For those who don’t know what a BOSU trainer is. It is essentially a half exercise ball on one side, and on the other it is a a hard plastic base. This exercise equipment was invented in 1999, and is now widely used in gyms around the world. Fitness trainers often use the BOSU as part of their balance training sessions.
The problem with this piece of versatile equipment is that not enough people know what kind of exercises to do on it, or the health benefits of using this strange tool. In this article, I’m going to post the fitness benefits of the BOSU and some fundamental exercises on the BOSU you can add to your workout routines. The BOSU is not just great as a warm up tool, but you can use the BOSU for your entire workout if you want to!
Benefit #1: Enhanced Workout Intensity
Weight machines at the gym allow you to focus on building muscle strength and endurance. They force you to follow a particular track when you push or pull. If you are doing free weights such as dumbbells or bar bells, these equipment allow you more freedom and flexibility when doing exercises. This is where the BOSU comes in as the extra challenge. It forces your core to be stabilized throughout the entire exercise, thus adding a secondary focus. Doing simple exercises such as lunges, dumbbell raises, or squats become more difficult with the addition of the BOSU trainer.
Benefit #2: 1 BOSU, Full Body Workout
The BOSU trainer can be used for flexibility, balance, and even strength training. The ability to use both sides of the BOSU gives it amazing versatility. Push ups on a BOSU is a good example. One can use either side of the ball to enhance the difficulty in different ways. Given 30 minutes a day, one can complete a full body workout with the BOSU ball alone.
Benefit #3: Keep Workouts Fun!
We don’t want to do something if it’s no fun. Working out and exercising should be the same way. I disagree with doing the same thing and hitting the same muscle groups week after week. It’s easy to hit plateaus this way and stunt your growth in reaching your workout goals. The instability of the BOSU is a constant challenge, and even pro athletes use it to keep their workouts entertaining.
Benefit #4: Easy to Store, Maintain, and to Keep at Home
I personally have a BOSU ball at home, and I use it on a regular basis. It required a one time set-up of about ten minutes, and takes up minimal space in my apartment (I don’t even notice it’s there half the time). There are days going to the gym is a big hassle, so my workout will consist of watching TV for 45 minutes while doing exercises on the BOSU. The BOSU also weights only about 20-30 pounds so it’s very easy to move around from one place to another.
Some Exercises to Try on the BOSU
For those who wish to try the BOSU, there are some simple exercises you can use to test out how it feels for you.
1) Front Plank: Just like the picture posted below, put your elbows on the round side of the BOSU. Flex your core and plank your body like so. Try to keep your whole body level, as your bum may try to stick up or your back will arch downwards.
2) Push-ups on a BOSU: place your hands on the flat side of the BOSU. Get in push up position, and do about 10-30 push ups. Keep your body level on this one as well.
3) Lunges on a BOSU: Perform some simple lunges like show in the picture below. Perform about 10-30 lunges.
I would have to say that the BOSU Trainer offers a lot more benefits and versatility than traditional dumbbells or barbells. Whether you want to enhance your workout at the gym or wish to do great exercises at home, a BOSU Trainer, in my point of view, is definitely a worthwhile fitness investment.
I’ve found and used these two books about BOSU Training Routines and Exercises, one is called BOSU Workout Routine Made Easy, and the other is called Get On It! BOSU Balance Trainer Workouts for Core Strength and Super Toned Body. Below are the links.