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Make your own wobble board

[back to budget body equipment]

Why use a wobble board?

The body has sensors all around it which sense where parts of the body are even without looking. These sensors are called proprioceptors. If the ankle or lower leg is damaged then the proprioceptors can be damaged also.

If you have ever started to turn your ankle over and it has automatically righted itself then this is the proprioceptors working automatically to prevent further injury.

In the injured athlete these sensors will not work so well, increasing the chance of re-injuring the leg or ankle. This is why some people once they sprain their ankle, continue to sprain it repeatedly.

Using a wobble board on a regular basis can help retrain the proprioceptors and improve coordination, hence preventing further injury. All the athlete has to do is stand on the board and try to keep it horizontal - without the edges touching the floor.

How to make your own wobble board

This "how-to" requires a little bit more knowledge of shop class... but it's still not too bad.  First, get yourself a nice sturdy piece of plywood.  You're going to need about a 2 foot by 2 foot square.  Find the center, tap a nail in, and run a 12 inch piece of string from the nail to a pencil.  Rotate around the board, drawing a circle on the plywood.  Next, using a standard jigsaw, cut out the circle you have drawn on the plywood.  You will want to sand the edges to prevent splinters.  On the wobble board below, I used a 4 inch pipe flange and cap and screwed it to the bottom side of the circle in the center.  Grip tape can be applied to provide more traction.  Considering that these simple balance tools can run you upwards of $50 and $60 online... this alternative is quite a bit more cost effective as well as fully functional.


Wobble Board Exercises
(starting easy and getting harder)

1. Whilst sitting down place the wobble board under the feet and slowly rotate it a number of times in each direction.

2. Stand on the wobble board, feet shoulder width apart. Hold on to a chair for support if needed and rock the board forwards and backwards, then side to side. Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Stand on the wobble board, feet shoulder width apart. Rotate the wobble board round so that the edge of the board is in contact with the floor at all times. Again try this for 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Stand on the wobble balance board, again feet shoulder width apart - no chair allowed! Rock the board front to back for 1 minute then side to side for one minute.

5. Balance on the wobble board for as long as you can without the edges touching the floor. Aim for over 2 minutes without touching the floor.

6. Rotate the wobble board in a circle but do not allow the edge of the board to touch the floor. Aim for 2 minutes.

7. Stand on the wobble board with one leg. Rock the board from front to back for 1 minute and then side to side for 1 minute.

8. Again stand on the wobble board with one leg only. Rotate the board in a circular motion in one direction for 1 minute then repeat in the other direction.

9. Try to balance on the wobble board with one leg only! How long can you go for?

10. When you have mastered all of the above you should have strong stable ankles and be an expert. Now try it all with your eyes closed!!

Core and stability training are becoming a very popular and effective means of exercise.




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