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Beginner BOSU Balance Trainer Exercises

The BOSU Balance Trainer (BT) is a great tool for working on balance, stability and core strength.  Use the dome side for everything from cardio moves to strength training exercises, and use the platform side for core work.  The following exercises offer some basic, beginner moves on the BT to help you get used to the surface.  You'll find standing moves, lower body exercises and core exercises.  A few points to keep in mind:

  • If you're feet ache, take breaks from the dome and march on the floor
  • Add a contact point if you feel too unstable -- a wall, a chair or a bar can help you keep your balance
  • Take away a contact point if the exercises are too easy.
  •  If these moves aren't challenging enough, try this more advanced BT workout.
Heel Digs
Stand in front of the BT and place the right heel on the dome.  Return to start and repeat with the left foot, moving as quickly as you can and allowing the heel to bounce off the dome.  To make it harder, add a jump and switch the feet in the air.  Repeat for about 30-60 seconds. 
bosu_oneleg.jpg (22830 bytes)
Push Step
From the Heel Digs, step the right foot on top of the dome, push back and repeat with the left foot moving as quickly as you can.  Make it harder by bending into a lunge, or you can even add a hop as you push off the dome.  Repeat for 30-60 seconds. 
bosu_sidelunge.jpg (13309 bytes)

Basic Stance
Stand with both feet on the dome, placing them on either side of the bull's eye.  By simply standing, you'll feel your feet moving and your torso contracting in order to find your balance.  Add difficulty by raising the arms overhead or closing your eyes. 

bosu_stand.jpg (13934 bytes)

Compressions
From Basic Stance, shift weight from foot to foot using arms for balance.  Keep shoulders and hips straight.  To make it more difficult, march or run on top.  Repeat for 30-60 seconds, then step off the dome and march in place to rest your feet.

 bosu_compression1.jpg (18395 bytes) bosu_compression2.jpg (17603 bytes)

Squats
Stand on the
dome with feet slightly forward of center. Bend your knees and squat, as though you're sitting back in a chair. Keep your back straight and your torso up and extend your arms out to help your balance.  Lower as far as comfortable and push up.  Repeat for 8-16 reps.

bosu_squat.jpg (15618 bytes)

Hip Extension
Get on all fours with the knees on the dome, hands on the floor.  Lift the left leg up to hip level, keeping the knee bent, and press the heel towards the ceiling.  Lower and repeat for 8-16 reps before switching sides.  Make it easier by keeping the toes of the bottom foot on the floor for balance.

 bosu_sideplank.jpg (10330 bytes)

Basic Crunch
Sit on the dome with the hips towards the bottom of the dome, knees bent.  With hands behind the head or across the chest, roll back until you feel a stretch in the abs.  Then contract the abs and curl up.  Repeat for 8-16 reps.  You may need to shift your position to find a spot that works for you.

bosu_plank.jpg (12245 bytes) bosu_pushup.jpg (14556 bytes)

Dead Bug
Sit with your hips a little forward of the bull's eye and lie back, drawing the knees in towards the chest and keeping the hands on the dome for support. Take your hands away and see if you're balanced. If not, shift until you find a position you can hold without tipping. Take the arms straight up and extend the knees until they're at 90-degree angles. Balance here for 20-30 seconds or, to add intensity, lower the opposite arm and leg towards the floor, return to start and repeat on the other side for 8-12 reps.

bosu_superhuman.jpg (12688 bytes)

Ball Tilt
Turn the BT over and grab on to the handles on either side and get into a plank position on your knees or toes.  Keeping the body in a straight line and without bending the arms, tilt the BT forward and back, repeating 8-12 times.  You can also rock it in a circle going forward, right, back, left to add difficulty.

 bosu_tilt1.jpg (11974 bytes)  bosu_tilt2.jpg (12171 bytes)

V-sit
Sit in the center or slightly forward on the dome with the hands on either side for support.  Lift the legs with the knees bent and balance, keeping the torso straight, the shoulders relaxed and the abs engaged.  Hold for 20-30 seconds and add difficult by taking the hands away, straightening the legs or adding a lower leg crunch.

bosu_vsit.jpg (14462 bytes)

Form Pointers:

  • Always keep your body in proper alignment during each exercise.  It's normal to shift to keep your balance, but make sure you don't slump. 
  • Be prepared to fall off a few times as you get used to these exercises
  • Take your time.  It takes a while to get used to standing on such an unstable surface. 
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