Just as the name suggests, a balance pad is a training device used by many athletes to help improve balance. Balance training is extremely useful in ACL injury prevention training. The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) can become injured when an athlete quickly decelerates followed by a sharp change in direction, known as cutting. Balance training allows the athlete to improve their reaction time lessening the chance of injury.
Exercises such as leg squats and standing on one leg while performed on the balance pads are difficult and require a lot of balance and focus. It is recommended that athletes imitate the motions of their sport while balancing on the pad for even greater control.
A side effect of all this balance training is a strengthening of the core muscles. Having to maintain one’s balance on the pad, engages the core muscles, which helps to achieve better balance. The balance pads help to strengthen the knee and ankle joints along with the important supporting muscles and tendons. It really is an all-around great workout that helps to prevent an injury that can cost an athlete months in rehabilitation.