Balance boards, also known as wobble boards, are instruments that use a flat, hard top that you stand on, and an unstable rounded bottom so that to use it, you must exercise balance and swift movements. Balance boards are used in a variety of ways, from sports training, to fitness and exercise and even rehabilitation. A balance board is fairly inexpensive and even easy to make yourself. You can reap the balance board benefits by incorporating one into your fitness or training regimen for better health.
Your equilibrium is your center of balance that is necessary for almost every activity that you do. Whether it is large motor skills like walking and running, or fine motor skills like threading a needle, your equilibrium affects it. At times, injuries can damage your equilibrium, making it hard for you to be coordinated. Balance boards are used in therapy to restore equilibrium as your brain works harder to keep you balanced on the board.
Athletes can benefit from coordination training while on a balance board. The balance board requires all of the parts of your body to work together, or you'll fall off or stumble. Using a balance board can help you to coordinate your body so that all of the parts are working together to keep you on the balance board, great for athletes in sports that use their whole bodies, like tennis.
When on a balance board, if you slip or stumble, you'll have to go immediately into a action to stop it. A balance board can help improve your reaction time as you learn to act quickly to correct a mistake, and to learn to not over-correct. Athletes who need to react quickly to a starting gun in a race may use balance boards to improve their reaction times.
A study that was published in a 2004 "American Journal of Sports Medicine" found that women who suffered from frequent ankle sprains while playing volleyball had a significant reduction in ankle sprains after training on a balance board. It is hypothesized that the balance board strengthens the ankles, so that they are less likely to become sprained when pressure is applied through sports or everyday activities.
Fitness and Training
You can use a balance board much like you would an exercise ball and reap the benefits of exercising and training with an added degree of difficulty. Whether you attempt to hit a baseball while balancing, do push ups on the board or catch a football while on the board, it can add a degree of difficulty to activities you are comfortable with. Balance boards can help add to your skill so that you're trained in a more difficult activity to become better at the regular variety.