A BOSU ball looks like a ball cut in half with one side flat and the other side shaped into a dome. Did you know that BOSU stands for “Both Sides Up”? That is because the exercise instrument can be used with either side up. When the flat side is up, the ball provides instability for balance training. Meanwhile, when the dome shaped side is up, it provides instability for various strengthening, core and cardiovascular exercises. Looking for ways to use the BOSU ball? Here are 7 exercises you can do with a BOSU ball.
1. Forearm Plank
The forearm plank targets the core muscles, shoulders and the lower body. Position the BOSU ball with the dome up. Assume a plank position with both elbows resting on top of the dome and in 90 degree angle with the shoulders. Keep head, torso and lower extremities in straight line. Contract your abs and buttocks. Hold position for one minute.
2. Side Plank
Lie on your right side with your right forearm resting on the dome. Lift your body up using your right forearm. Keep your head, body and feet in a straight line. Make sure to contract your abs and buttocks. Hold position for 30 seconds and then switch to the other side.
1. BOSU Sit Ups
Just like the classic sit up, lie on the floor with the ball positioned at the arch of your lower back and both knees bent. You upper body should be slightly dipping towards the floor. Put your hands at the back of your neck and pull up your body just enough for your shoulder blades to lift off the ball. Repeat 10 times.
1. BOSU Ball Push Ups
Position the ball with flat side up. Starting position should be the plank position. Grip the sides of the ball firmly while keeping elbows straight. Slowly perform a push up. It will target your core, shoulders, arms and chest. Do 10 repetitions.
1. Mountain Climber
This exercise actually works not only the legs but also the shoulders and the core muscles. Position the ball with flat side up. Assume the plank position while both hands are gripping the sides of the ball. Keep elbows straight. Quickly bring one leg forward, alternating with the other leg. The movement should be similar to running in place, like climbing a steep mountain. Do as many repetitions as you can for one minute.
Arm and Back Exercises
1. BOSU Back Extension
Assume a prone position with both feet against the wall. The ball with its dome shape up should be under your hips. Thighs should be resting against the ball while the knees are on the floor. Put both arms above your head. Pull your upper body up just enough to lift stomach off the ball. Do 10 repetitions.
1. Burpee Jump
Start in a squat position with the ball in front of you, dome part up. Rest both hands on the dome. Push down with your hands and jump up into the dome. Jump off and squat again, back to the starting position. Do 12 to 15 repetitions.
Photo credit: isapisa on Flickr