The BOSU is a unique piece of functional training equipment that can help
improve your strength, balance and cardiovascular fitness. If you are not
using the BOSU in your workouts, you are missing out on a great piece of
training equipment. The BOSU is a half round ball that is flexible, much
like a trampoline, when you stand on it. Originally the name "BOSU" was an
acronym for "Both Sides Up." It meant that the BOSU Balance Trainer could
be used on either side, the dome or the platform.
Improvements in Strength
The BOSU is really just a modified step that requires greater use of the
stability muscles to maintain balance. It adds an unstable dimension to any
lower or upper body exercise creating a greater muscular challenge. Of
course, an increase challenge means faster strength increases in less time.
The soft, deformable surface strengthens your whole leg complex (foot,
ankle, knee, hip and core) as it works together to try and stabilize the
rest of your body.
Benefits to Balance
The BOSU is considered an advanced balance trainer especially if you are
standing on it. The soft, movable surface places a greater demand on your
balance muscles, core stabilizers, foot proprioceptors and inner ear. This
increased demand on the equilibrium mechanisms challenges them to improve
your balance faster. Beginners can start using the BOSU by stepping into it
one foot at a time. Each step increases your comfort level with how the
BOSU moves under your feet.
The BOSU offers the perfect solution for those looking to get a more
functional and dynamic cardiovascular workout, especially if you have knee,
hip or back pain. Standing on the soft surface of the BOSU, you can jump up
and down for several minutes really getting your heart pumping. You can
also start on the floor and jump onto the BOSU as well. Finally, standing
on the ball doing 90 or 180 degree jump turns offers a balance, strength
and cardio challenge like none other.
Some Great BOSU Exercise Ideas
The many ways you can use the BOSU is only limited by your imagination and
creativity. Here are 3 good exercises to challenge your balance, strength
and cardiovascular conditioning.
1. BOSU Balance
Try this the first time with the BOSU near a wall in case you need to hold
on for stability. Place the BOSU on the floor flat side down. Start by
stepping onto the BOSU and placing your feet slightly less than shoulder
width apart. Stand on two feet until you feel comfortable with the feeling
of the soft, moveable surface. Place one foot on the top center of the BOSU
and try balancing on one leg. Switch legs after about a minute. When you
get comfortable balancing on one leg with your eyes open, try closing your
2. BOSU Jumps/Jump Turns
Place the BOSU on the floor flat side down. Start by stepping onto the
BOSU placing your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Bounce up
and down until you feel comfortable on the soft surface. Once you feel
stable try jumping high enough so that your feet actually leave the ball.
Make sure to keep your knees bent. When you have mastered that progression,
try 90 degree jump turns. Make sure to jump in both directions for equal
balance and muscle development.
3. BOSU Lunges
Place the BOSU on the floor, flat side down, against a wall or other
immovable surface. Standing back about 3 feet and facing the BOSU, lunge
into the side of the soft top surface. Try to keep your balance making sure
that both knees are slightly bent and your back heel is slightly off the
ground. Also keep your head and chest upright and maintain your balance.
Return to your original starting position and step with the other foot. You
can make it a little more challenging by placing hands on your hips.