As I’ve mentioned (probably ad nauseum but it’s my blog and I’ll whinge if I want to), I have had some foot issues recently … specifically, I had a leaking vein, torn tendon and nerve damage, all in the same foot pretty much at the same time. Nightmare! However, one of the good things that came out of it was my discovery of the wobble-board.
Technically, the wobble-board has all kinds of rehabilitation and training uses, and I mainly got it to work on restoring the tendon and muscles in my foot. However, I soon discovered that a far better use for it (who needs to get a toned ankle, after all!) was as a core-strengthener! Balance training is all the rage at the moment, and judging by how my core felt the day after I did some wobble-board training for the first time, it certainly does do something.
I have a rather funky wobble-board which I got from http://www.firstaid4sport.com, which I have always found an excellent site for all kinds of sports home-remedy equipment. This is a special wobble-board because it has a wotsit that fits on the bottom and allows you to progress through three levels – the first without the attachment, the second with the attachment on a low level, then with the attachment on a high level.
I looked on the trusty interweb for good wobbleboard exercises, and discovered that almost every site with wobble-board exercises has the same ones. I’ve now incorporated these into my training routine as I’m on a bit of a mission at the moment to increase my core strength, and hopefully one day (in about 2017) I might be able to do these exercises with the attachment on its highest level. Sadly as I have all the co-ordination of a Mexican jumping bean, I can barely do some of them even without having the attachment on at all, so I’m hoping for some serious improvement.
Here’s the work-out – I tend to do the exercises in this order, which is apparently in increasing difficulty (though I personally find some of the later ones easier).
standing rock: stand on the wobble-board, feet shoulder-width apart and rock it from side-to-side 10 times, then forward-and-back 10 times
round and round: standing on the wobble-board, rotate the board so that the edges touch the floor for the entire circumference of it. Keep going for two minutes (you may find that you are turning circles as well! One day I’ll work out how to stay still and do it)
advanced round and round: standing on the wobble-board, rotate the board in a circle but without allowing the edges to touch the floor. Keep going for two minutes (strangely easy when you get into the rhythm)
squats: standing on the board, perform 20 squats (I end up looking like I’m doing some kind of disconnected dance to Baby’s Got Back, shaking that booty out there …)
upper circles: standing on the board, pop your arms out in front and rotate the upper body from the hips, doing 20 rotations in each direction (this is far and away the hardest exercise in my view. How can it only come here on the list?!)
bouncies: while standing on the wobble-board, throw a ball against the wall or bounce it off the floor and catch it 40 times. Alternate hands every 2 throws (if you’re me, it’s actually not possible to do this against the wall. Not because I can’t balance, but because I’m such a criminally bad thrower that there’s no telling where that ball’s headed. It seems to have a fatal magnetism with televisions, glasses, lightbulbs and the china cabinet)
one-legged wibbles: stand on the board on one leg and rotate the board in a circular motion for one minute, then repeat in the opposite direction. Repeat on the other leg (again this is oddly easy for me)
one-legged wobbles: stand on the board one on leg for as long as possible, then repeat on the other side
one-legged squats: just like they sound! Repeat 20 each side.
one-legged upper circles: just like normal upper circles but on one leg. Repeat 10 rotations each way on each side (deathly impossible)
one-legged bouncies: while standing on one leg, bounce your ball against the wall or floor and catch it 20 times. Alternate hands every 2 throws (not so hard in my view)
Seriously, if you can get hold of a wobble-board then they’re some serious fun (they vaguely remind me of a lolo ball, just with a little less bounce), it doesn’t take long (around a half-hour) to complete the above workout, and you can do it while watching TV. What’s not to like?!