Increasing the number of BOSUs used in a workout enables you to increase exercise options as well as the number of clients you train, making it particularly suited to partner or small group training, say Greg Sellar and Jay Blahnik.
The BOSU Balance Trainer has long established itself as a useful piece of kit in many personal trainers’ toolboxes. In fact, you’d be hard put to find a training facility that doesn’t have a BOSU or a trainer who hasn’t used one to provide additional dimensions to a client’s training.
So what comes next? Using multiple BOSU Balance Trainers is an option that many personal trainers have not employed with clients – which is a shame, because doing so manipulates the balance challenge for exercises and increases both the physical demands and fun factor – two great outcomes for your clients.
Why use multiple BOSU Balance Trainers?
There are several good reasons for using more than one BOSU:
1. Easier exercises – can be made more challenging by increasing time or limbs on the dome
2. Challenging exercises – more user-friendly by providing cushioning/height
3. Improved positioning – allows the feet/hands to be positioned at a variety of distances apart
4. Encourages teamwork – opportunity for multiple people to drill together
5. Great for kids’ fitness – amplifying the fun!
Design and layout
Training with more than one BOSU lends itself to a variety of design and layout options:
Number-based – within a team training scenario you can train up to four clients at once using only two BOSU Balance Trainers. Number your team off and have them work in pairs, and as a team, for an assortment of drills.
Line-based – using several BOSUs placed in lines enables you to train any number of clients, and is perfect for group exercise drills either in the studio or outdoor spaces. Be aware, however, that you would need a good number of BOSU Balance Trainers to make these drills effective.
Shape-based – shapes can provide different angles, travelling directions and opportunities to change the balance base of support between exercises. Use shapes such as triangles, lines and squares that can be easily explained and understood quickly by any group.
BOSU balance challenge variables
Challenge can be increased or decreased via a range of variables:
Contact points – the easiest way to adjust the challenge in any balance exercise is to remove or add a point of contact. Doing so will result in progressions or regressions for any of the exercises using a BOSU Balance Trainer.
Visual effect – tracking the eyes and changing a person’s visual focus while they perform a move will add to the complexity.
Movement – any movement of the body while in a balanced pose on the BOSU Balance Trainer changes the centre of gravity and adds difficulty to a move.
External stimulus – the addition of weight (e.g. dumbbells, medicine balls), as well as forces that you, the trainer, can apply, will greatly affect the line of pull and positioning on the dome.
Combinations – changes in direction, and between movements, add complexity, and certain drills can also be used as auditory drills to check reaction times and accuracy.
It is important to consider the following points when using multiple BOSUs:
Provide appropriate progressions based upon client’s abilities – make sure everyone is confident enough on the BOSU Balance Trainer to allow them to move between domes with a relative amount of skill.
Do not assume BOSU Multiplicity drills are equivalent to their single counterparts – for example, squatting on one dome is harder than squatting across two domes due to the surface area and convex shape of the dome. Conversely, jumping a split lunge using one BOSU, with one foot on the floor, is much easier than jumping across two BOSU Balance Trainers.
Allow for adjustments in spacing based upon each client’s height/reach – when possible, pair clients up with partners of approximately the same height to keep transition time between partners to a minimum.
Be conscious of ‘down’ time during partner and team drills – some drills are ‘people dense and BOSU light’, meaning there is time spent waiting while one partner/team-mate performs. Prescribe an active recovery drill for this time or instruct clients to take the opportunity to view the mechanics and patterns of the drill.
Practice and prepare for set-up, transitions, logistics, interaction and spacing – prior to the session, make sure the space and setting is appropriate for the drills clients are about to perform.
BOSU Multiplicity drills
In the following bird’s eye diagrams the green figure represents the partner performing the move in the direction they face, and the orange figure represents the partner waiting to perform.
For more drills and details about the BOSU Balance Trainer, visit www.bosu.com and visit www.qpec.com.au for information on QPEC, the exclusive Australian distributors of BOSU products.
Greg is a Nike master trainer and recipient of the International Presenter of the Year Award from the International Fitness Showcase. He has instructor training and presenting experience in over 40 countries and is a member of the Global BOSU Development Team. He also works as a program developer for Total Gym and fitness fx and master trainer for brands including ShockWave, Fitness Industry Education and Physical Company.
Named Australian Fitness Network’s Presenter of the Year in 2012, Jay has previously been recognised by the US fitness industry as an ‘icon and innovator’. He is a Nike Athlete, a member of Gatorade’s G Series Fit Team, a BOSU Development Team member and the program developer for Schwinn Indoor Cycling.