BOSU, which stands for ‘both sides up,’ ‘both sides utilized’ and sometimes ‘blue half ball,’ is a workout training tool invented by David Weck in 1999. It consists of what looks like a stability ball that has been sliced in half and attached to a solid platform. Its definition suggests that both sides, the ball and the platform, can be used as an exercise device. By incorporating balance, abdominal and core positions, BOSU has been a successful addition to working out. Because of its stability, it allows for other exercises that would not be capable with a stability ball.
The price of a BOSU training system which comes with instructional DVD’s can range from $100 to $150. Additional, advanced designs are available in the $200-$300 dollar category. These may include an attached stability bar and /or a pair of resistance bands for extra exercise choices.
BOSU in the Gym
Many gyms have incorporated the BOSU system into their workout choices. Usually found amongst the stability balls, sit-up benches and stretching area, using BOSU in the gym is an excellent way to introduce you to the benefits it can reap. There are also classes in BOSU that your gym may offer as well. This is another advantage.
Many exercises may enable you to use a BOSU at home and forgo your gym membership altogether. However, if your gym does not have BOSU, contact them and suggest adding BOSU and some beginner classes to teach members how to do it. Maybe you can teach yourself and offer your own class.
Below is a brief synopsis of some BOSU exercises. These are exercise associated with the basic BOSU system which does not require any aforementioned accessories. Keep in mind that, like any workout equipment, it is suggested you approach with caution. Know your limitations and capabilities, being careful not to exacerbate old or current injuries.
- Crunches: Similar to the traditional sit-up, you place your bottom on the floor in front of the BOSU ball. Hands can be at your chest or behind your neck. Adjust your bottom at different locations on the ball for different difficulty levels.
- Scissors: Place your bottom in the middle and grab either side of the ball. Extend legs without bending the knees and alternate moving above and under one another in a scissor motion.
- Push-Ups: Place hands on either side of the ball, extend legs and bring chest down and back up without bending the knees. The BOSU ball supports the wrists alleviating any unnecessary structural strain.
- Supine Bridge: This exercise works the lower back and core very well. Lie on your back, and place the bottom of your feet on the BOSU ball. Bend your knees and raise your hips.
- Side Plank: Place one elbow on the BOSU ball and straighten out your body, with one leg on top of the other and the other arm extended along your side. Lower and raise hips without bending knees. Repeat on the other side.