Fitness benefits of the BOSU ball

2014February21_Bosu_AThe BOSU ball was invented by David Weck in 1999. Since then popularity has exploded and now this piece of equipment is a staple in many fitness centers throughout the world. BOSU is short for ‘both sides up’. It is used for balance training, core strengthening, and balance, as well as reflex improvement. The BOSU ball isn’t really a ball, it’s actually half of a ball on a board. The domed side is used for aerobic exercises and athletic drills, and when the BOSU ball is inverted, it becomes a tool for balance training that can be used by almost everybody.

There are many popular uses of the BOSU ball:

Balance training

When the BOSU ball is positioned with the domed side facing the floor, it becomes an unstable surface, perfect for balance training. Using gym equipment during workouts usually means that you are constantly pushing or pulling on handles. Using the BOSU ball however will force you to stabilize your muscles as you go through the routine. This will improve balance while working the core muscles throughout the entire routine. This is a great way to make workouts more challenging.

Many people find it hard to stand up while balancing on the ball. This is one of the reasons why the BOSU ball is also used during rehabilitation treatment. The ball is a great piece of rehab equipment to help those with ankle injuries, post-op hip surgery, and back pain.

Flexibility training

When used dome side up, the BOSU ball can help improve flexibility. It’s a great way to perform stretching exercises. Laying face-up or face-down on the dome will allow the user to relax and stretch at the same time. Turn the ball dome-side down and use this slanting position to stretch your calves. Using the ball while kneeling or standing will provide a more challenging routine along with enabling a range of motion to standard stretching exercises.

Strength training

Because the BOSU ball is unstable when it is used dome-side down, users are forced to use more muscles, thereby improving overall strength. The use of this unstable platform works muscles that are usually unused during typical workouts. Routine exercises such as lunges, squats, lifts, and push ups can also be more intense when the ball is used. This result is more challenging workouts. along with more effective strength training.

The challenges and added intensity to workouts while using the BOSU ball will make your body adapt to new stimuli and keep workouts from being repetitive. So, if you are looking to strengthen your muscles while adding a little variety to your workout, give the BOSU ball a try today, or contact us to learn more about how we use it in our classes.

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