There are many benefits of using a slant board, especially if you have an office job that keeps you in a seated position for hours on end, but before you buy one you need to know what to look for and what makes up a quality slant board.
What Is A Slant Board
A slant board is a flat board that locks at different angles made from durable plastics, or wood, and is used to keep our muscles and tendons healthy.
When used regularly it will help your muscles avoid injury by helping them increase their range of motion by making them more flexible.
If you’re a health conscious person it would benefit you greatly to learn how to use this simple yet effective piece of equipment.
In A Hurry, Here Are The Top Three slant Boards
(1) Liberty Pro Slant Board
(2) Yes 4 All Premium Slant Board
(3) Pro Rocker Board
What Are Slant Boards Used For
Slant boards are used for many things, but one of the main reasons is to fix your poor circulation from having a sedentary lifestyle due to an office job that requires you to sit for extended periods of time.
Sitting for too long will decrease your blood flow to your leg muscles and will limit the amount of oxygenated blood they need causing cramps, tightness and overtime injury.
Slant boards also help with balance issues that also arise from people not being active enough and creating weaker leg muscles.
Or, maybe you live an active lifestyle where you are running and working out daily and find yourself with a pulled, sore, or overworked muscle.
It’s a staple in any physical therapist office due to how effective it is for treating ligaments, muscles, and tendon issues.
The Benefits Of Using A Slant Board
- Increased balance
- Increased blood flow
- Injury prevention
- Higher range of motion
- Healthier tendons, and ligaments
- Help to relieve leg, and foot pain
- Rehab minor injuries
How Do You Use A Slant Board
By changing the angle of the slant board and how much of your foot you place on the board you’ll stretch different muscles from your ankles all the way up to your hips.
This is why it is a great tool to relieve or prevent injury and pain in your thighs, hamstrings, calves, ankles, and feet.
Conditions Treated With A Slant Board
Below are the most common ailments that you’ll use the slant board to treat, with descriptions and video tutorials on how to correctly perform each stretch.
How Do You Use A Slant Board To Stretch Tight Calves.
If you’re up and moving then you’re using your calf muscles, this is why it’s important to maintain your calf strength to be able to stand on your toes, walk up stairs, or ride a bike.
Anytime you use a certain muscle group too often it can become tight, limiting it’s range of motion and causing injury. The best way to prevent this is by stretching.
If you haven’t stretched your calves before or are in pain then the best bet is to start with a smaller angle on the slant board and increase as you feel better or become more mobile.
It’s best to place the slant board in front of a wall or chair so that you can reach out to hold something as you stretch. As you become more experienced you can raise the angle and place the slant board farther away from the wall allowing yourself to lean forward which will also stretch your calf muscles.
When To See A Doctor For Calf Pain
If you experience severe calf pain, swelling, discoloration, bruising, or a visible defect you need to be seen by a dr to know if you tore your muscle or if your achilles has been affected.
How To Treat Patellar Tendonitis Using A Slant Board
What you need to realize when squatting down on the slant board is that you want to feel the stretch right where you feel the pain from your tendonitis, this will let you know that you’re doing the move correctly.
This is due to the fact that when you perform this squat it is isolating your knee/tendon on the board and is taking the support you normally receive from your hamstring and quad muscles.
Place both feet on the slant board, place 90% of your wait on the leg with the patella tendonitis and slowly lower yourself down.
Then switch 100% of your weight to the healthy leg and push yourself back up.
Thus is very important, because you want you bad leg to experience the eccentric part of the exercise and your good leg to use the concentric part.
When To See A Doctor For Knee Injuries
If your knee is severely swollen, your range of motion is decreased by 50% or more, or if you have trouble walking, then you should see your physician for a check up before doing any rehabbing on your own.
How To Treat Achilles Tendonitis With A Slant Board
Achilles tendonitis is most commonly caused by inflammation in your achilles leading to swelling that puts pressure on the surrounding tendons and ligaments.
The achilles is a thick band of tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone, overuse is the biggest reason for flare ups, especially in runners, walkers, and hikers who have suddenly increased the duration or intensity of their workouts.
Performing calf stretches will loosen the tendon decreasing the inflammation and making you more comfortable.
When To See A Doctor For An Achilles Injury
If the pain is so severe that you can’t walk, there is swelling, and redness you may have torn or ruptured your achilles and you need to seek immediate medical attention.
How Treat Shin Splints With A Slant Board
Shin splints are referring to the large bone in the front of your lower leg where you feel the most acute pain, it’s caused by overuse of the bones, muscles, and tendons by repetitive action, such as running, jumping, hiking, or dancing.
The video above actually shows the best stretches to do once you have shin splints not using the slant board, this is because the slant board is better equipped to prevent shin splints from happening rather than treating them.
When To See A Doctor For Shin Splints
If you have been applying ice, heat and stretching your shin splints, but you’re not seeing any relief, or there is still swelling than you should see a doctor to check whether or not there is an underlying cause for your pain.
How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis With A Slant Board
Stretching your plantar fascia, calves, and achilles tendon will help increase their range of motion and strengthen them along with the muscles that support your heel and foot.
Stand on the slant board with you heels lining up with the bottom of the board so that your toes are higher than your heel.
Put your weight on your heels and press them into the slant board, maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat 5 times.
When To See A Doctor For Plantar Fasciitis
If you’re experiencing severe swelling, the inability to bend your foot downward, stand on your toes, walk normally, numbness, tingling, or pain while sitting or laying down should warrant a visit to your doctor.
How To Make A DIY Slant Board
The nice thing about a slant board is that it’s not your typical advanced piece of gym equipment that you would never be able to make on your own.
If you’re trying to save some money, and you’re a little handy then you’ll have no problem making this at home. Watch the video above for some help or look at the dimensions on some of the boards we reviewed and copy them.
What To Look For When Buying A Slant Board
You want to be able to adjust the incline on your board to as many positions as possible, this will allow you to do different types of stretches and also adapt your stretches in case you’re in pain or sore.
You’ll be putting all of your weight on the board, so you need to make sure that it is made of a material that won’t crack, or break while being used. Look for hard plastics, polymers, and wood slant boards. Don’t buy any made from cheap particle board or flimsy plastic.
You want to make sure that your slant board is big enough for you to place both feet on without the worry of them slipping off the side, we’re trying to prevent injury not cause it. If you have a size 8 or 9 shoe you won’t have to worry about this, but if you’re wearing a size 11, or 12 then make sure to check the product specs before buying.
One of the best features of slant boards is that they’re easily portable for you to take to work, vacation, or just move around the house, but you want to make sure that the one you purchase isn’t to heavy for you to carry around. Some of the brands made with metal or thick wood can get a little cumbersome. Again, make sure to check the product specs and see if you’re happy with the weight.
Safe non-slip surface
You don’t want your foot slipping off as you’re performing a side squat, so make sure the slant board you buy has a non slip surface attached to the top of the board. You can sometimes even check how this is connected to the board to make sure it won’t easily come off with repetitive use.
We spoke earlier about the benefit of being able to transport your board, and most companies accommodate you by giving you a bag to put your slant board in to make transport even easier. You’ll want to make sure that the bag is manufactured well and won’t rip or break while carrying your baord.
The Top 15 Reviewed Slant Boards
Liberty Imports Wooden Slant Board
- 5 adjustable angles 15, 20, 25, 30, 35
- Full non slip surface
- Heavy duty reinforced wood able to hold up to 350 pounds
- A little heavy at 8 pounds
- The width of 13″ could be a little bigger, but this is standard
Yes 4 All Premium Slant Board
- 17×13 sandpaper non slip top
- 3 angle adjustment 20, 30, 35
- Handle for easy transport
- Only 3 angles to choose from
Pro rocker Board
- The rocker allows you to apply pressure to change the angle allowing for you to find the perfect degree.
- 300 pound capacity
- Strong 1/2 inch wood frame
- Have to use it on a rug or non slip surface, the wooden base will slip on wood, tile, or linoleum
Yae Garden Metal Slant Board
- Metal construction makes for a sturdy build
- Rubber grips to keep it from sliding
- Flattens for easy storage
- Ledge at the bottom doesn’t allow you to leave your heel partially off the board. Not a big deal, but I like to use this method for some stretches.
Cando Adjustable Slant Board
- Made from composite plastic able to hold up to 500 pounds
- $ adjustable angles 10, 15, 20, 30
- Flattens to 3″ for easy storage
- At the highest angle you will slip off if you’re barefoot, wear shoes while using
Professional Luan Slant Board
- 18×16 inches is plenty big enough to do any stretch
- Can hold up to 500 pounds
- Side handle for easy transport
- Five adjustable degrees 15, 20, 25, 30 ,35,
- Doesn’t come with a transport bag
- The non slip tape eventually comes off, this can be fixed with glue though.
Go Plus Slant Board
- Carry bag comes with it
- Adjusts to 4 different angles 10, 20, 30, 40
- Constructed of multilayer plywood
- Angle adjustments go in multiples of 10 instead of 5
Giraffe-X Metal Slant Board
- Already assembled
- 4 adjustable angles 20, 25, 30, 40
- Easy to transport, folds flat
- Doesn’t come with a non slip surface
Fitter First Slant Board
- Made from 1/2 inch birch wood
- Uncommon angle degrees for dynamic stretching 26, 38, 42
- Only adjusts to three angles
- Would recommend buying the larger model
Power Systems Premium Slant Board
- Made from heavy gauge steel
- Non slip pad covers the entire surface
- 4 adjustable angles 20, 30, 35, 40
Has a tendency to tip if you put too much weight on one side
Rolling With It Adj Slant Board
- Holds up to 350 pounds
- 4 adjustable angles
- Angles are at weird degrees and it’s hard to find the appropriate middle ground
- Metal bar sometimes flys out
OPTP Foam Slant Boards
- Light weight
- No moving parts to break on you
- Can’t adjust to different degrees
- Not at a high enough angle to get deep stretches
There is no doubt that slant boards when used properly will help you prevent and rehab injuries. Just make sure to use this guideline when looking to buy, and too know when you have a more serious injury and need to see a Dr before trying to fix things on your own