Training the Upper Body, Lower Body, and Core on the Bosu Balance Trainer

Bosu Ball

I am sure that many of you are familiar with the Bosu Balance trainer device. It has been around for a few years now and is one of those products that can be useful for rehabilitation, injury prevention, and even simple physical fitness programs. I must admit I loved the idea of the Bosu at first glance and have been discovering new ways to integrate it into my rehabilitation and injury prevention programs. I am sure that I am not alone when I say, “why didn’t I think of that?!?” The benefits of a physioball and an unstable platform together in one…to quote those two lovable animated Guinness Beer characters, “brilliant!”

Benefits of a Bosu:

  • Can be used for rehabilitation and injury prevention
  • Can be used for upper extremity, lower extremity, and core exercises
  • Can be used to work on balance, dynamic stability, and neuromuscular control
  • Can alter the level of difficulty – inflate or deflate air
  • Can alternate from a flat/smooth surface to a round/unstable surface
  • It is very affordable! Every clinic, training room, and weight room can have one! I have 3 in the clinic that I currently use.

I must admit that the exercises in the video are mostly extreme, but they do demonstrate some of the versatility of the Bosu. Below are some ways that I use the Bosu.

Training the Upper Body on the Bosu Balance Trainer

I use both sides of the Bosu for upper extremity training. With the flat surface up, the Bosu provides and excellent surface for push-ups and two-hand static stabilization drills.

I am a fan of push-ups on an unstable surface, such as a medicine ball or Bosu. I would say most of our patients and athletes have tight and overdeveloped anterior musculature (i.e. pecs). I don’t put a lot of emphasis on pectoralis strengthening, but performing a push-up on an unstable surface is great exercise to emphasize strength and dynamic stability. I use the unstable surface of the Bosu to perform single-hand closed kinetic chain drills to enhance balance and neuromuscular control. You can have the patient maintain contact with the Bosu as you perform rhythmic stabilizations and perturbations.

Training the Lower Body on the Bosu Balance Trainer

Bosu Lower BodyThe exercises performed while standing on the flat surface of the Bosu are pretty much a no-brainer, balance drills and mini-squats can easily be performed. However, flip the Bosu over and perform exercises such as front lunges onto the Bosu, step-ups, and stick lunges onto to the Bosu and you have whole new set of strengthening exercises that incorporate an unstable surface. Simple and effective.

Training the Core on the Bosu Balance Trainer

Bosu CoreMost of the core exercises that can be performed on a Bosu are the same familiar exercises we have been performing on a physioball for years, but a key advantage of the Bosu is the ability to firmly set the Bosu on the floor and perform drills with lower extremity movement. Try that on a physioball! This is a great way to train the core as it requires core stability with superimposed upper and lower extremity movements, training the core in a way that simulated how we use the core during functional activities.Have a unique exercise you perform using the Bosu, post your comments and let us know!

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