Me & my BOSU

Posted on May 14, 2012


I continue to be obsessed with the BOSU ball.  Such a great toy to play with in the gym and a piece of equipment that you can’t ever outgrow … you can always improve and there’s so much you can do with it. Every time I’ve been out of town, I look forward to getting back into my balancing acts and last week was no different.

I am 100% convinced that the BOSU has had a huge effect on my balance, stability and core strength … all of which are pretty instrumental in being a good trail runner. I’m also convinced it’s a pretty kick ass tool for sculpting super sexy abs …

So … today’s post = a repeat of past material about the BOSU for anyone who missed it the first time round. 

Try it … master it … but be warned … it becomes strangely addictive.  The other morning, despite having been out wining and dining till the very small hours, I still popped along to Fitness First for my BOSU fix and still spent the rest of the day on a balance high after having spent a good few minutes, perfectly poised in dancer’s pose …

Most runners have laughably weak glutes and many have comical core strength to match.  I unfortunately suffer from both and according to my physio, every strain and pain boils down to one or the other.

So when Mark, my PT at Fitness First, told me at our initial consultation that he’d be devising me a plan that strengthened both, I smiled sweetly on the outside, grimaced on the inside and then secretly wondered whether I’d get away with my usual of not engaging either … and instead overcompensating with my super strong pins.

I’m a typical female after all, which some might argue make us mistresses of deception by definition!

But no sooner had this plan been hatched was it utterly foiled. Why?  Because when we met again yesterday morning, Mark had decided to put me through my paces on a BOSU.  I’m obviously familiar with the BOSU ball but if truth be known, I’ve never really used one. It turns out it’s a pretty ab fab piece of equipment and there’s simply no hiding behind super strong quads as just standing up on the thing, requires engagement of the abs and buns of epic proportions.

The concentration required to complete my lateral raises, over head lifts and some other ‘fun’ stuff with a medicine ball even shut me up for a few minutes. (Mark is clearly smarter that I’d given him credit for!) and having since done some reading about the humble BOSU, I now feel truly delighted that we’ve been brought together.

If you have yet to incorporate BOSU into your schedule, here’s what you should know:

  • BOSU is an acronym for Both Sides Up or Both Sides Utilised
  • It basically looks like a Swiss ball that’s been cut in half and has a platform on the bottom. You can use the dome side-up for cardio exercises and core moves or you can turn it over and use the platform side for upper body exercises like push-ups
  • From squats and curls to overhead presses and lateral raises, all become much harder because you need to engage your core that much more

The BOSU can be used super effectively for:

  • Cardio: Use it for short bursts of cardio such as hops, jumps, step-ups, leaps and lunges
  • Strength training: Add a whole new challenge to push-ups. You can even use it as a weight bench to add a balance challenge during traditional weight work
  • Flexibility: Stand or kneel on the dome while doing traditional stretches to add more range of motion
  • Sports Conditioning: Use it to perform sports drills, like jumping or plyometric moves, to increase performance and agility
  • Fab Abs: Target the core muscles like you wouldn’t believe

It’s pretty clear to me already that the BOSU is great for building balance and for strengthening stability. Over time, I suspect it might just become responsible for enhancing my running form and improving my overall performance.

And if it also sees the return of the wash-board abs I once had adorned with sparkly bling, then I really will be one  satisfied BOSU babe.

To read more about my love for the BOSU, click here

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