At first glance, a BOSU ball doesn’t look at a piece of exercise equipment. However, it is an extremely versatile physical fitness tool. For core strengthening it is absolutely fabulous because it forces you to improve your balance and stability.
What Is a BOSU Ball?
A BOSU ball looks like the bottom third or fourth of a large round ball. Imagine the bottom portion of a stability ball, as an inflated, rubber hemisphere. It can be used in a multitude of physical fitness movements with either the flat side or rounded side facing up. This is where the “both sides up” acronym BOSU comes from. It was invented in 1999, by David Weck.
Your core muscles’ premier job is to keep you stable. This means that whenever your body has to compensate for stability, you are working your core. So whether you use your BOSU ball with the dome part or the flat surface facing up, it gives you a very unstable platform. This forces your core muscles into constant compensation.
Here are three (of many) exercises you can try …
You probably know how to do a push-up. Instead of placing your palms face down on a flat surface, you are going to grab either side of your BOSU ball, with the curved side on the floor. As you push up in a traditional push-up movement, your balance is severely tested. While your arms are receiving a workout, so is your lower back, your abs and other core muscle groups. Perform sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.
Arm and Leg Raise
Position your BOSU ball flat side down on the floor. Sit down in front of it, and then slowly lean back. You want the BOSU ball to support your lower back. Stare at a spot high above your body, simultaneously pulling your right leg and left hand up into the air. Keep your arm and leg straight. Bring them together if you can. After 5 to 10 repetitions, switch to your right arm and left leg and repeat.
Simply standing on a Bosu ball engages your core. Place the ball on the ground with the round side down. Step up onto it and you will immediately feel your core compensating to provide balance. From this position you can perform toe raises, squats, barbell curls and dozens of other exercises.
Shop around for best prices but the BOSU Balance Trainer is a good bet.