Balance Board Exercises

Written by Tara Peris
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Balance board exercises help stabilize muscle groups, as well as help patients gain strength in areas that need it. Balance boards can be either a rocker board or a wobble board, and some boards can accommodate both types of exercises. Both types are fun and challenging to use. Because patients think of these exercises as fun to do, they are much less likely to skip them--injecting a bit of fun into treatments can help a patient's mindset a great deal.

Balance boards consist of a small, skateboard-shaped board that rocks on a disk. Patients who stand on them wobble and flail at first, but they are invaluable for promoting interaction with the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Patients recovering from debilitating injuries are able to improve balance, achieve a faster reflex time, and improve their overall coordination.

Balance Boards and Athletes

Athletes love balance boards because they are an easy, portable way to work on refining their skills. Whether an athlete is in physical therapy or not, using balance boards is a good way to keep his or her muscles in peak condition. You can actually train a patient's muscles to work together, allowing for bones to move properly and without pain or stress. A patient's inner ear is also stimulated by the rocking or wobbling movement, which leads to an increased awareness of one's balance at all times, which helps athletes no matter which sports they play.

Regular work with a balance board promotes enhanced agility and strength. Some believe that balance boards can help to prevent sports injuries because they improve response time. Another benefit they have is with regard to muscle tone--when muscles are toned and positioned properly, a person's posture is improved naturally, leading to fewer instances of back pain because the body is aligned in a proper manner.

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