A simple but highly effective injury prevention tool that helps develop foot strength, mobility, and stability.
Easy to use and build into your daily routine
Helps improve foot strength and control
Helps prevent run injuries
Adaptable and versatile
Requires patience to begin with
Being injured sucks and, let’s face it, in a sport as demanding as triathlon, avoiding and preventing injuries can sometimes feel like a major task. We expect a lot from our bodies with the many miles of swim, bike, and run we put through them every year—and sometimes it’s very easy to forget to do the basic preventative maintenance needed to keep us healthy and injury-free. That’s where a gadget as simple as the Mobo Board really comes into its own. Designed by leading physical therapist Jay Dicharry, author of Running Rewired and a PT who’s worked with the likes of Flora Duffy and Linsey Corbin, it is intended to be used to help improve foot strength, stability, mobility, and control with the overall aim of building stronger and more durable feet and bodies.
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Mobo Board Review: The Basics
The Mobo Board is a wooden board that looks a lot like a wobble board, but with one big difference—only your big toe remains in contact with the board, with your other toes intended to drop into the gap, teaching you to drive your big toe down, thereby finding and improving the stability through the arch of your foot. Dicharry said this helps the user to harness the power that comes from driving through your big toe. It also helps teach you to control motion from inside of your foot, which isn’t easy to begin with. It’s obviously used for one foot at a time, and you simply flip it over and put the wooden slats in on the opposite side of the board when you want to start working on the other foot.
Mobo Board Review: The Good
I first started using this board back in the spring when I’d suffered a minor calf muscle tear and was needing to rebuild strength in my feet—and I was also fast realizing how much power and drive comes from the big toe when running. I began using the Mobo Board for just a few minutes each morning and was amazed at how quickly my feet (and brain) improved, especially in relation to foot strength, stability, and glute activation. Yes, that’s right! As I got more adept at using it, I could feel how learning to use and effectively “wake up” my big toe was, in turn, waking up my posterior chain (the back side of my body). Like many triathletes, my glutes tend to be lazy and require a sizable poke before they bring much to the table, but a few minutes on the Mobo Board helped expedite all of that. As soon as I started running, I could feel my glutes were “on” and were helping drive me forward. Many triathletes who are also guilty of having lazy glutes will typically find they rely on their quads to power them through, which obviously is far from ideal, particularly if and when you’re covering high bike and run volume.
The board comes with an exercise band which is intended to be used for many of the exercises on the Mobo Board website (you’ll find close to 40 different exercises with instructional videos here). These get progressively harder and are designed with different goals in mind, such as improving coordination and control or full body stability. It’s with these exercises that you can really get the most from this board and all it does. As someone with a huge knowledge base and wealth of experience and expertise, Dicharry has built an impressive library of information here.
Mobo Board Review: The OK
Like a lot of things in the injury prevention space, it will take time and patience before you see real progress and improvements, so don’t expect miracles overnight. It’s best to build time on the Mobo Board into your daily routine or, at the very least, your pre-run routine. We found that, to begin with anyway, it can lead to foot (and brain!) fatigue quite quickly, so there’s no need to spend a lot of time on it—a little goes a long way.
Mobo Board Review: Conclusions
Moving well, and as efficiently as possible, is something all athletes should aspire to do. The Mobo Board is a remarkably effective tool at teaching your body to do just that—and this time of year is perfect for starting to try new things and seeing how they help you. If you’re someone who has struggled with foot- and/or lower limb-related injuries in the past, then we can’t recommend this tool enough. And even if you haven’t, your body will thank you for a few minutes spent on the Mobo Board each day.