BOSU, did you know….
Walking around the gym, you see all kinds of weird equipment… Big Balls, small balls, half “dome shaped” balls, etc. I wanted to briefly mention the great benefits of this “dome shaped” ball called a BOSU ball!
The BOSU looks like a Swiss ball cut in half. It consists of one side that is completely flat, which sits on the ground, and the opposite side is the ball side, which is essentially an exercise ball cut in half. BOSU actually stands for “BOth Sides Up,” and I have also heard it stands for “Both sides utilized”. Either way, it means meaning that the “ball” itself can be placed on the ground with either the flat or rounded side up. A BOSU class can include for aerobic/plyo use, strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance training. Familiar exercises like leg raises, crunches, and push-ups are performed on the BOSU–a surface that is constantly changing, forces you to maintain a tight core and balance. This makes the exercises more difficult. When using the BOSU ball, your body is forced to recruit numerous core and stabilizing muscles in order balance. Overall such a great tool to help with balance, stability and core strength. With the flat platform, the BOSU is safer than a Swiss ball because you are less likely to roll off!
It can add variety to your workout, mixing things up your traditional routine. We all focus on Change as a KEY element to our progress so why not pick up a BOSU ball and try out some new varieties of your typical exercises. Here is a sample workout to try on the BOSU ball
*** TIP, IF IT IS YOUR FIRST TIME USING THE BOSU BALL, I SUGGEST YOU TRY TO BALANCE ON IT, IN ORDER TO GET USE TO THE FEELING OF THE BALL. I ALSO SUGGEST YOU PERFORM EXERCISES WITHOUT WEIGHT, FOR THE FIRST TIME OR AT LEAST FIRST SET, TO GET USE TO THE BALL!
SAMPLE BOSU BALL EXERCISE LAYOUT
** KEEP IN MIND, YOU CAN ALSO PERFORM THESE EXERCISE WITH THE “DOME SHAPE” FACING DOWN AND FLAT SURFACE FACING UP.
ALL 3 SETS OF 8-10
Perform the squat by placing both feet on the dome side of the ball, as wide as possible on the ball. Once you are set, descend slowly until your thighs are at least parallel with the ground, and then push back upward in a controlled motion. If 3 sets of 10 reps is too easy for you with no weights, add dumbbells to make it even harder.
The step-up will be performed with the BOSU ball in the same position as it was for the squat. Place one foot on the center of the ball, and then step up and bring your opposite leg up until the thigh is parallel to the ground. Repeat for other leg. This may be challenging at first but practice makes perfect!
This exercise is performed with the Dome side on the ground. Place your hands on the outer edges of the flat platform, making sure they are directly under your shoulders. Making sure to maintain a flat back, tighten your abs throughout the workout. Descend until your chest is very close to the platform, and then slowly push back up. Perform one set until failure, making sure to keep proper form the entire time.
This is performed by placing your elbows on the dome side of the ball, with a flat back and tightened abs. Hold this position for a full minute, and then relax. After a rest period of only 30 seconds, attempt to do it again.
Begin by lying on the bubble side of the ball with your lower and middle back centered. Then place your hands behind your head so that your elbows are pointing straight outward. Then bring your legs off the ground and take your elbow to the opposite knee, alternating until you cannot go any longer. Then rest for one minute, and do it again.
The basic crunch is performed by lying with your back on the ball, and your feet flat on the ground. Then proceed to complete a crunching motion, and return to the initial position. The ball will allow you to get a greater range of motion for your abs. Complete at least one set of 30 crunches, or as many as you can do.
PLYOS–SIDE TO SIDE LUNGES:
This exercise is done with the flat portion of the BOSU ball on the ground. Start with both feet on the ball. Take your right foot out and into a side lunge, then explode up, replace your left foot with your right, and repeat on the opposite side. Do three sets of 8-10 reps for each leg.
OTHER EXERCISES INCLUDE JUST STANDING ON THE BALL, BALANCING AND PERFORMING YOUR TYPICAL BICEP CURLS, SHOULDER PRESS, SIDE LATERALS ETC. EXPERIMENTS WITH BALANCING AND VARYING YOUR EXERCISES BY USING THIS FUN AND BENEFICIAL BOSU BALL!