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Balance Boards - Benefits, Drawbacks, and Exercises

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Balance Boards are used for personal development training like balance and athletic training, improving posture, fall prevention training, and rehabilitation.

Medically reviewed by

Shakti Mishra

Published At June 26, 2023
Reviewed AtJune 27, 2023

What are Balance Boards?

Balance boards are tools for improving balance and posture, athletic training, aiding in rehabilitation, fall prevention training, and other personal development.

The main types of balance boards include the following:

  1. Rocker Balance Board: The Rocker Balance Board is rectangular or flat with a semicircular base and is challenging to use.

  2. Wobble Balance Board: The Wobble Balance Board comes circular with a dome shaped base, and the difficulty level is moderate.

  3. Spring Balance Board: Spring Balance Board is a double board that is rectangular or circular, the base is spring loaded, and the difficulty level is moderate to difficult.

  4. Roller Balance Board: The Roller Balance Board is rectangular with a cylindrical base, and the difficulty level is challenging.

  5. Half Balance Ball: Half Balance Ball has a flat bottom, the base is spherical and movable, and the difficulty level is challenging.

What Are the Benefits of a Balance Board?

The benefits of using a balance board include the following:

  1. Increased Muscle Strength and Stronger Joints: Bones are connected by joints held in place by ligaments and muscles. Using a balance board strengthens the core muscles and joint, which increases joint stability and reduce the risk of joint pain.

  2. Sharpening Reflexes: The amount of time the body takes to respond to a stimulus is called reaction time. Using a balance board sharpens the reflexes by improving the reaction time.

  3. Increased Concentration: Balance boards help improve focus and coordination, which is extremely useful in the case of children and old aged having attention deficits.

  4. Improved Body Posture: The current lifestyle, which demands increased desk time, has led to poor posture and related problems in many people. It often leads to chronic back pain and acute back injuries. The use of balance boards can contribute to postural corrections.

  5. Increased Stability: Increased stability helps in reducing the risk of falling and prevents long-term injuries. Balance boards are effective in improving strength, particularly in the ankles. Balance boards help in developing coordination and motor skills in the ankle joint.

  6. Aids in Rehabilitation: Balance boards aid in stability training in rehabilitation programs. These include static and dynamic balance training in rehabilitation programs (injury rehab).

What Are the Balance Board Exercises?

The standard balance board exercises include the following:

1. Starting Position

  • Any balance board can be used for this exercise.
  • Firstly balance on the board.
  • Keep the spine straight (upright posture).
  • Balance the body weight to avoid the board's edges touching the floor.
  • Fix the gaze at a distant spot to improve balance.
  • Hold in the position for about 30 seconds

2. Front-to-Back Exercise:

  • A wobble board is used for this exercise.
  • Start with the starting position.
  • Tilt the board slowly till it touches the floor.
  • Now tilt the board slowly backward until it touches the floor on the other side.
  • Continue doing it for 30 seconds.
  • One can use a wall or railing for extra support.

3. Side to Side:

  • Begin with the starting position.
  • Slowly tilt the board towards one side to touch the floor.
  • Now tilt to the opposite side slowly to touch the floor.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
  • Use a wall or railing for extra support.

4. Round the Clock:

  • A wobble board is used for this exercise.
  • Begin with the starting position.
  • Roll the board clockwise (around 360 degrees).
  • After that, pause for a second and roll the board anticlockwise.
  • Keep moving for 30 seconds.
  • Use a wall to keep balance.

5. Plank:

  • Any balance board can be used for this exercise.
  • With hands on the board, get into a pushup position.
  • Extend the arms and keep the body straight like an arrow.

6. Mini Squat:

  • It is a balance board exercise for the lower body.
  • Any type of balance board can be used for this exercise.
  • Keep feet apart at a distance wider than the hip distance.
  • Slowly bend at the knees into a squat position keeping the arms extended.
  • Repeat it for 10 to 15 times

7. Glute Bridge:

  • Any type of balance board can be used for this exercise.
  • Lie down with faceup and knees bent, feet pointed towards the board, and arms at the side of the body.
  • Lift the hip by pressing the feet onto the board and squeezing the glutes (sizable skeletal muscle of buttocks).
  • Hold in the position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly lower the body and touch the floor.
  • Repeat it for 10 to 15 times.

8. Flamingo:

  • It is a balance board exercise for the lower body.
  • Any type of balance board can be used for this exercise.
  • Stand on a single foot by placing the feet in the middle of the board.
  • Keep the other leg steady and elevated.
  • Switch legs.

9. Calf Rise:

  • Position one foot in the middle of the board.
  • Put hands on the hip and raise the heel off the board by flexing the calf muscles.
  • Repeat it 10 times.

10. Lunge:

  • Any type of balance board can be used for this exercise.
  • Stand on the floor, step forward, and place one foot on the board with body weight shifted forward.
  • Keep the back straight and lower oneself such that the thigh of the front leg is almost parallel to the floor.
  • Stop when the knee of the back leg just touches the floor.
  • Repeat it 10 to 15 times.

11. Incline Pushup:

  • Firstly be in a pushup position with your hands on the board.
  • Look straight into the board and squeeze the core.
  • Bend the elbows and keep lowering oneself, keeping the body straight.
  • Repeat it 5 to 10 times.

12. Decline Pushup:

  • Firstly be in a pushup position with your hands on the floor and feet on the board.
  • Fix your gaze on the floor and keep your spine straight.
  • Bend the elbows and keep lowering oneself, keeping the body directly.
  • Repeat it 5 to 10 times.

13. Triceps Dip:

  • Sit with knees bent, feet on the floor, and hands on the board kept behind.
  • Push with the triceps lifting the butt off the floor.
  • Bend the elbows and brace the arm and core.
  • Push back up, straightening the elbow.
  • Repeat 8 to 12 times.

What Are the Drawbacks of Balance Boards?

The drawbacks of a balance board include the following:

  • Risk of Injury: As the balance board requires balancing on an unstable surface, there is an injury risk if not used properly. Always warm up before starting exercises and do simple exercises before moving to complex ones.

  • Limited Use: A balance board is only used for standing exercises; other options are to be considered for full-body workouts.

Conclusion

Balance boards are used for improving posture and balance, sharpening reflexes, rehabilitation, and fall prevention training. They come in different shapes and sizes and are economical and readily available. The drawbacks are limited and are mainly injury risks due to balancing on an unstable surface. Proper use under guidance can eliminate the risks and maximize the benefits of the balance board.

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Shakti Mishra
Shakti Mishra

Nutritionist

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