// The versatility of BOSU

by Ken Baldwin

Many fads and fashions come and go in the fitness industry, but some things survive the test of time and really do deliver on their promises.

The BOSU® Balance Trainer is one of these, and is now standard in most facilities because of its versatility and practical applications. Originally designed to help in training balance and stabilisation, it is now used in all components of fitness from cardio workouts to rehabilitation, strength and power, flexibility, sports specific training and group fitness.

A recent study in US magazine IDEA Fitness for Personal Trainers showed that 81 per cent of trainers preferred the BOSU® Balance Trainer for balance and core stabilisation work. BOSU® training can be physically demanding, but when properly taught it is appropriate for a variety of fitness levels and physical capabilities. BOSU® has brought huge recognition to balance training and is a fun, effective way of bringing stabilisation exercises to every population.

BOSU® training will continue to expand, shape and define what functional training is, what it can accomplish, and the positive ways it can impact the human body.

This functional tool can easily be incorporated into one of the most popular formats of exercise, the circuit. A circuit gives great variety of exercise and can be used for one-on-one training or with small or large groups, depending on the space you have available.

The following twelve exercises can be put together to form a circuit, or can be added to any conventional circuit that you already have in place. The exercises can be broken down into the four main areas of cardio, balance, strength and power, and athletic drills. This gives a full body workout with variety and has exercises that can be increased or decreased in intensity, and therefore tailored to the level of the individuals in the group.

Spend about sixty to ninety seconds on each exercise before moving on to the next one, going through one exercise from each of the four areas then going through the next lot. You can also group the exercises as an overload and do all four cardio followed by all four balance, strength and then athletics moves and go through the total circuit four times. Please note that when doing any exercises on the BOSU® Balance Trainer, regardless of the person’s experience level, at least five minutes should be spent acclimatising to the equipment.

Cardio exercises

1. Lateral stepover

With feet together on the ground on one side of the BOSU®, step up sideways on to the top with single leg then both feet. Follow through to the other side. Option here is to continue the lateral movement on one side repeating, then change over to the other side.

2. Jump turns

Starting on top of the BOSU® with feet together, jump and turn in one direction with quarter turns. Complete a full turn then reverse direction. Progress with this move by jumping higher and increasing to half turns.

3. 2 on 2 off

Fast feet on ground then fast feet on top (straddle up and down).

Balance exercises

1. Single leg balance with side rotation

Standing on top of the BOSU® on a single leg, slowly bend down to pick up an object on one side and transfer to the other side. Then change legs.

2. V sit balance

Seated in the centre of the dome, elevate the legs to a ‘V’ position, ensuring that the shoulders are back with the scapula retracted. Keep a bend in the knees for an easier option, sitting back further with legs higher and straighter for an advanced option.

3. Prone forward to back platform tilt

Turn BOSU® dome side down and place hands in the hand grip region of the platform. Place knees on the ground and tilt the dome in a clockwise direction keeping abdominals braced and shoulders retracted.

Strength and power exercises

1.Prone platform pushups

With the dome side down, place hands in hand grips and do normal push ups. Make these harder by tilting the dome to one side, then come back to the centre and change sides. To make it more challenging, complete the move on the toes or with one leg elevated.

2. Supine bicycle

Place lower back over centre of the dome (taller people will have to adjust forward or back to centre their body weight in a balanced position). Cycle legs and rotate through the mid section opposite shoulder to opposite knee. Try performing the movement slowly and see how much harder it is to control your balance. Speed is another option for intensity.

3. Forward and reverse single leg lunges

Feet together behind the dome, with your left leg step forward and place on top of the dome, with the same leg return through to the back to complete a reverse lunge. To make the move more challenging, avoid placing the leg on the ground through the transition to the reverse lunge.

Athletic drills

1. Basketball jump shots

Squat down on the ground then jump onto the top of the BOSU®. Squat down on top and jump up for a high jump shot.

2. High knee tucks and stick

Take three small bounces on top of the BOSU® dome, then on the fourth jump tuck up as high as you can and land, sticking and balancing on top of the dome without falling off.

3. Mogul/slalom ski

‘Ski’ with knees bent on top of the dome, jumping to transfer weight from corner to corner. Add challenge by increasing the speed and taking slightly bigger jumps.

For further information on all BOSU® products and certification courses in your area, contact QPEC Fitness Solutions on 1800 858 151 or visit www.qpec.com.au


Ken Baldwin, AssDipAppSc DipFacility & Rec Mgt
Ken is a BOSU® Integrated Balance master trainer. With twenty years experience in the fitness industry, Ken now runs QPEC Fitness Solutions, a company dedicated to continuing education through the provision of products and programs. BOSU® has just released the Complete Workout System featuring laminated charts detailing complete 15 and 30 minute workouts, a core workout, and circuits. It also includes instructional DVDs and a comprehensive manual.

• PP13-17