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You can improve strength, balance, coordination and agility with either a Bosu ball or a wobble board.
When you first begin balance training, you should practice on a stable surface. Once that becomes easy, you'll want an additional challenge. Both Bosu balls and wobble boards provide an unstable surface that challenges balance and helps develop functional strength, coordination and core stability. In both cases, you must learn how to keep your center of gravity balanced over your base of support. However, there are some differences in the types of training you can do on a Bosu ball and a wobble board.
Improve Your Proprioception
Proprioception is your body's position-movement sensation. Through it, your nerves communicate with your brain and muscles to help you feel your body's position in space and make necessary adjustments to muscle position, contraction or relaxation. Standing on an uneven surface trains your proprioception, improving coordination and agility. The Bosu ball is a moderately unstable training surface, whereas a wobble board provides a greater degree of instability. A study in the вЂњJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research,вЂќ found that inflatable devices such as the Bosu ball did not challenge the neuromuscular system of highly trained individuals significantly more than stable surfaces, but the greater instability of a wobble board forced greater neuromuscular activation.
Improve Your Strength
According to research published in the journal, "Gait & Posture," your body is inherently unstable because two-thirds of your body mass is located above your waist. Even when standing still, your body sways, pivoting at your ankle joints and requiring muscle stabilization to keep you from falling over. This swaying motion is exaggerated when you are on an unstable surface such as a Bosu ball or a wobble board. Furthermore, your core muscles activate whenever you are in an awkward or unstable position. So balancing on either a Bosu ball or a wobble board is great for training your core and lower body, including the muscles in your feet. To prevent injuries, begin training on a Bosu ball and progress to the more difficult wobble board.
Understand Bosu Balls
BOSU stands for вЂњBoth Sides Up.вЂќ When you first start balancing on a Bosu ball, place the flat side down so you stand on the rounded surface. Keeping your knees soft, stand with both feet on it. Progress to semi-squats, then full squats. Lunge forward, placing one foot in the center of the Bosu ball, then push up to balance on one foot. You can also throw a medicine ball against a wall or do some basic strength training while standing on the rounded surface of the Bosu ball. Standing on the flat surface of the Bosu ball can offer a different challenge to you balance. However, doing so while lifting weights is not recommended; the same recommendation holds true for the wobble board.
Explore Wobble Boards
Wobble boards have a hard, flat platform over a hard, round, unstable base. To use a wobble board, stand, sit or kneel on the flat surface and find your balance over the base, challenging your muscles and proprioceptors. Balancing on a wobble board is generally achieved with a seesaw rocking motion between your feet. Popular with surfers, skateboarders and other board sports and fitness enthusiasts, wobble boards are good for developing agility, but can also be used for rehabilitation. Ankle sprains are the most common injuries in a variety of sports. In a study published in вЂњThe American Journal of Sports Medicine,вЂќ training on a wobble board can help prevent repeat ankle sprains in athletes with a history of them. However, athletes with a history of knee injuries were more likely to experience knee overuse injuries from wobble-board training. A Bosu ball would be a better option for those with chronic knee issues.