In order to understand whether you need a balance board as a balance trainer, let’s turn to the most obvious.
Hardly anyone would argue that a sense of balance plays a huge role in any person. After all, a strong sense of balance provides many benefits, including less risk of injury or back pain.
Yes. Exactly. Balance exercises strengthen the muscle core, which unites the muscles of the abdomen and lower back.
It is for balance training that a simulator called a balance board or a board for balance and balance is intended.
What is a balance board?
Such a simulator is a lever device for training the whole body balance. Usually a balance board is a flat surface to stand on. And the base, which can be either attached to the surface, or be a separate element. We will talk about this further.
How is board balance used?
As a rule, during training on a balance board, the trainee places his right and left feet on different ends of a flat surface (board). The unstable position of this surface forces everyone to activate their sense of balance.
Even to just stand on it. Some will have to make big adjustments to their posture and movement in order to balance on the board. Otherwise, there is a risk that the surface of the simulator will touch the floor or fall off it.
What are the types of balance boards?
Of course, you can make a do-it-yourself balance board from scrap materials. But the absolute majority of fans of this balance trainer buy it in stores. And there are certain reasons for this.
They consist in the security guaranteed by brands promoted in the world market. The materials from which the balance boards are made are designed for a certain weight of the practitioner, taking into account the strength of all materials used.
I think that you do not want to risk your health if you made your own balance board.
The types of all balance boards vary depending on the use case and skill level. Five main types can be distinguished. Although some companies are going further and creating hybrid variants.
Each of the five types of balance boards differ in surface and base. But let’s look at them.
It is the simplest, easiest-to-use balance board, consisting of the surface itself and a fixed point of support attached to it from below, shaped like a rocking chair. Due to the design feature, this type has an inclination only in two directions – right and left.
It is a great beginner’s board. And it can often be found in gyms or in physical education classes for kids.
Construction in a nutshell: flat rectangular board with rigidly fixed base
With roller base
Such balance boards are more difficult to use because instead of a fixed base, the board rests on a cylinder. This means that there are two sources of instability instead of one.
The rotational movement, combined with the left-right tilt, creates a more difficult task for those who like to train their balance. When exercising on such a balance board, complex movements are imitated. They are the same for snowboarding or skateboarding.
Great for off-season athletes. And also for those who like to learn different tricks with a sense of balance.
About the design in a few words: a flat rectangular board on a separate cylinder
The top of the board in this case is a semicircle or circle. The lower part is rigidly attached to the upper surface and has a hemispherical shape.
This shape of the base allows the board to tilt in all directions, not just left and right. This in turn provides a wide range of motion for the board.
Swing boards of this type are great for doing bodyweight exercises such as squats and leg raises, while adding balance issues.
They are popular with many fitness enthusiasts because they offer a balance between difficulty and range of motion. Most general physical exercises are for these types of boards.
A good analogue of such a simulator is hemisphere BOSU, which also allows you to train your sense of balance with great efficiency.
Briefly about the design: a round base with a hemisphere fixed at the bottom
The spherical annular board combines all the elements of a swinging roller and a swinging hemisphere. This type of balance board includes a flat board resting on an inflatable (or hard plastic) ball that can move independently of the board.
This balance trainer has the greatest range of motion. But it is also very difficult to balance on it. Simply tilting the board vertically requires a strong sense of balance.
However, learning to work with a spherical ring board is of great benefit. It allows you to perform all kinds of cool tricks. It also works intensively with your body and your sense of balance.
Construction in a nutshell: a flat, rectangular board with a separate spherical base in the form of a ball
Spring balance board
This type of balance machine includes the flat board itself and a spring-loaded compression base. It makes it difficult to stabilize the weight. When the user tries to balance and stop the movement of the board, the board “bounces” from such movements.
The complexity of a spring board varies greatly depending on the type of springs it is made from. Some spring boards with soft springs can be used safely by children.
At the same time, others with stiff, dense springs should only be used by experienced athletes.
Construction in a nutshell: a rectangular or spherical board with a fixed base attached by springs to the board itself
Note: water balance boards
Although not a specific subtype of boards, water boards are gaining in popularity. They are usually based on a rocking chair or hemisphere board model. They are most commonly used in physical therapy.
After all, they offer a more gentle exercise environment with less risk of falls.
Some waterboards are designed to be used on the lap first. This makes it easier to start using them for people with coordination problems.
However, because they are not as affordable and convenient to use as regular balance boards, they may not be as suitable for daily workouts.
What is the balance board used for?
Balance boards are used to develop a variety of skills, each of which is somehow related to balance or a sense of balance. Due to their versatility, many different types of people use these machines, both for recreational purposes and to hone skills related to their respective fields.
The following list includes some of the people who use balance boards and why they use them.
Who uses boards for balance?
Balance boards first became common practice when skiers began to use them. Skiing is a seasonal sport, so serious skiers need ways to train in the off-season. These can include diving courses, tightrope walking, strength training, skateboarding, and use of balance boards.
Then, such simulators were picked up by other athletes who could not always train in the field, like sea surfers. Today, balance boards are used by all kinds of athletes, from yoga practitioners to soccer players. A sense of balance is an essential skill in any sport, and balance boards also create functional strength that improves overall athletic performance.
In many dance disciplines, such as ballroom and ballet, the ability to remain light on your feet is important. This adds an element of grace and elegance to your dance, and makes it less likely to harm your partner.
However, this skill is not easy to hone, so dancers sometimes train with balance weights before they even step onto the dance floor. This allows them to work on elements of their regular activities while training their sense of balance.
Musicians and singers
Because balance boards quickly develop core muscles, some singers and musicians use them to better control their breathing and diaphragm.
Likewise, some musicians, especially those who play strings, use balance machines to aid in the practice of controlling their instruments as they stand and play the musical instruments.
A balance board can help reduce the risk of injury. For this reason, physical therapists will prescribe them for those struggling with frequent ankle injuries or joint strain.
Such simulators can also be used in the elimination of the consequences of accidents and accidents.
For example, someone suffering from the harmful effects of a spinal injury might use a balance board prescribed by their healthcare provider.
Psychologists use balance boards with their patients as a way to improve cognitive skills and spatial awareness. Some research has shown that regular use of the board to develop a sense of balance can help people communicate more effectively with others. And faster to process incoming communications.
Balance boards are popular among children and are already used in some places in physical education lessons at school. This is because they are attractive to children with their novelty and new challenge. They also develop coordination, which is a reward for children.
Balance boards are set low to the ground, making them less intimidating for children than, for example, a gymnastic beam or slackline (walking on a cable). They remind kids of skiing, surfing and skateboarding, which helps add attraction to these machines.
This developmental tool can teach a child to develop motor skills that they may not develop, especially if they are too focused on computers.
Balance boards are also used to treat children with cerebral palsy and other conditions that make coordination more difficult.
Performers of various stunts
Balance boards are used for self-improvement, but they can also be used to demonstrate some acrobatic tricks. There is a category of people who can do extraordinary things with balance boards: holds, spins, dramatic jumps and even somersaults.
You can see a talented circus or dance performer using such a balance trainer to add a little adrenaline and danger to an already boring daily routine.
Some people use board balance work primarily for fun. The challenge of staying on the board can turn into a fun competition with others or a way to boost your own self-esteem.
As you already understood, the balance board can be of interest to many groups of people, be of great benefit and brighten life with new colors.
Try it today. After all, that small price for it will fully pay off with new experiences and opportunities.