BOSU refers mainly to a piece of fitness equipment, developed back in 1999, that has grown in popularity since, and offers an amazing array of benefits. BOSU expert Rob Glick, explains that BOSU stands for, “Both Sides Utilized,” and it is, “Used to create different levels of balance to enhance different sorts of challenges. Different levels of instability engages different muscle group and serves to enhance any exercise.”
The creator of the BOSU, David Weck, designed the workouts to help alleviate the inherent balance issues of working out with a stability ball. According to Weck, “Standing atop the BOSU dome you instantly become aware of your body’s subtle (or not so subtle) postural adjustments and reflexive reactions to imbalance. The uniquely “stable – unstable” surface enables you to train to your personal point of challenge and progress without incurring excessive risk.”
Clearly Weck was onto something, when he first attached half of a stability ball to a platform, as the popularity of BOSU has continued to increase since that point.
But, who is BOSU right for? According to Glick, “The BOSU is right for anybody and everybody – you can manipulate how stable or unstable it is based on how much air you put into it.”
For the more physically gifted, Glick sees a different set of benefits, “For athletes they need to be reactive and responsive which makes it a perfect tool for them.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Niki Richardson, “Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a weekend warrior, balance, stability and awareness are some of the most important components to physical fitness and athletic success. The BOSU Balance Trainer develops all of these qualities simultaneously.”
So there you have a quick intro, but let’s take a look at 5 of the important benefits of BOSU,
1 Improved Balance
This one goes without saying, as the beginning of every BOSU , is based on Balance, “In the beginning you can use something to hold onto until you can manage to use the tool,” Glick says, and points out that, “You can start slow, being on the ball for a short amount of time, and add time as your Balance improves.”
2 Improved Body Awareness
Glick says that as you improve your balance and can spend longer periods of your work out on the BOSU you will develop a greater sense of how your body works. Richardson agrees, “A BOSU ball helps you develop a greater awareness of your body’s flexibility and symmetry. It provides you the ability to be keenly aware of your body’s position at all times.”
That sort of body awareness is helpful in any and all athletic endeavours, and BOSU can help you build it.
3 Better Core Connection
BOSU is particularly beneficial for your Core, “Core exercises on it, you can position your body so that your either gravity assisted or resisted, as with any stability ball exercises, but with a base that is more solid,” says Glick.
That solid base allows you a greater range of movement without having to be concerned about your balance. Lisa M Wolfe adds, “The BOSU trainer improves the contractions of your muscles and your control over these contractions.”
4 Improved Coordination
The more time you put in on the BOSU, working on your stability and balance, the more your coordination is bound to improve, as they go hand in hand. Landon Dean points out, “Balance and coordination are key components of everyday life and are extremely crucial for those who want to excel in athletics as well as improve activities of daily living.”
When you think about it, the improved coordination could be the one of the most important benefits, as it is one of the keys to preventing injury when doing anything from working out, to competing to simply going about your daily life.
5 Improved Stability
Stability can be looked at as the third leg of a very important tripod. Adding improved stability to balance and coordination is one of the reasons that BOSU is an incredible training tool.
“There are many types of stability ranging from ankle to core as well as shoulder stability. There are numerous exercises that the BOSU ball could be used for to improve stabilizer muscles,” says Dean
Once you’ve upped your overall stability you can also progress with more difficult BOSU exercises which will add to your overall fitness.
One more benefit that Glick had to mention may, in fact, be the most important one, “You have to be completely connected and turned on, utilizing both the left and right side of your brain.”
Making BOSU, not just a full body workout, but a full mind work out too. So give BOSU a try and move towards a more fit, more balanced life.
You can check out our Profile on Rob Glick here.