We tend to underestimate balance board benefits and the challenge involved in using a balance board.
Useful for people of any age and fitness level to improve balance and coordination, balance boards are also popular with professional athletes seeking to hone their sporting performance. But the benefits don’t stop there!
Coming in several different styles, the most common models comprise a domed slide with a circular board attachment.
Being partially round, when you stand on the board it moves. The effort required to stabilize the board works various muscles including some that are largely untargeted in day-to-day life and during most other forms of exercise.
In this article, we will look at the primary balance board benefits to help you decide if balance board exercises are for you.
The Primary Balance Board Benefits
Below are some of the balance board benefits.
- Improves balance
Some people steer clear of balance board exercises because they think they’re too uncoordinated to do them. The reality is that anyone can participate in balance board training. In fact, when done regularly this form of exercise will quickly improve your balance.
You can start with basic easy-to-do exercises, progressing to more challenging moves as your skills improve. The type of board you choose will also affect how easy or difficult it is to use. The easiest board to use is the rocker board which tilts back and forth only.
If you’re worried about falling, start out by doing your sessions near a wall or a table and use it to steady yourself.
- Targets the core
The core, or trunk, is made up of overlapping muscles which start at the lower neck and extend to the shoulders, the middle and lower back, and include the abdominals and hips. Along with supporting the torso, this network of muscles stabilizes the spinal column.
Every movement we make is dependant on the strength and stability of our core. When using a balance board, your trunk will be continuously challenged as you make minor adjustments to maintain an upright position. These movements strengthen the trunk’s stabilizing muscles.
- Makes you stronger
Balance board exercises engage the so-called small stabilizer muscles. These are the muscles which support our main muscle groups, and they’re not usually employed when doing day-to-day activities or most forms of exercise. When exercising on a balance board, these smaller muscles contract, helping us to balance. During this process, our larger muscles work to keep us stable.
Studies have shown that balance board training is not only useful for improving muscular strength, it can also address muscular imbalances. This makes it excellent for people whose body is stronger on one side than the other, which is most of us.
- Improves posture
Many of us spend hours each day hunched over a computer screen or texting on a cell phone. Over time, this can result in a rounded back and drooping shoulders. This not only looks unattractive, but it can add years to your appearance. It is also detrimental to the spine, and it can lead to chronic back pain.
Regular balance board workouts can counteract this by strengthening the torso’s stabilizer muscles. With a stronger core, comes improved proprioception. Put simply; proprioception enables us to align our body correctly without having to think about it. The benefit in this instance is that you will sit and stand taller naturally.
- Lowers your risk of injury
Most exercise-related injuries occur due to a lack of core strength, and poor coordination and balance. Regular balance board training can help on all counts.
The core strength that comes from training on a balance board will make you less prone to injury. For example, a strong core reduces limb strain. It will also help keep your back pain-free.
Balance board training will make you more spatially aware, so you will automatically adjust your body placement when faced with a potential injury.
Ankle sprains are a common sporting injury. Studies have shown that regular use of a balance board can reduce the risk by strengthening the ankle joints. Research has also proven that undertaking balance board exercises to rehabilitate from an ankle injury minimizes the likelihood of it recurring.
- Improves brain function
Another of the significant benefits of balance board exercises is that they enhance focus. Being more alert has various advantages, including a reduced risk of sustaining an injury.
Studies have shown that people who routinely undertake balance board exercises learn new things more readily. This is because the act of balancing on the board involves continually using your neural networks to sync your mind and your body.
When doing balance board exercises, you must put total focus on staying upright on the board for the duration of the workout. Giving 100% of your attention to the task at hand will enhance your ability to concentrate.
- Improves sporting performance
Doing balance board workouts regularly will make you a better athlete. This type of training can help you to change positions quickly, improving your coordination, balance, and agility.
Being able to move from one position to another with ease, you won’t expend energy unnecessarily. This efficiency will give you a better result, regardless of your sport.
If you don’t participate in sport, the enhanced equilibrium gained from balance board training will make it easier for you to run after an active toddler, and do everyday tasks.
Final Words on Balance Board Benefits
Balance board exercises are excellent for improving balance, coordination, and overall performance in the sporting arena. However, their advantages don’t stop there. Regular sessions will also make you stronger, lower your risk of injury, improve your posture, and enhance your brain function.
If you’re thinking of buying a balance board, click this link to read about two of the most popular models on the market today.