The BOSU balance trainers are versatile exercise tools that are shaped like half-circles, featuring a curved side and a flat side. You can stand, sit, lie or lean on the device, which produces different challenges, depending on whether you put the flat or the curved side on the floor. The BOSU Pro is the company's highest-end device, although it's really not much different than BOSU's basic home version.
Basic and Pro Specifications
The first difference you'll see between the BOSU Pro and the standard home model is the color. The basic version is a lighter blue, and the Pro is a darker silver-blue. The basic model has a black base with six rubber feet to prevent it from slipping on the floor. The Pro version's gray base is smooth but made from a non-skid material that won't mark your floor. Both devices are 25 to 26 inches in diameter, depending on the model year -- the 2013 versions are 26 inches -- and 12 inches high when the domes are fully inflated. Both versions feature a weight limit of 300 pounds.
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The Durable Pro
The main substantive difference between the Pro and basic versions involves durability, as the BOSU Pro features a tougher exterior. NASM-certified trainer Michael Behnken calls the BOSU Pro "virtually indestructible," due in large part to its thicker bladder. The Pro version contains an 8-pound bladder, and the basic model's bladder weighs 6.5 pounds. That accounts for most of the weight difference between the models; the Pro version weighs 17 pounds overall, and the basic model weighs 2 pounds less.
Home Vs. Commercial Use
Mainly because of its superior durability, the Pro version is designed for commercial use. If you've seen a BOSU trainer in a gym, it was almost certainly the Pro model. As a result, the Pro version comes with a one-year warranty for either commercial or home use. The basic model has a 90-day warranty but only for use in a home; it's not warranted for commercial use. The home version also costs about $50 less than its commercial counterpart at the time of publication.
Exercises on the BOSU Trainer
You can do the same exercises on a basic BOSU trainer that you can perform on the Pro version. Use either one somewhat like a steadier version of a stability ball by placing the flat side down and doing exercises such as crunches, twists or obliques curls on top of the curved side. Work on your balance and core stability by standing on the curved side with one leg or by jumping on the curved side. For a real stability challenge, place the curved side down, put your hands on top of the flat side and do pushups. The company recommends that you do not stand on the ball with curved side on the floor, for safety reasons.