Monday, 3 August 2015

Working Both Sides Up : BOSU Workout

The BOSU is an increasingly popular piece of kit for both gym and home workouts. BOSU stands for Both Sides Up and is in effect half a Swiss ball mounted on a sturdy base. This makes it infinitely easier to store but still has a multitude of uses.

As the name suggests you can use the BOSU either stood on it's hard base or balanced on the soft inflated part. Here's a set of eight exercises that will work the whole body, challenge your balance and raise the heart rate. Try 2-3 rounds of 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest on each exercise.

Toe Taps

With the BOSU on it's hard base, carefully take your start position balanced on the ball. Keeping the supporting knee soft (slightly bent), core tight and taking care with your balance, tap one toe out and to the floor. Come back to your start position and repeat with the other leg.



Burpee

With the BOSU hard side up, assume a plank or press up starting position gripping the sides of the base. Jump the feet in towards your hands then, picking up the BOSU, come up to standing and raise the BOSU over head. Place the BOSU back on the floor and jump the feet back to your starting position. You can perform a press up if you wish before repeating.

Press Ups

With the BOSU hard side up, grip the sides of the base and perform a press up. Due to the added instability this will work your arms and core more than a regular press up.

Lunges

There are two options for lunges using the BOSU, soft side up. Place either your front or back foot on the ball and perform a lunge as usual. If you are placing your front foot on the BOSU, you can perform alternate lunges, but if you are placing your back foot on the BOSU, perform all your reps on one leg first, before changing.

Mountain Climbers

With the BOSU hard side up, grip the sides of the base and assume a plank starting position. Keep your weight forwards, with shoulders over wrists. Engage the core muscles, keep the back flat and lift one knee up towards the elbow on the same side, return and repeat on the opposite side. Slow repeats will work the core more, while fast ones will give you more of a cardiovascular workout.

Glute Bridge

Lie on the floor with your bottom close to the BOSU which should be soft side up. Bend your knees, place your feet on the BOSU and lift your hips up. You can hold this position or pulse up and down. Keep the hips high with a straight line from knee to shoulder (unless pulsing). Rest hands on the floor palms up, to reduce the temptation to use your arms to make the move easier. To make this even harder straighten one leg and perform the move. Be sure to repeat on the other side.

Plank

With the BOSU soft side up, rest your toes on it and walk the hands out to extended plank position. Hold this, engaging the core, keeping the weight forwards and remembering to breathe!

Crunch

Take up position on the BOSU soft side up, lower back pressed into the ball, knees bent and feet firmly on the floor. Contract the core muscles as you raise the head and shoulders until you feel the muscles working. This is not a sit up, so the movement should be quite small. Don't pull on the neck and keep some space between the chest and the chin.
Do you use a BOSU as part of your workout routine? What's your favourite exercise?

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