Joey Allen, Team New
Zealand, trains on one
of our wobbleboards
Our balance, or equilibrium is a (mainly) unconscious and automatic process occurring as body and head movements take place. It relies on input from mechanisms (vestibular apparatus) in the inner ear as well as information from muscle, tendon and joint stretch receptors located throughout the body (proprioceptive senses).
When you train muscles, there is an adaptation caused by the training load which increases the size of the muscle, along with increased nerve signals, blood flow etc. The same applies to nerves which are used more often than normal.
The increased training load causes nerve fibres to increase in size and enhances the nerve's ability to transmit nervous signals (the nerve signals are more powerful and travel at greater speed). So when we train for balance, the nerves leading from the vestibular apparatus to the central nervous system are worked more than normal, causing a training effect. In other words, your balance and reaction times improve.
Almost everyone will be able to improve aspects of balance by training with a wobble board.
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