At first glance a wobble board might resemble the old pogo balls from the late 1980s. Upon closer inspection however it’s easy to see the difference. Consisting of a circular board balanced atop a much smaller fulcrum that is constant contact with the ground, a wobble board is used primarily to increase the strength and balance of the user. This is essentially a balance board that works primarily on the lower limbs and the user’s core strength. There are many different boards that offer different degrees of difficulty, but it is always recommended that you start with the beginner boards first.
How Use Your Fit Board
Just to start, these boards go by a few different names depending on who you’re asking, such as wobble board, fit board, and balance board. In truth they are all the same when it comes to their purpose, even if the design is the same. How to use the board is quite simple, but the real challenge comes from being able to actually keep your balance.
Despite the simple mechanics of the board it is a little more difficult than most would think. It is a test to see if your right and left brain can work together to maintain a positive equilibrium that will keep you from falling off the board. Using the board is simple, maintaining your balance is the hard part.
Aside from simply developing a sense of balance and equilibrium, this device will also work out:
1) The Achilles tendon
As you rock back and forth you will feel the burn in your lower legs as your body attempts to compensate when your weight shifts. By dropping your heels you can feel your Achilles stretch and even begin to work a little harder to help maintain your balance. Don’t let yourself stretch too far, since this tendon, like many others, is quite important to your mobility.
2) The tibialis anterior
In other words, the tendons at the front of your foot. These will stretch when rock forward in opposition to the Achilles. Much like the Achilles you don’t want to stretch them too far. Also, it is quite common to overbalance when moving forward, as many people tend to find that leaning back is far easier than leaning forward in terms of balance.
3) The core muscles
Your abdominals, lower back, hip muscles, and buttocks are responsible for a great deal of your ability to balance, and will be greatly tested by the balance board. You will no doubt feel them begin to warm and perhaps even burn after a few repetitions.
The Benefits of a Balance Board
The obvious benefits of a balance board can be found in the name of the product. It will help to increase your muscular strength and endurance without any added weight and by the simple use of your own body weight and the pull of gravity. It will usually only take a short amount of time per day to feel the burn that will indicate that the exercise is working, and after a while you will feel your muscles beginning to strengthen and your balance increasing. A strong core can also help you maintain good posture, which promotes better digestion and, as a result, better health. Here are a few other benefits of a wobble board that you might find interesting.
1) Your mental focus will improve.
Think about how much focus it takes to avoid falling off the board. In the beginning your focus will likely be on not falling, and this will make you uncertain and even hesitant to move. As you grow more comfortable with each movement however, your focus increases, and as a result, so does your approach to the exercise.
2) Your functional strength will increase.
Because it works more than just one muscle at a time, a wobble board will allow you to strengthen your core and outlying muscles in return with the same exercise. Considering the fact that one muscle alone does not do all the work, this exercise is highly beneficial due to the fact that the muscles of your body must work in a carefully orchestrated manner in order to be successful on the board.
3) Your chance of injury will decrease.
The better your balance becomes, the more you will be able to adapt to your surrounding environment. Injury occurs quite often because people’s bodies are unable to react to their surroundings and cannot meet the demands of one terrain or another. By using the balance board you hone your body to react to the unexpected and tighten or loosen as needed in order to avoid the issue or adapt to it.
4) You will be able to adapt to your environment quicker.
As just described, the body will react to the surrounding environment in a number of ways. Adaptation is the quickest and most reliable method that the body can use to avoid injury, and to simply react with the surrounding world. From the most mundane acts to the most complicated your body needs to be able to balance and work with the environment, not against it.
Pros and Cons of the Wobble Board
Very few things in this world come without any type of caveat, and the wobble board is no different. If you’re going to train with a wobble board then you need to know what you’re getting into and what kind of issues you might face.
1) It works several different muscles at once to provide increased strength and balance.
2) It increases mental focus as you need to actually think about what you’re doing and not just rely on automatic functions.
3) It can help your reaction time improve.
1) This is not a bodybuilding tool nor is it useful for a single, specific sport.
2) The difficulty level of each board offers a different challenge that could promote injury to the body.
3) It is not considered a realistic training device.
Finding the right wobble board is important so that you can experience the type of workout that you can benefit from and not risk bodily harm. This device is quite popular and has the ability to help the user improve their balance, focus, and overall health.