What Is It?
The BOSU is like an exercise ball that's been cut in half with a platform on the bottom. You can use it dome-side-up 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 hops, jumps, step-ups, leaps, lunges, etc. You can also use it as a step for choreographed workouts.
- Strength training Add a whole new challenge to your squats, lunges, deadlifts, and push-ups. You can even use it as a weight bench to add a balance challenge during traditional weight work.
- Flexibility Stand or kneel on the dome while doing traditional stretches to add more range of motion.
- Sports Conditioning Use it to perform sports drills, like jumping or plyometric moves, to increase performance and agility.
- Core training Use it for abdominal and lower back exercises 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 Balance Trainer 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 Balance Trainer, 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.