Wobble boards have long been used in physical therapy clinics and other healthcare settings as a tool for improving patients’ balance and ankle stability. These boards are often used in a home-based setting, too, by those seeking improved balance and foot and musculoskeletal function. What separates the Naboso Kinesis Board from other wobble boards is the fact that it intentionally incorporates micro-wobble perturbations to stimulate the nerves of the ankle (to generate faster joint position sense) and that it features dual sensory stimulation (both wobble and texture) to help improve balance, posture, single-leg stability, and gait. This blog post walks you through how to get the most out of your Naboso Kinesis Board, and it incorporates video demonstrations that show you how to perform key balance exercises using the device.
An Introduction to the Naboso Kinesis Board
Research shows that the ability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds is a predictor of morbidity and mortality, which means that it’s an important skill to consider and work on. Fortunately, the Naboso Kinesis Board is designed to help you improve your single-leg stability, balance, and standing time. As Dr. Emily Splichal, creator of the Kinesis Board, explains in the above video, there are three key features that make this board unique:
The single-leg standing platform
The built-in dual sensory stimulation (i.e., the patent-pending Naboso texture that targets the mechanoreceptors on the bottom of your foot and the inherent microwobbles that challenge your proprioceptors)
The micro-wobble system, which is created by the unique foam bases that come with the device
The first step in using your Kinesis Board is to place the square foam blocks in your desired position on the underside of the board, based on the level of challenge you are seeking. Position 1 (which is slightly less challenging) involves placing the blocks toward the ends of the board. Position 2 (which is slightly more challenging) involves placing the blocks toward the center of the board.
Next, you want to “set your base,” which means placing your foot on the center of the board, establishing a solid foot tripod, and spreading your toes. After you’ve set your base, slightly bend the knee of your standing leg and lift your opposite leg to start challenging your balance. When you first get your board, start by testing your balance, using Position 1, to see if you can pass the 10-second balance test (make sure to test both legs!). Don’t worry if you can’t pass this test right away; balance gains will come quickly with continued use of the board.
How to Set the Kinesis Board Bases & Your Foot Position
Your foot position can affect your balance, so it’s important to position your foot properly on the Naboso Kinesis Board in order to get the most from this helpful device. As mentioned above, when setting your base, you want to first place your foot on the center of the board. Then establish your “foot tripod,” which involves rooting your first metatarsal head, fifth metatarsal head, and heel to the board. Lift your toes, spread them wide, and then place them back down on the board. Make a slight bend in your standing knee, and then begin bringing your body into a vertical position. Based on your current balance abilities, you can either “kickstand” your opposite leg (i.e., use it to provide an additional source of stability) or you can lift your opposite leg so that you are performing the full single-leg balance exercise.
As you perform balance exercises on the Kinesis Board, remember to keep your foot centered and your toes engaged, and feel how your foot connects to your core. As Dr. Splichal notes in the above video, a stable foundation is the key to success with any of the Kinesis Board balance exercises.
You can dramatically improve your single-leg stability and overall movement and function by training your balance for just 5 minutes per day. This video demonstrates a series of Naboso Kinesis Board exercises you can perform every day to improve your balance and enhance your ankle function. The Kinesis Board exercise series incorporates four unique exercises. These are:
Single Leg Balance: Start with one foot on the board and set your base. Lift your opposite leg and try to hold your balance for 10-30 seconds. To help improve your balance while standing on one leg, focus your eyes on a single point in front of you, put your hands on your hips or upper thighs to stimulate the nerves in your fingertips, push your toes down into the board, position your opposite leg out in front of your body, and practice calm, centered breathing the entire time. After completing your 10- to 30-second balance hold, switch feet and perform the exercise on your other side.
Eye Movement on a Single Leg: Start with one foot on the board and set your base. Lift your opposite leg and try to hold your balance for 10-30 seconds, but this time, slowly look to the right and to the left while keeping your head position steady. Repeat this eye movement at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Moving your eyes more quickly will provide more of a challenge to your system and your balance. After completing your 10- to 30-second balance hold, switch feet and perform the single-leg balance exercise on your other side, but this time, move your eyes up and down while keeping your head position steady. Again, perform the exercise at your own pace, for a total duration of 10-30 seconds.
Vestibular Stimulus on a Single Leg: This exercise incorporates a vestibular stimulus to increase the level of challenge you experienced in the previous two exercises. Start with one foot on the board and set your base. Lift your opposite leg and try to hold your balance for 10-30 seconds, but this time, keep your eyes focused directly ahead while turning your head from side to side. The level of challenge associated with this exercise is based on the speed at which you turn your head. After completing your 10- to 30-second balance hold, switch feet and perform the single-leg balance exercise on your other side, but this time, move your head up and down while keeping your eyes focused directly ahead. Again, perform the exercise at your own pace, for a total duration of 10-30 seconds.
Dual Task Challenge on a Single Leg: This exercise incorporates dual tasking—your ability to balance on one leg while performing a cognitive task—to increase the degree of difficulty associated with the single-leg stand. Start with one foot on the board and set your base. Lift your opposite leg and try to hold your balance for 10-30 seconds, but this time, count backward from 100 in multiples of three. After completing your 10- to 30-second balance hold, switch feet and perform the single-leg balance exercise on your other side, but this time, count backward from 50 in multiples of four. Combining the cognitive challenge with the balance challenge mimics how you use balance in your everyday life.
Remember to perform these balance exercises every single day, targeting 10-30 seconds per leg. If you do this consistently, you will notice an improvement in your balance and all the musculoskeletal benefits that come with it.
Should I Wear Correct Toes When Using My Kinesis Board?
One question that sometimes arises about the Naboso Kinesis Board is whether or not to use Correct Toes when performing the single-leg balance exercises. In our experience, we have found that using Correct Toes in combination with the Kinesis Board is indeed quite helpful in achieving multiple musculoskeletal health and performance goals simultaneously. Correct Toes places your toes in their proper anatomical alignment, which inherently provides your body with a more stable and balanced foundation—something that will only enhance your experience of using the Naboso Kinesis Board. So, consider combining these two unique foot health tools to help you get the most benefit from your Kinesis Board training sessions.
The Naboso Kinesis Board: An Innovative Way to Improve Balance & Gait!
The Naboso Kinesis Board single-leg balance platform provides you with a fun and engaging way to improve your overall balance, enhance your foot and ankle function, and stimulate the soles of your feet. Apart from improved balance and better musculoskeletal function, the principal outcome of using this innovative and thoughtfully designed device is an enhanced sense of confidence in your ability to traverse a variety of terrain. Step forward in an empowered way, knowing that your Kinesis Board training has helped hone your balance and your ability to adapt to the various physical challenges you encounter in life. Join the growing number of people who are using the Naboso Kinesis Board to improve balance, stability, and gait!
Dr. Marty Hughes is a chiropractic physician, or DC. He received his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College (WSCC), now known as the University of Western States (UWS). Dr. Marty has always been interested in foot health, due to the connection between the feet and the spine. He has worked as a freelance writer for LiveStrong.com, for whom he contributed over 2,200 health-and-fitness articles. He is a co-founder of Natural Footgear and an ardent supporter of natural foot care approaches. Dr. Marty enjoys road cycling, trail running, hiking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing as well as exploring the mountains of Western North Carolina.
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