Today, there are several types of balance boards, but their general function has remained the same over the decades: to create an unstable surface to challenge your balance. Some boards go side to side, others 360 degrees. Their goal is to improve your balance while having fun.
What do balance boards do?
They recreate and even exaggerate the sensation that your body feels when it tries to maintain its center of mass on its base of support. You can choose what you want the balance board to help you with. Whether it’s improving lateral balance, improving the center of gravity for your next trip to the beach, or adding an extra calorie burn to your life while watching TV.
What are they for ?
Anyone can use a balance board to improve something. Although originally a toy, balance boards are now used around the world for rehabilitation, injury prevention and training for elite athletes.
To recover from an injury, it’s usually a good idea to begin by slowly and safely engaging the stabilizing muscles. Some balance boards have a small range of motion, others have more dynamic lateral motion. The ability to choose the level of movement you’re ready for is what makes balance boards like the Revolution FIT so valuable.
To prevent injuries, the integration of a balance board is designed to work the muscles around your ankles, knees, and even your shoulders. Using one regularly is a great proactive approach to staying on the pitch, court, jiu-jitsu mats, etc.
How do they improve your balance?
Just like other skills, your balance can be greatly improved with practice! Your body’s ability to balance itself can be attributed to several different systems. It receives information from your eyes, receptors in your muscles and skin, and your vestibular system. The vestibular system is located in your inner ear; this is the reason why you are able to feel gravity and rotational movements. It contains fluid-filled sacs and channels, and the movement of this fluid provides information to your brain as it moves. Conversely, if you get seasick, your vestibular system is at fault. It sends insane information to your brain due to the constant rocking of the boat.
So how can you use a balance board to improve the information sent to your brain from your eyes, muscles, skin, and inner ear? When you step on a balance training instrument, it almost creates a virtual reality for your balance systems. Activating the neural pathways that send information from all of these systems to your brain. Like anything else, these pathways can become stronger and more effective with increased use.
Other advantages :
Besides increasing core strength, improving balance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation, here are a few other reasons people use balance boards.
The concentration needed to stay balanced on a board has been proven to directly correlate with concentration skills in the classroom. This is a common tool to help alleviate ADHD.
Reaction time :
Better body control and more efficient movements help improve reaction time.
Strengthening your core and back muscles can help correct your posture.
Reduced back pain:
Strengthening the abdominal muscles can help relieve the lower back. Make work more fun with a standing desk. Set the mood and make sure you’re not sitting in a chair all day.
The fun factor:
One of the best things about riding a board is that it’s so much fun! The first time you lean on it, it’s unique and empowering. Depending on the board, it sometimes takes a few tries to get used to the movement. Balancing while watching TV or playing video games may seem wacky at first, but eventually it’s second nature. Children and adults like to see how long they can stay on the ground. And many balancing contests in the living room resulted in the ultimate reward: bragging rights.
The best balance boards:
- Best for standing desks: StrongTek Anti-Fatigue Board.
- The best basis: BOSU Balance Trainer.
- Best for small spaces: EVERYMILE Swing Board.
- The best for core strength: Stealth Core Trainer.
- Best for beginners: ProsourceFit Core Balance Disc Trainer.
- The best advanced option: Revolution 101 Board Trainer.
- Best for All Levels: Revolution FIT 3-in-1 Exercise Board Training System.
- The best all-rounder: 4TH-BEE Core Balance Board.
- The best for athletes: URBNFit Wooden Trainer URBNFit Wooden Trainer.