There are a plethora of benefits that you can gain from using a balance board for hockey. The crazy thing is that so many people are unaware of the core-building essentials that come from a daily workout on a balance board. From the very second that you engage your core on a balance board, you are bringing to life the very essence of your body’s balance. When you engage your core and keep it engaged for 15 minutes you open up the floodgates for neurotransmitters and muscles to interact with each other and become best friends. Building your core is building your whole body.
The Human Core
The first time that you stood up in your life you were introduced to your core. The core is not the type of muscle that you can flex and show off like your bicep, it is more like an internal network of muscles that work together to keep you balanced and agile.
As people age, their cores weaken and this is why so many elderly people are at risk of falling. If you work on your core before you lose it, you can keep it longer and hopefully be able to balance yourself in times of advanced years.
Engaging The Core
When you work with a trainer and they ask you to engage your core, you may not know what they are talking about. They may have you lie down on your back and gently raise your sternum off of the round while focusing on your diaphragm area. Somewhere beneath the diaphragm is the spot where everything comes together and allows you to manually engage your body’s core. If you know what to feel for, you will recognize it. If not, you might have to work on it for some time. Other ways that you can naturally engage your core are:
- Balance board
- Walking a balance beam
- Ice skating
- Hiking upward trails
The amazing thing about the core is that it can be activated in any situation where you need to balance yourself. People use yoga balls, balance boards, and other tools to naturally engage their cores to work them out.
Strengthening The Core
The more you use your core, the stronger it gets. One way to not strengthen your core is to sit in a chair. The more you sit in a chair, the weaker you allow your core to get. Remember this. As long as you engage your core, it will continue to work for you. Things like yoga, pull-ups push-ups, and other exercises will help to keep your core engaged, but when you use a balance board you actually keep it engaged for longer periods of time. Although it is possible, have you ever tried to hand on a pull-up for a minute? It is not easy. Yes, this would be a great way to build core strength, but if you spend 15 minutes on a balance board with your core engaged the whole time you will be specifically targeting your core muscles, and not engaging all of the other muscles that it takes to hold a pull-up. This is why balancing on a board is so beneficial to the core. It specifically engages the balancing muscles that make up the whole core of the body.
Skating and Core Development
Skating, especially ice skating, is a skill that has to be developed over time. As you get better, your balance becomes second nature. However, how often do you get to ice skate? Of course, you could have an ice rink made out of synthetic ice in your home so you can skate all of the time, but if not…what will you do for practice? This is where a hockey balance board comes in handy for people that want to bring skating skills to the next level, but don’t have the means to practice regularly. Although skating and balancing on a board are different from each other, they both use the same core muscles. This is why regular practice on a balance board will definitely help your skating skills.
The best training to do is to continue to better yourself in any way that you can. Skating, practicing hockey shots with a shooting tarp, honing the stickhandling skills. Whatever it is, keep moving forward and continue to gain more skills with each day that passes.
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