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Love thy BOSU

 

I believe the greatest piece of fitness equipment available is the BOSU trainer. I also believe that all households should have one in front of every television. Okay, that may be a bit extreme but you get the idea.

In 2000 David Weck invented the BOSU trainer. It is often described as a half ball and that’s because that is exactly what it looks like. It consists of an inflated rubber hemisphere attached to a rigid plastic platform. The name BOSU was originally an acronym for “Both Sides Up”, but has since evolved to mean “Both Sides Utilized”.

I love the BOSU. It provides so many different options to enhance workouts. Simply standing on the rounded side is a challenge for the muscles that stabilize our bodies. For some people, stepping on and off of the BOSU is initially demanding (and a little unnerving) but it doesn’t take long for the body to adapt – because that is what the body does.

We are not doing ourselves any favours standing or moving along flat surfaces. It comes back to the “use or lose it” philosophy.      So the more controlled uneven, unbalanced, and unstable situations we can create the better. It’s like practicing for the fall you never want to experience. A course instructor I once had said “don’t count your falls, count your catches”. I am always amazed at those close calls that don’t end with me on my butt – or worse. Thank you BOSU!

Here are some exercises you can try if you have access to a BOSU trainer:

  • With the flat side down and round side up, try stepping on and off the BOSU. If that is easy, step on and stand on it for a 10 – 20 seconds. Repeat over and over again. Switch up which foot that you use to step up with first. Watch how that changes things for you.
  • When you’re comfortable standing on the BOSU, from that standing position on the round rubbery side try a small jump and land on the BOSU. Repeat this a few times. Keep your knees bent on the landing.
  • Flip the BOSU over so the flat side is up and try some push-ups with your hands on either side of the flat part, and your knees or toes on the floor. Keep the BOSU from rocking as you complete 10 – 20 push-ups. (PLEASE NOTE:  I never have clients stand on the flat side for safety reasons).

There are so many other ways to use the BOSU. You can do Lunges, Squats, Mountain Climbers, Crunches, Planks, and V-Sits. You can jump on and off. You can jump from BOSU to BOSU if you have more one. You can incorporate it into your weight workout.  The combinations are endless, much like the challenges of every day life.

Next time you have chance to work with this amazing piece of fitness equipment give it a try. It really is the greatest fitness invention ever.

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