Balance Training Basics
A centered posture on the Indo Board is all about a relaxed upper body, holding the head and shoulders upright with hips rolled slightly forward and knees bent beyond the 3-2 inch "comfort zone"! Breaking at the waist and not bending your knees enough is a result of your mind wanting you to be comfortable. Maintaining a centered posture on the Indo Board is at first uncomfortable for some people and they give into the demands of the mind and assume an unbalanced stance.
When you think your knees are bent, then go 2 inches lower. Your mind tells you your knees are bent and usually stops you short of where the power position begins. The extra 2 inches actually can feel like 5, but the mind likes to play tricks on you. Understand that this bent knee posture is meant to be the TOP of your range of motion. You never want to operate the Indo Board from a higher position.
The Indo Board forces the user to engage their core and maintain balance while staying on the board.
The Indo Board is best used on a carpeted surface. The thicker the carpet pile the slower the action will be. As you become more proficient in using the Indo Board, bare floors can provide the ultimate challenge to your abilities. However, the action is greatly speeded up and falls are quite unforgiving depending on the surface.
- Practice up close to a wall or holding someone's hands. Always bend your knees and don't lean on the steady support.
- It is highly recommended that safety gear be worn to help soften the inevitable falls. Wrist guards are the best protection, along with a helmet, knee and elbow pads.
- Most surfers prefer to go barefoot, because that's how they surf. Skateboarders usually wear shoes and wakeboarders ride either way! It's up to the rider to determine if shoes are right for them.
- Make sure the area where you are riding is clear of objects that you might fall on.
- Keep spectators at a reasonable distance away from the rider and the potential path of a flying Indo Board. The board can become a missile and cause injury if it hits someone.
- Alcohol slows the reaction time and is not to be mixed with Indo Board riding.
- Indo Boards have a hollow roller and if the action is too fast, you can cut a hole in one of the sides where the Indo Board sticker is and add sand (approx. 2-3 cups) to help slow the action for beginners or in the absence of carpet.
Below is a detailed description of the best way to approach riding the Indo Board and how it contributes to achieving total balance.
Breathing: Calm breathing from your “gut” (diaphragm) is the breathing method that promotes balance. By breathing from our “gut” we are able to keep our center of gravity lower, thus allowing us to stay more relaxed, fluid, and balanced. The other way we breathe is called “neck breathing”. Neck breathing occurs when we use our shoulders to inhale, which puts our center of gravity higher. This type of breathing doesn’t allow the body to completely relax and thus maintaining balance is more difficult.
Mental State: A clear mind allows the body to be fluid and achieve a strong center of balance. When our mind is aggravated or busy, our body is tense, not allowing fluid movement.
Flexibility: All of the muscle groups and structures mentioned above have to have equal tension and pull on the pelvis. If one of these areas is weak, shortened or too tight, the whole system will be affected. The Indo Board is an effective apparatus to warm up, loosen and open the pelvic girdle and stabilize the structures of the lower body (leg and calf muscles, knees, ankles and feet).
Body Position/Posture/Stance: Too often posture is often thought of as static or something that is achieved while the body is not moving. In reality posture is constantly undergoing the demands placed on the body by movement and the forces of gravity. Proper postural alignment and increasing postural awareness are of utmost importance to everyone especially active individuals and athletes. Improper postural alignment causes adverse effects to one’s center of gravity and negatively affects the efficiency of the entire kinetic chain. Lowering center of gravity is the key to good balance and posture. It has been said that posture is the position from which all movement begins and ends and accordingly, proper posture will ensure efficiency of these movements. Keeping your knees bent, shoulders pulled back and engaged, chest out, back straight, core engaged, arms relaxed with the thumbs down (pointing towards your center) and head up is the key to maintaining both proper posture and a balanced position. This also allows for your center of gravity to be maintained over its base of support for maintaining proper posture, balance and kinetic chain efficiency.