What Is It?
The BOSU (compare prices) is like an exercise ball that's been cut in half with a platform on the bottom. You can use it dome-side-up almost like a step and stand on it, sit on it, lie down on it or boucne around on it for cardio, lower body strength, or core moves. Or, you can turn it over and use the platform side for upper body exercises, like push-ups, or more core moves, like planks. The possibilities are endless. Some ideas include:
- Cardio - Use it for short bursts of cardio such as side lunges, plyo-lunges, over the top squat jumps and more. You can also use it as a step for choreographed workouts, such as this BOSU Blast Workout with Seasun Zieger. Find more exercises at
- Strength training - Add a whole new challenge to your strength workouts with moves like squats with an overhead press, lunges with biceps curls or pushups. You can even use it as a weight bench to add a balance challenge during traditional weight work like chest presses. Find more in this, and .
- Flexibility Stand or kneel on the dome while doing traditional stretches like hamstring stretches or hip flexor stretches. This also adds instability to the exercise, so you should practice these while standing next to a wall until you get used to it.
- Sports Conditioning Use it to perform sports drills, like jumping or plyometric moves, like side leaps to increase performance and agility.
- Core training Use it for abdominal exercises like dead bug and v-sits or for lower back exercises, such as back extensions, to target the core muscles.
What It Does
Doing exercises on the Balance Trainer requires you to maintain your center of gravity over a surface that is constantly changing. Just standing on it is challenging, as your body moves and shifts into and out of balance.
Using the Bosu Balance Trainer can help improve:
- Balance Because the BOSU is never stable, you're constantly engaging the small stabilizer muscles in the upper and lower body to keep you in place.
- Kinesthetic awareness This is just a fancy word for your awareness of how the body is positioned at any given moment. This awareness is something that often declines as we age, so the Balance Trainer can help you stay connected with how your body moves.
- Proprioception This is another fancy word describing how your body responds to external forces to keep your joints in the right position. When you stand on a Balance Trainer, all of your muscles are forced to contract to keep your joints in proper position. This helps make normal activities easier.
The best thing about the BOSU, besides its versatility, is that it adds fun to your usual workouts. I've used it in place of my step for aerobic workouts (very tough) and while doing some traditional yoga poses, like warrior and triangle. It made the workouts challenging and interesting.