Slackblock Balance Trainer Review
SlackBlock Balance Trainer
Teacher’s Comments: I think it does the job, but I frankly have had trouble incorporating it into my training regime.
Balance is at the core of nearly every sport. Watch a beautiful golf swing from Adam Scott or Fred Couples, and you will see great balance. Watch Julio Jones snag a ball from the air and you will see great balance. Watch Michael Jordan fly toward the basket, and you see great balance.
Most amateur athletes don’t have that kind of balance. Slack Block aims to help you with that.
The SlackBlock consists of a board with a gritty, non-slip surface, mounted to a foam base. The goal is to balance on the SlackBlock on one foot for up to two minutes at a time. As you might expect, that foam base makes that more difficult than it seems. To say on top of the board requires a great deal of balance, and also of foot and ankle strength.
SlackBlock can be used with the feet in parallel to the block, at an angle or perpendicular. The angled to the block position helps the balance with rotational sports, such as golf. The use of the SlackBlock is best seen in this video.
Does it work? I am having a hard time with that answer. Try as I might, I have had trouble incorporating the SlackBlock into my regular exercise routine. I hit the gym to lift weights three times a week, have regular stretching routines, spend time crunching out my knots with an exercise roller and walk daily. There is only so much time in a day.
It is not that Slack Block is difficult, or even enormously time consuming. Two minutes balancing on each foot, in each of three different angles equals a total of twelve minutes, plus whatever time needed to get back up on the block (I fall off a lot), and time off between sets. So maybe twenty minutes total. Not much, but as a teacher, my off-work hours are not really my own. Evenings are full of paper grading, lesson plans, writing student recommendation letters, etc. Plus my family gets time, too. The health routines I have already incorporated put me perilously close to falling behind.
Still, I will have to try again to build it into my routines as we head into the new golf season. Given my inability to stay on the block for long, I think it’s pretty clear that I need to work on balance.
SlackBlock inventor Jim Klopman also has published a book, Balance is Power, in which he explains his theory of balance as “our sixth and most important sense,” describes ways in which balance is critical to our healthy existence and briefly prescribes routines to improve your balance.