Reasons why you should be using a balance board
Whether you are walking, lifting weights, running or even just cleaning the house, you are using muscles and joints to perform movement. Particularly, you are using your balance and core strength to maintain the correct posture throughout these actions and prevent you from falling or hurting yourself. Balance is an especially important health component of fitness along with flexibility, cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength, and as the rest of them, it can be trained and improved.
A great way to do so, is by using a balance board. Balance boards can be incorporated in your gym or home workouts, and they can be used to perform an array of compound and combination exercises, from single leg squats all the way to mountain climbers.
PROPRIOCEPTION: THE KEY TO STRENGTH AND REDUCED INJURY
Balance boards have been used for years to condition athletes to not only improve their balance, but also their core strength, so to reduce the risk of suffering from injuries. In fact, this fitness equipment was found to be specifically useful to reduce the incidence of ankle sprains through training athletes’ proprioception.
Proprioception can be described as one’s awareness of his or her own body parts at resting states as well as the reception of both conscious and unconscious stimuli. Ultimately, proprioceptive training leads to improved ability to perceive posture, speed of movement and resistance. Balance boards enable you to improve your proprioception via the ability to offer sensorimotor-focused training alternatives to conventional exercises. This is achieved thanks to the unstable working surface of the balance board, which forces you to contract the correct muscles to maintain stability and perform a given exercise as smoothly and controlled as possible.
IMPROVED BALANCE CAN HELP YOU SUCCEED IN YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY
Due to the increased stability requirements to maintain a correct posture throughout the exercise, balance boards can be a perfect way to also improve reflex and reaction time, as new muscles would need to be promptly tensed to keep yourself up whenever you are about to lose your balance or switch position. But more importantly, by developing a stronger abdomen, you will also be able to gain more strength while also keeping a correct posture throughout the execution of weightlifting exercises, as one of the keys to safely lifting heavy is a well engaged core.
Another incredible benefit of this fitness tool is the opportunity to improve joint stability, which is ultimately linked to decreased risk to incur into injuries. This is thanks to the conditioning ankles, knees and their ligaments are exposed to when working on unstable surfaces. By decreasing injury occurrence, you are also able to progress faster and better at the gym, as you won’t have to deal with long recovery periods. This suggests that balance board are useful for athletes, as well as for that portion of population that is at higher risk of falling, such as the elderlies or those who already incurred in ankle sprains in the past.