WHAT IS A BALANCE BOARD?
A quick look at the fitness industry shows that people do all sorts of stuff to stay in shape, from splurging on fitness apparel to unnecessary supplements.
Why not try something that is safe, proven and simple right inside your cozy little apartment? For the uninitiated, a balance board is a circular object with a platform and an uneven base. You simply place the body part that you want to train on the platform, and then attempt to maintain your balance.
Over the years, they’ve become extremely popular among fitness enthusiasts for the mobility, inexpensiveness and ease of use. Skateboarders and snowboarders are also in love with balance boards as they can effectively emulate the sport whenever and wherever they want. It's about time you get one for yourself too.
ARE BALANCE BOARD FOR EVERYONE?
In short, the answer is yes. Pretty much everyone can use balance boards at will. But there are a certain set of precautions that you can take to completely eliminate the risk of injury during your training.
Here are some:
- Firstly, if you belong to an older age group, or if you’re easily prone to bone related injuries, it's advisable to wear protective gear from head to your knees.
- Keep your floor free of objects and obstacles. If possible try using a soft training mat around that you can land on in case you slip and fall.
- Always wear shoes that provide you with proper grip and traction.
- If your kids are training, then be sure to supervise and educate them about best practices.
Let's have a look at how different types of people can get benefited from balance boards. WATCH THE VIDEO
PROVEN BENEFITS OF USING BALANCE BOARD
WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT SIMPLY BURNING CALORIES AND STAYING IN SHAPE, EVERY MOVE THAT YOU DO ON THE BOARD TRIGGERS A SPECIFIC SET OF MUSCLES, INCLUDING YOUR BRAIN. THIS IS TARGETED AND CONCENTRATED TRAINING.
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:
FINE TUNES MOTOR SKILLS
Every single activity that you perform in your daily life demands a certain degree of balance and equilibrium in your body. Be it from driving a car to cooking, your motor skills need to be well tuned at all times. Balance board are a great way of improving, or regaining these skills in case you need some rehab in the event of an injury or an accident.
Nobody knows the importance of reflexes more than an athlete. Try to give a thought to what might occur when you stumble off your balance board. You react in a flash to avoid falling off, it's a reflex that's hardwired into your body. The board invokes it naturally - improving your response time every time you stumble.
GENERAL FITNESS & INJURY RECOVERY
Doesn’t matter if you're a professional athlete, a casual baseballer or even 40 year man who spends a lot of time with his kids, balance board can add to something to every activity that you take part in. Moreover, they can also help you address annoying niggles from your past injuries to the knees and the spine.
IMPROVES HAND EYE COORDINATION
The primary function of the balance board is to get multiple muscles in your body to work together. The act of balancing yourself on a single body part, your left leg for instance, requires your entire body to work in tandem for extended periods.
A traditional board which almost serves as a synonymous market name for the original device, the Wobble Board is the most popular variant out there.
It's usually made out of wood or plastic and sports a dome at the bottom allowing it to move in every possible direction.
If you’re a beginner, it's better off to start with a fairly large board and then slowly transition into a board with a smaller bottom as you get better at training.
The rocker board is a slightly different from the Wobble board since its objective is to cater to a specific audience. As the name suggests, the board can rock back and forth - from front to back or side to side.
The older age groups generally opt for this board as they are easier to train with and improve co-ordination.
In terms of style and variety, you can find curved designs that are extremely large (ideal for kids), or the usual smaller rectangular or circular ones.
Once you’re familiar and done mastering the roller boards, you’d want to step up your game with the rocker-roller boards.
These boards are essentially the same as the roller boards but they add a certain degree of instability to the board. The platform isn’t fixed, it's rather placed on cylindrical rollers, and that's what makes them harder to handle and master.
Although the shape and design of the rollers may change from board to board, the function remains pretty much the same.
Probably the most challenging balance board of all, the sphere-and-ring boards usually feature an inflatable rubber ball that is considerably larger than the traditional underside of a wobble board.
Typically adopted by advanced trainers, this board provides the maximum freedom of movement thanks to the presence of the rings - allowing you to even perform an ollie, a trick which involves vertically moving the board. If you are planning on jumping onto this board soon, you might want to take a peek into the customizability options.
The speed and the difficulty can be adjusted by changing the shape and size of the rings and the sphere itself.
WHY WE NEED IT?
All in all, balance boards are a godsend to fitness enthusiasts and athletes. The value proposition is unmatched - to be able to work every muscle in your body virtually in your living room is something to kill for.
To add to that, they are affordable and easily fit into any fitness regime that you might have adopted. Moving a new place? No problems, carrying around your fitness equipment is almost unheard of in the industry.
Considering the fact that they have something to add to our day to day activities as well, it's a must have for anybody who aspires to have better health and quality of life!