A common issue many are faced with is poor posture as a result of modern-day lifestyles. Sitting at a computer desk all day is stressful to back and neck muscles. This contributes to poor posture and misaligns your sense of balance. Poor posture may create other problems such as back ache, fatigue, and even affect your cognitive function. Balance training assists your body in recalling the proper position and strengthens the core muscles that aid in maintaining this position, keeping your spine in correct alignment.
What are Balance or Wobble Boards?
Most of the wobble boards you can choose from have the similar characteristic of a flat surface on top of a pivot that can move about in different directions at that point. To use a balance or wobble board, you need to stand on the board and keep your balance. This requires a basic sense of balance by distributing your weight across the surface of the board. The design of most boards has the pivot fixed in place to the bottom of the board while some have moving pivots. Here are ten examples of exercises you can perform with your balance board:
Core Strengtheningand Stability Training
Standing on a balance board you are engaging your core muscles. By challenging your body’s balance system, you work out these core muscles which can improve your overall body awareness.
Daily training provides greater stability of your trunk muscles and pelvic girdle. This can have numerous health benefits for people of all ages and abilities.
Stand on the wobble board with both feet planted. Rock the board from side to side then front to back until the edge of the board taps the floor. Repeat this step for 2 – 3 minutes maintaining your balance.
Perform a series of rotational exercises as previously mentioned, rolling the board in a circular motion with the edge touching the floor. Do this exercise for 2 minutes.
Stand on the board until you are well-balanced then slowly squat as though you are going to sit so that your knees are at 45degrees. Maintain balance and hold this position briefly then repeat 10 times.
This exercise is beneficial for stretching out the calf muscles to help you gain better stability. To perform this exercise place one foot on the board. Keep the heel of this foot flat on the board and your other leg, flat on the floor. Now lean forward until you can feel your calf muscle stretch.
Balanced Push Ups
Get into standard push up position and place your hands on the board. Keep your wrists in a fully-flexed position and make sure your hands are on top of the board as you perform each push up to avoid getting pinched fingers. When initially using the balance board for this exercise, you may want to perform push-ups while on your knees and then you can advance to full push-ups for an even greater challenge.
You can perform simple dumbbell arm exercises while balancing. With your feet planted shoulder-width apart on the board, place the arch of your foot in the center of the board for balance before you begin. Alternate each leg to develop strength. For a greater challenge, try doing them while balancing on one leg.
Standard Tree Pose
This is a classic yoga pose incorporating balance. The one-legged tree pose is performed by balancing on one leg and placing the sole of your other foot on the inner thigh above your knee cap. Place the arch of your foot in the center of the board for balance before you begin. When balance is achieved, this pose can be done by balancing the foot that is the “root of the tree” in the center of the wobble board.
Sitting – Performed while sitting on the board, this is a simple exercise to help strengthen core muscles in the trunk. Sit on the wobble board with your legs crossed, your back straight and head up, slowly making a rotational movement using just your abdominal muscles. Repeat this step rotating in the opposite direction. This exercise also works for improving range of motion as well as lower back mobility. Continue this exercise alternating directions for 2 minutes.
Kneeling – This exercise can be done while kneeling on the board with your hands placed either at the hips or by your side. Move your trunk muscles in a rotational movement, similar to the sitting exercise. After making a few rotations in one direction stop and repeat this step making rotations in the opposite direction. Continue this exercise alternating directions for 2 minutes.
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