Rehabilitation after an accident, surgery, fall, or an athletic injury covers a vast range of different elements. However, a crucial component of rehabilitation is what most people fail to think about – balance.
Your balance keeps you upright; it improves your coordination, gives you confidence, and prevents falls, especially during old age. Without outstanding balance, the chances of falling and sustaining a severe injury are far more significant, especially in the elderly age bracket, where problems such as needing a hip replacement are prevalent. With better balance, the chances of this happening are significantly reduced.
Your doctor or physiotherapist will no doubt give you a list of at-home exercises you need to follow. Still, many are also incorporating the use of a balance board into their training regime.
What is a Balancing Board?
A balance board is a board that is mounted on top of an unstable central section. You place the board flat on the floor, and you carry out a range of different exercises to improve your balance coordination.
Balance boards can be somewhat basic and are often called wobble boards. However, smart balance boards, such as those found at Bobo Balance, are ideal for boosting confidence and giving you a far greater shot at improving your balance and coordination beyond measure. These boards also record your progress, which can be downloaded by your doctor or physiotherapist, to check how well you’re doing and whether you need to improve your performance or change your training exercise routine a little.
Of course, smart balance boards are also a fun way to boost your rehabilitation efforts and give you a far better outlook regarding avoiding falls and injuries.
Ensuring that you place the board on a flat surface and wear comfortable and supportive training shoes is vital. It helps to give you more support and strength as you’re using the board. You should engage your core muscles as you use the board to help you stand up straight and regain stability as you’re moving around and doing the exercises.
Balancing Board Exercises You Should Try
There are countless exercises you can use a balance board for, but it’s best to check with your doctor ahead of time to see if they have any specific activities they want you to work with. To give you an idea of the types of exercises that balance boards can be used for when attempting to improve your balance and coordination while strengthening muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments, below you will find a few easy to do options.
Stand on your balance board with both feet flat. Ensure you feel stable before you begin. If you don’t feel balanced enough, especially as you start to use the board for the first few times, you can use a chair or a wall to hold onto lightly for support. Do your best to try and move away from this as your confidence grows, as you’ll gain more benefit from using the board without holding onto something else.
It would help if you did the exercises for as long as possible, gradually increasing the amount of time you held the movement. You’ll find that the more you practice, the easier it becomes, and the longer you can work on the board.
- Stand on your balance board, with both feet flat. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width wide. Rock backward and forwards gently on the board, using your core muscles to stay upright. Then, change to moving from one side to the other.
- Stand on the balance board, using shoulder-width feet once more and using your core to turn the board around in a clockwise direction, ensuring that one side of the board is always in contact with the surface below you.
- Stand on the balance board and attempt to balance without allowing the board’s sides to touch the surface of the floor for as long as you can. Try for 2 minutes and then build up to 3 minutes if you can.
- Stand on the balance board and make sure you get your balance before raising one leg behind you. Standing on one lock, gently rock backward and forwards for 60 seconds. Change legs and repeat.
- Stand on the balance board and raise one leg behind you. Hold your pose for as long as you can. Try and increase the amount of time you balance on one leg on the board before switching and trying the other. You’ll probably notice that you can balance on one side more than the other, but this should even itself out with practice.
As you can see, balance boards are easy to use, and the exercises you can do on them are extensive. Older adults find balance boards easy, and the practices are ideal for building up confidence and balance over time. Even for athletes recovering from injury or surgery, the gentle movements have a considerable effect, making the balance board an ideal rehabilitation tool.