprioceptive training) and in fitness training. Athletes continue to take advantage of this fitness tool to improve their performance.

 You can easily acquire a balance board to exercise at home. It offers a fun way to strengthen your balance and your core. The difficulty depends on the type of board you are using. Some of them are very easy to practice on. Little kids and elderly people can use them safely. While other boards are much more challenging and require great skills.

There are 4 types of balance boards.
Rocker Boards
It improves static balance and is an easy way to start
Rocker-roller Boards
More challenging, they improve dynamic balance.
Wobble Boards

They offer a good comprise between the rocker boards (easy) and the other boards with un-attached fulcrums (the rocker-roller and the sphere-and-ring boards).
Sphere-and-ring Boards
The base is un-attached and the board can move in all direction making these types of balance boards the most challenging ones.
Balance boards can be very challenging causing falls, sprained joints, and sometime broken bones! So you need to take it gradually and start easily. Choosing the right balance board is the first step to a safe practice. Start with an attached board (rocker or wobble) as they are easier to use than the non-attached. Starting with easy exercises to gain confidence is important. 

Here are 4 movements you can start with:
1. Stand with both feet, and rock the board left to right, and front to back and have the edge touch the floor. Do it for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Roll the board in a circle touching the edge on the floor. Do it for 2 minutes.
3. Balance the board trying to keep the edges off the floor as long as you can.
4. From exercise 4, squat slightly (45 degrees). Repeat 10 times.
These 4 basic movements will help you improve your balance, strengthen your core, and increase your stamina.
It also has been linked with less falls during old age.

Source Moutassem Hammour .Chir

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