Sportsmith Blog
3Nov/100

Ride the Wave

BONGO AND INDO BOARDS

Originally developed to aid surfers and skiers with their balance, Balance Boards have become popular the world over with athletes of all sorts. Even a simple activity such as running requires a certain amount of balance, and these products can help hone and perfect balance, and can provide challenging exercises for even professional athletes.

THE BONGO BALANCE BOARD

The Bongo Balance Board is currently one of the best known examples of the product. It is a “rocker-roller” board, which emphasizes a side-to-side movement. It is constructed of high-impact plywood and polypropylene, and utilizes a nylon and rubber bungee cord to hold the roller portion onto the board for added safety. The wheels of the roller are designed to move independently, making certain exercises more challenging, and have a tapered tip, allowing for limited front-to-back movements.

The Bongo Balance Board is primarily designed to develop balance, as its name implies. This means not only working muscles associated with bodily balance, but also the areas of the brain that determine balance. These brain areas can be “trained” by repeated use of a Balance Board, and they become more efficient at their job by this training.

Sports trainers and athletes have long known of the benefits of having a strong “core” (and not just athletes, many other lines of work benefit from a strong core, such as the military). The core is essentially the torso of the body, without the arms and legs. It determines or assists is virtually every movement made. Exercising with a Balance Board forces the core to make movements and adjustments that the muscles are generally not used to making, therefore they get strengthened and exercised whereas they usually would not be. Of course, the core isn’t the only part of the body utilized when using a balance board. Virtually all the muscles in the body, from the neck down, are used to make micro-corrections while attempting to maintain balance. All you need to do is use a Balance Board once to understand this, as you’ll feel your entire body attempting to keep its’ balance, and every part of you seems to be involved. It’s truly exercise like no other, and muscles that would never see use otherwise get a great workout.

Some users of Balance Boards state that there is an almost transcendental experience from the balance attempt. The individual parts of the body coming together as one to keep the body from falling is something that virtually no other type of exercise can duplicate. Some users report almost falling into a “trance” state while perfectly balanced. While the physical benefits of using a Balance Board are obvious, the mental benefits cannot be overlooked.

THE INDO BOARD

The Indo Board is similar in function to the Bongo Balance Board, with a few exceptions. First, the Indo Board comes in a large variety of designs and shapes. These have both “surfer” and “skier” motifs, and one of the styles of Indo Board is actually shaped like a miniature surf board. While one type of Indo Board comes with a “rocker” styled roller exactly like the Bongo Board, there are also styles that also come with the IndoFLO Balance Cushion. The cushion has the effect of an “all around” exercise session, as you have to keep the board balanced while it’s capable of 360° movement. This makes keeping your overall balance much more challenging, as instead of just moving side to side, you’re body has to literally move everyplace to maintain it’s balance. The cushion also allows for more esoteric exercises, such as using the board for elevation while doing push-ups (and using the cushion makes push-ups far more challenging, as you have to constantly keep your upper body in motion to maintain your balance). The IndoFLO cushion is mouth-inflatable, and you can adjust the difficulty of your workout by how much you inflate it. A fully inflated cushion makes for a more challenging workout, while a less full one will be easier to balance on. Made of high-impact laminated hardwoods, the Indo Board is built to last, and will give you years of fun and effective exercise.

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