Unidentified workout object: that’s what a Bosu Ball is often seen as. You’ve probably seen these strange, half-balls before in the gym, lurking over in a corner near their fully-formed relatives. Why would a half-ball be in a gym, and how can it possibly be used to work out?
That half-ball is actually a powerful workout tool. It can be used with scores of exercises that you are already familiar with, like push-ups, planks, squats, and crunches. It’s a perfect way to mix up the gym routine and to give the body an extra challenge. One half of the Bosu Ball is half of a rubber ball, and the other half is a hard, flat piece of plastic. It’s used to enhance balance as well as challenge muscles. It can be used with either the flat or the round side facing up, depending on the specific exercise being done.
New Kid on the Block
Occasionally, a new piece of exercise equipment comes onto the market that actually works. The Bosu Ball is one of those instances where something new was actually invented in fitness!
In 1999, fitness pioneer David Weck released the BOSU Balance Trainer, known now as the Bosu Ball. It just a couple of decades, it’s become a staple piece of equipment at gyms all over the world. That’s impressive for something that is so totally new! The name is an acronym that means “Both Sides Utilized.” Obviously, that means that both the round side and the flat side are meant to be part of fitness training.
More than Halfway There
The Bosu Ball has many benefits, and it works for people of all ability levels, including those who are working back from injuries.
Balance is an obvious area that the Bosu Ball improves. Using this equipment forces the use of the core muscles, especially in exercises where they were not the focus previously. Greater coordination is required when using this piece of equipment as well, as the body has to compensate for the moving of the ball side of the equipment.
Flexibility is another area of improvement with the Bosu Ball. The dome is a great support for the back and abs to stretch out, much like a stability ball. However, because the Bosu Ball is more stable than a stability ball, it can be used to improve flexibility in individuals who need it. It can also be used to stretch the lower body muscles like the calves and hamstrings.
What to Pursue with the Bosu
Just about any exercise can be modified to be used with the Bosu Ball. Squats, Push-Ups, Crunches, and even Deadlifts can be done in conjunction with the ball.
Workout variety is important. Getting bored at the gym is a recipe for missing workouts, and no one needs to be faced with that. For anyone who has never worked with this piece of equipment before, it’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer or take a class on it. Getting used to it can be a challenge! It’s a fun challenge though, and a great way to mix things up.