By Christopher Pregony, BS, CSCS | Photos by Sincerely Gone Photography
The BOSU Balance Trainer has been around since the year 2000, and with 17 years under its belt, we can safely say that this half ball is not a fad. Made in the United States, the BOSU ball was created by David Weck, a fitness trainer and now CEO of BOSU Fitness. One side of the BOSU is an inflated rubber ball, while the other side has a hard, plastic surface. This allows the exerciser to use both sides for different purposes. In fact, BOSU was first an acronym for “both sides up,” but that has now evolved into “both sides utilized.”
The BOSU can be used by people of all ages. My 5-year-old treats it like a toy, but it is also a sneaky way for him to develop his balance skills. I have used it on older clients as well. Use of the BOSU on the elderly is a great way for them to maintain or enhance balance; however, it must be carefully supervised.
It can be used in a multitude of ways, but its primary purpose is to develop the core muscles and improve balance. When the flat side is down and the inflated hemisphere is up is when the BOSU is most stable. When the inflated side is down and the platform is up it creates a whole new balance challenge. The unstable surface forces the body to recruit more muscles to compensate for the instability. This instability allows it to be a great piece of equipment for prehab and rehab. Balancing on either side of the BOSU can help with ankle and knee stability.
There is no substitute for traditional weight training for muscle building, but the BOSU is a great tool for anyone’s fitness arsenal to create a well-rounded program.
Upper Body Workout [Repeat for three rounds]
Pushups [x 10 reps]
Flip the ball over so the rubber side is down and grab both sides of the plastic. With your chest over the ball, perform a pushup.
Mountain Climbers [x 10 reps]
Flip the ball over so the rubber side is down and place your hands on the middle of the plastic. Drive one knee forward, then the other, alternating with each rep.
Burpee Press [x 10 reps]
Flip the ball so that the rubber side is down. Perform a pushup, but on the way up jump your feet in and while raising the BOSU over your head.
Lower Body Workout [Repeat for three rounds]
Squats [x 10 reps]
Flip the ball so the flat side is down. Stand on the ball and perform squats by pushing your glutes back while bending at the knee.
Bulgarian Squats [x 10 reps]
Flip the ball so that the flat side is down. Place one leg in front and the other on the center of the ball so that you are in the lunge position. Drop the back knee down toward the ground. Repeat for other leg.