(Left) Using a 2x 4 Balance Board (L) (Right) Place a 1” x 2” on the 2” x 4” to Increase the Difficulty
(Left) Using a 2"x 4" Balance Board (L)
(Right) Place a 1” x 2” on the 2” x 4” to Increase the Difficulty

Equipment - Make a Balance Board Out of Two-by-Fours

Dick Moss

Balance boards (AKA wobble boards) are excellent devices for preventing and rehabilitating leg injuries--in particular ankle sprains. An ankle that has been sprained often experiences a reduced ability of its stabilizing muscles and nerve sensors to identify changes in joint position. This is important, because it's the contraction of these supporting muscles in reaction to sudden lateral movement that is the ankle's main protection against injury.

Using a balance board can improve proprioception in and around the ankle joint.

Commercially available boards are expensive. Fortunately, you can make your own out of a piece of plywood and a softball (see Make Your Own Wobble Board in the Downloads section). However, for an easier, cheaper alternative, all you need is a piece of 2" x 4" lumber!

How to Make A 2" by 4" Balance Board
Making your balance board is simplicity itself. Just cut two pieces of two-foot long sections from the 2" by 4."

Lay one piece of board cross-ways on top of the other. And there's your balance board. To use it, have your athletes put one foot on either end of the top board then balance it so that neither end touches the ground.

You can increase the difficulty of your balancing exercises by using a more narrow piece of lumber--such as a 2" x 2" --for the lower board. Or, by placing a piece of 2" x 2" or even a 1" x 2" on top of the lower 2" x 4" (see diagram).

Reference: Dick Moss, Editor, PE Digest's Library of Sport, Coaching and Physical Education, April 2006 www.pedigest.com


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