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What to do With a BOSU?

April 29th, 2009 No comments

What is a BOSU, you ask? Well it looks like half a stability ball attached to a hard platform and the name stands for BOth Sides Up. It can make your workout both harder and easier, and at the very least, a lot more interesting.

Balance on it – When you get your feet off solid ground, by standing on either the ball side or platform side of a BOSU you’ll be improving your balance and strengthening stability muscles in your feet, ankles, legs and core. When you add weights to one or both hands and perform upper body exercises, you get two for the price of one.

Make push-ups easier/harder – Grip the handles on the BOSU’s hard side and it’ll take pressure off weak wrists for more comfortable push-ups. Make the move harder by tilting to each side as you perform the push-ups. Place your hands on the ball side and it creates more instability. Place your feet on either side and you’ve got two entirely new and challenging push-up exercises.

Modify squats and lunges – Placing one or both feet on a BOSU for squats and lunges also challenges new muscles and adds variety to a strength training routine. If you’re really steady you can even step on the hard side for added unsteadiness.

Use it as a step – Step aerobics can really scorch calories. Use your BOSU in place of a step to follow along to a step-aerobics video or make up your own, adding cardio intervals to any workout.

Work your core – Almost everything you do with a BOSU involves working core stabilizer muscles, but you can also use it to directly target the front, sides and innermost muscles of your abdomen. Regular or reverse crunches while balancing on the ball side, planks with arms or legs elevated, wood chops with extra instability - the options are endless.

Keep in mind BOSU’s don’t come cheap. If you’re just starting out or have never worked with the equipment before make sure to try it out before you buy. But if you’re looking for a tool that will help you in the strength, balance and cardiovascular departments look no further.