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BOSU Ball Exercises

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Anyone out there use a BOSU ball for balance and fitness. I just got one and wondered what great exercises that you have found that really work on balance and fitness. :
post #2 of 13
Bosu Rules!! Have you checked the exercises from their website:

One of the cool things about Bosu is that when the round side is up, you can integrate strength and balance, with the platform side up, you have a more extreme balance toy, similar to a wobble board.

For training reaction time, have someone throw a medicne ball to you as you stand on it! Also, check out the ab training:

Pertinent for skiers is lateral strength and stability. People are usually so weak in their external obliques, that theyfind side bends on the stability ball close to impossible. On the Bosu, you can lie on your side, with your hip touching the side of the bosu. Supporting arm extended, ear resting on arm, top arm extended, palm facing down, arm next to ear. Knees are bent, inner legs contracted to engage deep core muscles.

Inhale to prepare. Exhale, draw navel to spine. Iniate action from the lowest point of your waist, NOT form any lateral movement of your neck. Do a side bend, allowing the top hand to touch the top hip. shoulder should line up with hips, neck should line up with spine, as opposed to being foward. Inhale return, reach top arm back over head.
post #3 of 13
I've had the Bosu for just a couple months and have been using the video and booklet that came with for exercises. The video routine is good for my slow feet. It looks kind of easy, but I find it quite challenging.

It's also fun for variety from my usual gym routine.
post #4 of 13
Just got the BOSU - that thing is pretty sweet! I'm surprised how veristal it is. Planning on doing more core strength an popreoceptor work this year.

Pardon my spellin...
post #5 of 13
So, now that we are in the middle of ski season, what do you think? So far, this may have been one of the most helpful toys for me, especially when you turn it upside down.

Any other comments, for, against or neutral?
post #6 of 13
BOSU balls are squishy and fun, kind of like inflatable women. The problem is, they're completely worthless if you're trying to do any of the exercises under any kind of load. When you ski, or perform most sports, you need balance under a load.

If you're already getting sufficient amounts of strength training and cardio, then sure hop on a BOSU ball for a little bit. But, they absolutely should not be used as a replacement for either of those two.

If you don't care about getting stronger or fitter, then go ahead and do all of your exercises on one of those. Lord knows everybody in the whistler gym does.
post #7 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by bdc88:

"If you're already getting sufficient amounts of strength training and cardio, then sure hop on a BOSU ball for a little bit. But, they absolutely should not be used as a replacement for either of those two."

I agree with bdc88 that strength training and cardio are the fundamental base of training so does flexibility and agility. The last point agility is the ability to move quickly in balance. To move quickly you need power, which is the ablility to apply strength in the shortest time possible but you also need to remain in balance. It reach a point where you need to integrate that new strength in an unstable environnment. Those balance toys will be more useful for backcountry skiers that need fine proprioception than strength. The balance ball and the BOSU help a great deal my skiing in powder where you need to control pressure more finely than on ice. On the other end I found that it did not significantly improve my performance on the groom or in the race course where balance is important but not as much as power. It is useful to develop your legs but it is not the guy that squat the most that is the best skier. Strength give you injury protection and help you to get out of sticky situation but it will not develop those finely tune body awareness that balance toys will give you. People that do only balance training foul themselves but people that do only strength are missing something.
post #8 of 13
Hi Frenchie! I would never advocate anyone doing balance, or any form of training exclusively. If you use the search feature, we have lots of threads on strength training, periodization. agility, deceleration, cardio etc.

But it has been my experience that people will often emphasize the fitness areas in which they are strongest, whilst neglecting their weakest link. I found that out the hard way when I first learned to
ski. I was incredibly strong, with a high levle of aerobic endurance. But do to some chronic ankle sprains as a kid, as well as some strange physiological stuff that I won't go into, my balance skills were a mess.

They have improved enormously in the last few years, but I still have to remember not to put more power into a a turn than I need.
post #9 of 13
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Hi Frenchie! I would never advocate anyone doing balance, or any form of training exclusively. If you use the search feature, we have lots of threads on strength training, periodization. agility, deceleration, cardio etc.
Hi Lisamarie, I was not referring to you when I was talking about exercising exclusively on balance apparel but to the peoples that bcd88 mentionned at Whistler who do everything exclusively on the BOSU. I noticed that there is a lot of good info on this site and you are contributing a great deal to it. Thanks
post #10 of 13
yeah, I know what you mean! Once something becomes a fad, people think its the only thing they need to do! :
post #11 of 13
That was a sort of cyrptic reply, since I was running off to work.
My favorite way to train, that I've mentioned a few times, is to do a few sets of traditional hard core training with heavier weight, then work the same muscle group with a lighter load.

In general, you will need to use a lighter weight on most balance toys. The only exception may be the Core Board, which does not impose too much of a stability challenge.

Although you will probably will not be able to use the same weight for balance and traditional exercises, there should not, in most cases be a dramatic differentiation between how much you can lift in a stable environment and how much you can lift in a stability challenged environment.

Juan Carlos Santanna, one of the less "cultish" educators in the
"functional training" {btw, very overused term} movement, reports that some body builders are actually able to lift more weight after they master some stability exercises. Makes sense. part of being stronger is being grounded.

As far as Bosu goes, I found that using it round side up, has been really helpful for ankle stability, and using it round side down, has been useful for fore/aft and lateral stability.

I discovered this in Utah, where i was finally able to get my skis up on edge, as much as I have wanted to.

One thing I did point out at the Academy, BTW, is there is a finite limit as to how much your training exercises will improve your actual skill. Sure, they can be helpful, but miracles won't happen unless you are putting in the miles on the the slopes.

The way I judge the effectiveness of a program, is not only by how much it improves your skill in that sport, but how much it lessens the chance of a sport related injury.
post #12 of 13
I love the Bosu. Between that and the stability ball, I'm sure my balance has improved. The "side lifts" that LM referred to (either on Bosu or the ball) have definitely made a difference.

Lisamarie, what kind of things do you do on the Bosu flat side up? Other than pushups, I'm not sure I can do anything more demanding.

As has been mentioned, this is in addition to, not instead of, cardio and other strength training (although these toys can be used very effectively for strength). Tough to work it all in!
post #13 of 13
The first step is to just get comfortable standing on the darn thing, flat side up. Then you can practice some of the fore/aft exercises we did as on snow warm up in Utah. Shift your weight towards your toes, and then back into your heels.

Then work on lateral stability. Assume a satnce width that corresponds to your ski stance. Roll the soles of your feet {as Ydnar would say} To the right and left. Careful not to exaggerate. When on snow, you have ski boots protecting your ankles.

You can also practice squats when the bosu is in flat side up position. On your last rep, hold a tucked position. Then, do a fore/aft balance shift, and a lateral balance shift.
Find where the ball centers, then, exyend the legs an inch, extend and flex keep it small extend and flec until OUCH!

for visual acuity and reaction time, have someone toss a ball to you while standing on the board. You can also play tug of war, if you have one of those supper strrong, super long, elastic tubes!\

have fun!
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