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A rocker board is a piece of fitness equipment also known by many other names, including balance board, wobble board, or stability board. It features a flat board, generally fixed on top of a large ball or other type of rocking base. The rocker board may be made of sturdy wood, fiberglass, or plastic, though wooden rocker boards tend to be a bit more expensive.
There are many ways to use a rocker board. The first and simplest way is to try to stand on the board without wobbling or falling off. This engages the muscles of the legs and the core, and can improve core strength, posture, coordination, ability, and of course balance. Many wobble boards feature non-slip pads for the feet on top of the board, to keep sneakers in place and avoid injury. Trying to balance on a moving surface engages many different muscles throughout the entire body; these muscles are not often worked in day-to-day activities.
When one becomes more stable standing on the rocker board, there are other exercises to try, such as standing on one foot, stretching, or even jumping and twisting on the board. It is best to only attempt more complicated moves when one's balance is already good, because it is easy to fall off the board and pull a muscle, or even break a bone. Rocker boards may be purchased online or in fitness equipment stores; a salesperson should be able to help select the most appropriate board for one's needs.
There are different types of rocker boards available for varying levels of difficulty. In general, the smaller the ball or rocking base, the easier it will be to stay balanced on the rocker board. Once the base is higher and the board has a larger range of movement, it is more difficult to keep the board balanced, though it also offers a greater range of potential exercises. Purchasing a lower board to start is a good idea in order to get used to the exercise.
Rocker boards may be used by people of all ages, and may be particularly helpful for older people who may have trouble balancing and be afraid of falling. Kids might also like to use rocker boards because they can be a fun way to exercise. Anyone who is just starting exercising with a rocker board might want to try it with a partner at first; or, have something stable to hang on to such as the back of a chair. Keep in mind that using a rocker board should be just a part of a comprehensive fitness plan, combined with aerobics and strength training exercises.
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