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Articles Fitness Nutrition

An Introduction to the Balance Board

A balance board is a piece of exercise equipment that has its traditions in being used for athlete's training, therapy, simple recreation, brain development, musical training and even personal development. Structurally, it is your basic lever that looks like any old see-saw you see at a playground, and the user simply stands on it with each foot at either end of the balance board. The trick with this type of exercise equipment is how the user must keep balanced so that they don't fall off, while the board's edges do not touch the ground. The history of balance boards is interesting, with their development having been intended for skiers and surfers to hone their skills during the off-season.

Parts of Body that Are Worked

The balance board targets many areas of your body, which is not surprising considering its diverse uses from exercise to mere entertainment purposes. The neural networks in your brain may be the recipient of some benefits, especially if its left and right hemispheres get to communicate better as a result of all the focus on balance. Further, developmentally disabled children may also benefit from a balance board since it allows them to grow both their cognitive skills along with their sensory integration. The benefits you will get from the balance board also range from improved motor coordination skills, balance, core strength and weight distribution, the prevention of sports injuries to the knees and ankles, and for the simple rehabilitation of injuries to various parts of the body.

Safe and Proper Use of Balance Board

The safe and proper use of the balance board is essential for you to avoid injury when using it. As a first, make sure that you're not prone to dizziness before you get up on it. Similarly, if you are a drug user or have had too much alcohol to drink, you are not advised to get up on a balance board because you are impaired. Even if you are not under the influence of anything, just being tired creates a hazard if you try to stand up on a balance board. If you're a beginner, you're recommended to use protective gear like wrist guards and even a helmet when you try to stand up on a balance board. While this may seem extreme, you won't think so if you accidentally fall.

Types of Exercises

An unorthodox type of exercise on a balance board is more-challenging-than-usual push-ups by lying face-down, only having your knees or toes touch the ground, and then pushing yourself up on the balance board with your hands. In a more extreme type of exercise, two people can get up on the balance board and have a tug-of-war, and while this may sound absurd, it is actually a practice that has been used by none other than the US Ski Team to build up athletic ability.

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