Wobble Board Exercises for Improved Proprioception
Walking up a flight of stairs without having to peer at each stair or running unhurt in the dark, is a sign of good proprioception.
The body’s ability to transmit a sense of position, analyze that information and react (consciously or unconsciously) to the stimulation with the proper movement is termed as, proprioception. Most top sports people and teams use proprioception exercises as a preventative training strategy.
Wobble boards are effective for improving sense of proprioception, which is strongly linked to balance. In the beginning, balance while sitting, progressing to simply stand on the wobble board using both feet. Once you are comfortable with this exercise, begin learning to balance on the wobble using just one foot.
To further increase the level of difficulty, add a distracting activity, such as a game of catch or get in conversation while performing simple balance activities on the board.
Wobble Board Exercises
- Sit on a chair, place the wobble board under the feet and slowly rotate it a number of times in each direction. This is good for improving ankle range of motion and control.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rotate the wobble board in a circle but do not allow the edge of the board to touch the floor. Aim for 2 minutes.
- Balancing on the board with both feet, perform small knee bends to challenge your balance. You can perform a squat while balancing on the board. If you rock the board, rebalance and start again.
- Again balancing with both feet, reach both arms out in front of you. Rotate your upper body around slowly from side to side.
- Balancing with both feet, throw a ball against a wall and catch it on its return. You can also do this with a partner.
- For added challenge, do all of the above exercises with your eyes closed!
- 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.
- 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.
- Balance on the wobble board with one leg only!
- Balancing on one foot, perform small knee bends to challenge your balance.
- Still on one foot, point your arms out in front of you and rotate the upper body from side to side.
- Balancing with one foot, throw a ball against a wall and catch it on its return. You can do this with a partner.
If you can master all of these exercises then your proprioception and balance are good! If not, keep working at it and you will soon see improvements.