BOSU balls (“both sides up”) are great for challenging your stability and training your muscles to be better able to handle the unexpected wobbles you come across in life, especially after an injury.
These are basically stability balls that have been cut in half, with a rigid plastic platform attached to the edge of the rubber hemisphere to create a balance trainer that allows you to stand either on the rubbery half-ball or the flat side.
They’re best for body weight exercises that allow you to have your hands free or your feet on the floor to steady yourself, though using light dumbbells while standing on the round side should be fine.
Here are some of the ways you can safely use the BOSU ball to build your balance:
- Plank — Place the ball on its round side on the floor. Get onto your knees and grab each side of the platform in the middle, then raise your knees and get into a strong plank position, keeping your back straight and your gaze between your hands. Hold pose for 30 seconds. This can easily be extended into push-ups if you’re in the mood.
- Mountain climber — Again working with the round side of the ball on the floor get into plank position, then bring one knee up to your chest. Jump and switch your legs and continue for at least 30 seconds. Go slowly at first, then pick up speed as your stability builds.
- Squats — Put the BOSU down with the flat side on the floor, then carefully step onto the round side and find a stable stance. Then bend your knees and get into a squatting position before standing back up and repeat for at least 30 seconds. Again, take it slowly at first.
- BOSU ball hops — A good cardio maneuver, this one is simply touching one foot to the round side of the ball as it lies on the floor, then hopping over to switch to the other foot. The unstable base forces you to depend more on the foot that’s on the ground, where your weight should be anyway.
Photo: Blushing Cactus Photography