Targeting quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings, a leg sequence utilising the BOSU can increase clients’ lower body strength and stability, writes Stephen Parker.
I believe the BOSU Balance Trainer is one of the most under-utilised pieces of equipment on the gym floor. Standing for Both Sides Utilised, the BOSU has been around since 1999 and was designed to improve core strength and balance through ankle, hip and core stability. However, it’s also fantastic for resistance and cardiovascular training, as well as plyometrics and flexibility work.
I use the BOSU for training one-on-one clients as well as for group exercise classes. In addition to providing workout variety, it’s an excellent way to incorporate functional training into clients’ programs. By providing an unstable surface, the BOSU forces the body to recruit the stabilising muscles to maintain correct technique and balance – critical life skills for all clients, but particularly for older people for whom falls caused by poor balance are a leading cause of hospitalisation.
The leg sequence demonstrated in this video has been designed to increase quadricep, gluteus and hamstring strength. It also provides an interval training effect through the inclusion midway through of cardio/plyometric exercises.
For the resistance training element, a side squat and lunge are used in a reverse pyramid teaching method. Prior to changing sides, power side lunges and pulse squats are included in order to increase the heart rate.
If you choose to use this sequence in your group class, I recommend using a music speed of 128bpm.
If you already use the BOSU in clients’ training sessions, they’ll enjoy the increase in lower body strength and stability that this leg sequence facilitates. If it’s a new piece of apparatus for your clients, however, you should take your time building their confidence and core strength on the BOSU before incorporating this sequence into their workouts.
With a background in classical dance, Stephen has been in the fitness industry for 16 years and currently holds the position of group fitness manager at Fitness First Darlinghurst, NSW. Having competed successfully in Sport Aerobics, he now focuses on helping fellow instructors develop their freestyle teaching skills. Stephen is co-presenter and assessor for the Elite Group Exercise (Certificate III) course for Network, and is committed to doing all he can to see more freestyle group exercise on club timetables