Jay Dicharry is a physical therapist who has changed the game when it comes to training runners in how to stay healthy and maximize their efficiency and performance with running. The MOBO board is a new tool we have in the clinic and is his brain child to address a very common compensation we see when working with patients/clients all the time: toe gripping!
The MOBO board is a rocker board which provides an unstable surface to challenge foot and ankle stability while improving mobility in those same areas. One huge benefit of the MOBO board compared to other rocker boards is the cut out for the small four toes. Why is this so beneficial for our runners?
Our feet provide the base for us to propel ourselves from when running as well as helping to control landing position and absorb shock with each stride. Between these two movements (landing to propulsion) there are small muscles in our feet that should be guiding and stabilizing the foot to help drive our big toe down to create a rigid lever for push-off.
However, many people have limited control of these small muscles and end up using a gripping strategy with their four small toes in an attempt to stabilize the foot. This can contribute to problems up the chain and be a part of the reason you may feel ankle, knee, or hip pain when running or with other activities.
The cut outs on the MOBO board were intentionally designed to prevent the small four toes from acting to stabilize the foot and allow for people to recruit those small muscles that get overpowered by the compensation of gripping your toes. Another really cool aspect of the MOBO board is that what you feel depends on where in single leg stance your deficits lie. After trying it with several people in clinic over the last month, we have had people feel muscles working for the first time and then notice immediate changes in how their walking feels afterward. It is a very useful tool that can help us improve the biomechanics and reinforce the other exercises/activities that we may prescribe.