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Balance Board Exercises

Balance boards, wobble boards, rocker boards... they look like toys for kids who like skateboards,
but the truth is that they are very effective, though overlooked, training tools for overall fitness
and athletic ability. And they are fun to use!

Tthe possibilies for uses are endless, and creativity can definitely be put to good use with balance
boards, but here are a handful of several specific ways that balance board training can be used in
place of more tedious training methods:

BEGINNING BASIC BALANCE BOARD EXERCISES

Side to side Front to back Circular rotation

The three above exercises are perfect for beginners, to get used to the feeling of the balance
board. Beginners can hold onto a chair or wall at first, if necessary. This can be done while you're
watching TV, talking on the phone or whatever else. These are also the standard activities
recommended for people with balance problems and those in rehab programs.

Once you've mastered this, try kneeling on the board and doing these three exercises. See how
long you can maintain your balance and try to increase that time gradually.

ATHLETIC TRAINING

Athletes who regularly train with balance boards develop propriocepter reaction and ankle strength.
This greatly decreases the risk of ankle injury during play, while improving coordination and overall
athletic ability.

• Train athletes to maintain balance on the boards for at least 30 seconds

• Pass MEDICINE BALLS back and forth

• Throw balls back and forth, or one athlete can bounce a ball using a rebounder or playback

• Try maintainging balance with your eyes closed. This is very advanced and risky, so do use a spotter for
this
• Have athletes stand on balance boards with one foot. With the other foot, have them draw numbers,
letters and shapes in the air

FITNESS/STRENGTH TRAINING

• Perform "balanced pushups" with your hands gripping each end of the balance board

• Sit on the balance board and do crunches, lifting your feet off the floor. (Not recommended for people
with back problems)

• Standing with one foot on the floor, place the other foot on the balance board and slowly roll it, gently
stretching your lower leg and ankle muscles

• One-leg exercises - you can do lunges and the like. Be sure to plant your foot arch on the center of the
board and move slowly

• Squats - very advanced, but very effective

• Yoga poses can even be done. Try the plank, raising one leg up slowly and holding

Are they for everyone? No, they are not. Balance boards are on the "extreme" end of fitness
training equipment and can be dangerous. There is a good chance of falling, so anyone with bone
density loss should not take this risk.

Children, who often cannot move in a controlled, careful manner, should be supervised while on
balance boads. Once they are accustomed to using them and understand the purpose of these
devices, they can really benefit from them, but they should be coached and monitored to ensure
their safety.

Balance boards are wonderful core stability trainers, but people with back, neck or leg problems
should be carefully instructed before using balance boards. In short, if you have any kind of
physical problem, ask your physician if using a balance board would be safe for you.