6 balance board exercises for runners' balance, core strength, coordination and injury prevention



Exercising with a single plane, back-and-forth rocker balance board might look simple, but it's tougher than I thought. 

In fact, I tried the balance board in the gym couple weeks back during my off running season. I was humiliated!! :) Something looks as simple as a balance board really threw me off balance!! (You can see from the video! How awful yeah! :)) That showed how weak my balance, core strength and coordination are. Sob sob! Thankfully, there weren't many people in the gym seeing my embarrassment.

For a runner like myself, I believe there are plenty of benefits from exercising with a balance board. The exercises help to develop balance, core strength and coordination.  

Additionally, training with balance boards also helps prevent injuries, especially to the ankle and knee. 


Here are 6 basic balance board exercises I'm exploring and learning... all look pretty much simple if done on a solid floor. But on balance board? hmmm..... it takes a while to master. No easy as it seems - at least for me. :) 

Let's develop our balance, core strength and coordination through balance board exercises together!


6 basic balance board exercises 

1. Athletic stance balance

How? 
1. Stand on the balance board with knees bent slightly, feet shoulder width apart and trunk erect.
2. Maintain this position while balancing the board, trying to keep either side from touching the ground. 


2. Squats

How?
1. Stand on the balance board with knees bent slightly, feet shoulder width apart and trunk erect.
2. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground while balancing the board, trying to keep either side from touching the ground. 
3. Hold your position at the bottom of the squat for increase demand.
4. Return to the start position by straightening your knees while balancing the board.


3. Squat-to-extension

How?
1. Stand on the balance board with knees bent slightly, feet shoulder width apart and trunk erect.
2. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground while balancing the board, trying to keep either side from touching the ground. 
3. Hold your position at the bottom of the squat for increase demand.
4. Return to the start position by straightening your knees and raise your arms full extension overhead while balancing the board.



4. Single-leg balance

How?
1. Stand on one leg in the center of the balance board, trying to keep either side from touching the ground while maintaining erect posture.


5. Front-to-back balance

How?
1. Stand in a staggered stance with one foot near the front of the board and one foot near the back of the board.
2. Maintain athletic position while balancing the board, trying to keep either side from touching the ground.


6. Push ups

How?
1. With hands on balance board, equal distance from the center, perform a push-up while trying to prevent either side of the balance board from touching the ground.



Summary


In order to improve my running and prevent injuries, I know I need to improve my core strength. In this exploration stage, balance board exercises seem to make sense. Simply by standing on the balance board to balance myself has already exposed my weaknesses. Definitely something for me to work on to have an injury-free running.



Written on 2016.11.27

vincent

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