Adding a BOSU ball to your regular workout can take that workout from routine to goal-achieving burns and gains. The BOSU ball is a simple, easy-to-use piece of equipment -- an exercise ball cut in half with a platform on one side. This design leads to countless possibilities when considering how to use this equipment.
What BOSU Does
The BOSU ball is meant to amplify or modify an exercise. By standing on the platform side of the BOSU, you force more muscles to fire to maintain your balance. By introducing muscles that are not normally used in the specific movement to the exercise, you end up with more calories burned and more muscles worked. You have also now started to train the coordination and communication between different muscles that may not otherwise interact.
Effects of BOSU on the Core
While exercising with a BOSU ball, you constantly make slight adjustments to balance and counterbalance your body. This means that at all times, at least some part of your body is working to stabilize itself. The benefit of this to you is that your core is directly affected by every other part of your body. When you move to stabilize your arm or your leg, your core tightens up. While you work out on the BOSU, you are getting a core workout in.
Safety is Paramount
Before getting on the BOSU, there are a few things everyone should consider. Ease in to any new workout when incorporating stability. A shift of weight could easily turn to a sprained ankle. Be practical when getting on and off the BOSU, it is designed to offer an unstable platform to increase your workout and it provides this instability well. Consider limiting your range of motion when you feel excessive shaking. Breaking through barriers safely is far better than getting the full range and an injury.
One of the best exercises to do on a BOSU is the squat. First, make sure that you are close enough to a wall that you will be able to reach out and stabilize yourself if necessary. Place the BOSU with the platform facing up. With one hand on the wall for stability, place one foot in the center of the platform, bring the other behind it and work your way to a hip-width stance with your weight evenly distributed so you are balanced. Next bend your ankles, knees and hips almost simultaneously, like you were going to sit back in to a chair. Only go as far down as you can control. Stand all the way back up and repeat. Challenge yourself each time by pushing the depth of your squat. Add resistance with weight as you feel this becoming easier. This is an easy exercise for your thighs, calves, glutes and core.