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The many benefits of a balance board
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The many benefits of a balance board

Balance boards are not just about physical benefits, they can significantly enhance coordination and proprioception

 

Balance boards can serve as incredible tools for strengthening the core muscles.

Balance boards are nifty tools that offer more than just a challenge and an entertaining balancing act. They’re your ticket to a stronger core, improved coordination, and a heightened sense of stability.

“A balance board is a circular object with an uneven base on which the user will attempt to balance,” says Dr M Rajaram, chief physiotherapist, Aster Whitefield Hospital, Bengaluru.

Balance boards aren’t just for fitness enthusiasts, they’re also utilized in rehabilitation programs to enhance proprioception and regain stability after injuries. “The  board is used to prevent people from having an injurious fall,” adds Dr Rajaram.

Benefits of balance boards 

Balance boards can serve as incredible tools for strengthening the core muscles. As you struggle and focus to maintain balance, the core muscles that are essential for stability and posture are continuously activated, leading to their strengthening over time.

Moreover, the engagement of multiple muscle groups as you attempt to maintain balance on the board is remarkable. Beyond the core, muscles in the legs, the hips, and even the smaller stabilizing muscles are all recruited to maintain equilibrium. This full-body engagement turns a simple balancing act into a comprehensive workout session, improving muscle tone and overall body strength.

Balance boards are not just about physical benefits, they can significantly enhance coordination and proprioception.

“The use of the balance board can improve balance and coordination and it is an effective tool to increase motor skills and improve posture,” says Dr Rajaram.

By challenging your balance, these boards train your brain and body to work together more efficiently, resulting in improved coordination.

These boards are not limited to fitness enthusiasts, they are widely used in rehabilitation programs. “The balance board is used to prevent sports injuries and rehabilitation of the ankle from ankle injuries,” says Dr Rajaram.

A 2004 study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that the use of a proprioceptive balance board program is effective for the prevention of ankle sprain recurrences among volleyball players. The board is versatile in catering to a broad spectrum, from athletes looking to enhance performance to people seeking post-injury recovery.

Balance board safety measures 

Start slow and under supervision: Begin with basic balancing exercises before attempting advanced moves. “Beginners need to be more careful and should always be supervised,” says Dr Rajaram.

Use proper footwear: The board’s surface is usually very grippy, go barefoot or use nonslip shoes to have a better grip on the board’s surface.

Use it in clear space: “There is a risk of falling from the board, so place it on a sturdy and even surface, avoid placing the board on an uneven surface, and remove an object such as chairs, tables, toys, and more that can cause injuries,” says Dr Rajaram.

Use assistance and avoid throwing or catching objects: Hold onto a sturdy surface or have someone assist you, especially when trying the board for the first time or practicing challenging manoeuvres. “Always use the board in an open area and avoid throwing or catching objects while using the board,” says Dr Rajaram.

Check equipment condition: Regularly check the balance board for any damage or wear and tear. Replace it to ensure safety.

Takeaways

  • Balance boards are circular objects with an uneven base upon which the user tries to maintain balance.
  • Their ability to engage multiple muscle groups, enhance coordination, and aid in injury recovery makes them an invaluable addition to anyone’s fitness routine.
  • Use a balance board in a clear space and under supervision, avoid throwing or catching objects while you are on the boards. Use proper footwear or go barefoot onto the board.

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