life: super powers not included

Better Balance: Train On A Bosu Ball

Bosu Ball
photo from bosu

Before my last round of physical therapy, I had never used a Bosu ball. I had seen them littering the gym’s weight room from time to time, but I assumed they were glorified steps. And I’m not a step aerobics kinda girl.

Halfway through my PT tour, my therapist brought out the Bosu and forced me to do all sorts of crazy things on it. I say crazy because any exercise that involves coordination is crazy to me. (Yep, I’m a clutz.) But improving my balance is one of the keys to my rehab, so I complied.

And wouldn’t ya know it was quite challenging. Instead of doing one-legged squats on a step, I did them on the Bosu and engaged all of my leg’s muscles—plus my core. I learned that exercises on the Bosu better emulate how our muscles are used in real life. Oh, and I also learned that doing anything on the Bosu is about 10 times harder.

When I joined my gym last summer I was excited to see they stockpiled Bosu balls. Maybe they are for a Bosu revolution. Maybe people at my gym are really unbalanced. I don’t know. Either way, I’ve been using it regularly, and I can see my balance improving. Sure, I still stub my toes constantly and walk into walls, yelling, “Who put that there!?” Baby steps.

Well, now that the whole New Year’s Resolution club has taken over my gym, I’ve been missing out on my Bosu activities. And then The Man did something crazy.

Bosu Balance System
My new present

He bought and built a Bosu balance training system for me. That’s right. I have my own Bosu ball and, um, holster. I can use the ball alone or I can lay it in a tray that connects to a handlebar (convenient for moves I’m not yet graceful at). The stand also has two resistance bands so I can lift while balancing. Easier said than done.

I’m not one to buy exercise equipment willy-nilly. (Not counting my yoga necessities or my foam roller, this is my first piece of real gym equipment, if you can call it that.) And, sure, The Man got this on major discount when Amazon.com was having one of those one-day sale thingies he loves.

In honor of my new home gym, here are two exercises you can do with a Bosu.

Bosu Step-Ups
Equipment: 1 Bosu ball and 1 medicine ball or dumbbell
Do: 30 steps per leg

  1. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell at waist level.
  2. With your right foot, step onto the center of the Bosu ball.
  3. As you step, bring your left knee toward your chest and raise your arms above your head, as if you were trying to touch the medicine ball to the ceiling.
  4. Move your left leg down to the floor, and bring the medicine ball back to its starting position.
  5. At the same time, bring right foot back to its starting position.
  6. Repeat for a count of 30 steps on the right leg. Switch and repeat with left leg.

Bosu Push-ups
Equipment: 1 Bosu Ball
Do: As many as you can without a) dying or b) collapsing and head-butting the Bosu’s hard backside.

  1. Flip your Bosu ball over, so the blue ball is resting on the floor.
  2. Grab each side of the ball’s platform with your hands, and get into push-up position.
  3. Maintain balance as you complete each push-up.

Do you own or use a Bosu ball? What’s your favorite exercise on it?

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25 comments

1 Estela @ Weekly Bite { 01.25.10 at 10:57 am }

I recently started going to Bosu ball classes at my gym.

What a workout! I was sore in places I didn’t know I could be sore!

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Tracey Reply:

Estela: I used to always see those classes at the gym, but I thought they were like step aerobics. Who knew just a little wobblyness could make you so sore!

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2 Gelareh @ Orange Truffle { 01.25.10 at 11:21 am }

From the picture you have posted it definately looks challenging. I haven’t noticed them at my gym.

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Tracey Reply:

Gelareh, yes challenging–but in a good way!

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3 Jill { 01.25.10 at 11:27 am }

I’m sure you’d be sad if I left this out: You never met a wall you didn’t like! I got my dad a bosu ball once- he loves it. He’s using it to help him balance for golf.

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Tracey Reply:

Jill–Really, it’s “I never met a doorway I didn’t like.” For some reason, klutzes like me find those even trickier.

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4 FoodFitnessFreshair { 01.25.10 at 11:41 am }

Bosu balls definitely do make exercises ten time harder! (Referring to comment above) I’ve never seen a bosu ball class at the gym…That sounds great though!

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Tracey Reply:

FoodFitnessFreshair–It could be due to demand, or the instructors’ skills. I remember that a friend of mine in college taught a Bosu class. She was ahead of her time, I guess!

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5 Sagan { 01.25.10 at 12:31 pm }

My friend/workout buddy taught me the bosu push up one time- SUPER hard! I loved it! I’m thinking about investing in one to have at my house… but until then, I’ll have fun with the one at the gym.

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Tracey Reply:

Sagan, you’re my hero. You actually did a Bosu push-up without killing yourself? Props to you.

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6 Ameena { 01.25.10 at 1:26 pm }

What a great gift! I have never used a bosu but I hear they are super challenging. I really want to try one!

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7 Ameena { 01.25.10 at 1:26 pm }

PS – About the blogger meet up…I found out from Lynn of The Actors Diet – she emailed me about it last December.

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Tracey Reply:

Ameena, thanks for the follow-up. Just wondering!

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8 Kelly { 01.25.10 at 2:37 pm }

Oh I LOVE the Bosu ball! Well I guess it would be more accurate to call it a love/hate relationship! haha! :) It always seems to make my butt hurt so good!

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Tracey Reply:

Kelly–It does make my butt hurt. But my glutes are really weak, so that’s a good thing!

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9 eatmovelove { 01.25.10 at 10:12 pm }

What a great gift for you lucky gal!! We had a BOSU @ the clinic I worked at – it was great for the few patients I had that were up for it (I had alot of older people unmotivated :( )…I used to like flipping it over so the flat side was facing up and do mini squats while haivng light support holding onto something. Or step-ups (lunges) while holding onto ski poles was good too. Enjoy and great post :)

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Tracey Reply:

Eatmovelove, those are some great tips for other Bosu exercises. Thanks!

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10 Fit Chick in the City { 01.25.10 at 10:26 pm }

I do own a BOSU. Although I’ve never seen a set up like the one you have. Maybe its because I’ve had mind for 5 years and its out of date. Enjoy your new toy!

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Tracey Reply:

Fit Chick in the City, I hadn’t seen one like mine before, either. I had only seen the ball at the gym. The extra doohickey is a nice add-on I think.

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11 Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) { 01.26.10 at 8:33 am }

I don’t have one and I’ve never used one! My gym has one…as in 1…so it’s always being used. Darnit!

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Tracey Reply:

Joanna, my gym only has one leg press. And that’s always being used. Waiting in line at the gym just feels wrong.

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12 Biz { 01.26.10 at 3:45 pm }

Sniff, sniff. I miss Bosu – my new gym only has equipment, no classes. I was a complete dork in the beginning, but after a month or so of classes, I could jump 5 feet in the air, do spins – its a hell of a work out.

Can your Man buy one for me? :D

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Tracey Reply:

Biz, thanks for stopping by! I’ll drop a few hints to The Man. ;)

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13 Struggler { 01.26.10 at 5:46 pm }

I’ve never tried one; I’m sure it’s much harder than it looks.
How nice of your guy to get it for you!

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Tracey Reply:

Struggler, he can be kind sometimes. :)

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