The BOSU Ball: Exercises for Dynamic Balance
The BOSU ball is an effective exercise tool that emphasizes the importance of balance. Created in 1999 by David Weck, the BOSU ball is an exercise ball cut in half, with one side that can lie flat on the ground. BOSU is an acronym for “BOth Sides Utilized” or also referred to as “BOth Sides UP”, as both sides of the ball are used to maximize your workout.
In comparison to the traditional fitness ball, the BOSU ball is a safer alternative that offers a wider array of exercise possibilities. While using the BOSU ball, your body is forced to work your entire core in order to maintain stability. The BOSU ball is popular among professional athletes, especially football players, because it allows one to develop their core muscles, overall strength, and balance all at once.
Common BOSU Exercises
The BOSU ball offers a wide array of exercises. Below is a list of some of the most common and effective exercises utilizing the BOSU ball:
Perform the squat by placing both feet on the ball side. Try to keep your feet as close to shoulder width as possible. Once set, slowly descend until your thighs are parallel to the ground. If 3 sets of 10 reps are too easy for you with no weights, incorporate dumbbells to make it more difficult.
This exercise is performed with the ball side on the ground. Place your hands on the outer edges of the flat side. Descend until your chest is a few inches from touching the platform. Make sure to maintain proper form the entire time.
The crunch is performed by laying your back on the ball side with your feet flat on the ground. Once set, place your hands behind your head and proceed in a crunch motion. The BOSU ball allows you to achieve an overall greater range of motion.
Many gyms now offer BOSU classes. If not, most gyms have BOSU equipment for members to use at their own discretion. Check with your local gym to see if they offer this new fitness trend!
AS ALWAYS, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
BEFORE BEGINNING A NEW EXERCISE ROUTINE,
ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE BEEN INACTIVE.
YOUR DOCTOR WILL RECOMMEND
THAT YOU HAVE A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
TO PREEMPT UNWANTED SURPRISES WITH YOUR HEALTH
AND ENSURE YOU CAN EXERCISE SAFELY.
Fitness benefits of the BOSU ball. 2014. http://www.fitnessadvisory.org/2014/02/21/fitness-benefits-of-the-bosu-ball/. Accessed June 30, 2015.
P. Waehner. The BOSU Balance Trainer. http://exercise.about.com/cs/exercisegear/a/bosu.htm. Accessed June 30, 2015.