All modern gyms and physical therapist's offices have some form of a slant board or incline board. Slant boards are used by athletes, rehab specialists and personal trainers to effectively stretch calf muscles and rehabilitate injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and achilles tendonitis. Any athlete should consider using a slant board as part of their pre-workout or pre-game routine. Proper stretching on a slant board will help prevent injuries.
When my physical therapist told me I needed to stretch every day with a slant board. I looked at all the options. Since I am a big guy I knew that the cheap plastic versions would not be a long term solution. Our online store Return2Fitness carries the Boards4Health professional & home solid wood slant boards. They are heavy duty and have the advantage of being adjustable to several incline levels. If you aren't handy with tools you'll need to buy a slant board. I recommend either version but if you're XL size go with the professional version.
Build it yourself:
If you are handy with tools and have some scraps of wood laying around, read on and I'll share how to build a basic non-adjustable slant board like I did. The materials list is as follows:
- One piece of 3/8 (or 1/2) inch plywood 20 x 14 inches
- One piece of 3/4 inch plywood or solid wood 5 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches
- Two 3/4 inch plywood or solid wood right angle triangular pieces (short side= 5 1/2 inches, medium side= 11 1/2 inches, long side is approximately 12 3/4 inches)
- Four 2 inch wood screws
- Sixteen 1 1/2 inch finishing nails
- Wood glue
1) Cut the wood to the dimensions listed.
2) Line up the triangle pieces to the 5 1/2 x 16 1/2 inch piece and mark & mark the bevel angle with pencil.
3) Cut the bevel angle on the long side of the 5 1/2 x 16 1/2 piece with a circular saw,table saw or band saw to match the penciled angle (this is necessary so the bottom supporting structure will lay flat).
4) Attach the right triangle pieces with wood glue and wood screws (countersink) to the ends of the 5 1/2 x 16 1/2 piece.
5) Glue and finish nail the 20 x14 inch plywood piece to the supporting structure after centering.
6) Countersink the finish nail holes (fill with wood putty if you want) and sand as needed.
Note: If you want to increase or decrease the angle of the slant board increase or decrease the length of the short end of the triangular pieces & the width of the long front piece.
About the Author: Bruce is the president of Return2Fitness, an online sports medical resource and product center. His "entrepreneurial spirit" has resulted in the founding or acquisition of 20 companies during his 39 year career. Bruce is not a medical professional so please consult your local specialist before making any changes in the treatment of any injury or condition.
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