It is that time of the month again… our fitness post!! I don’t know about you, but I get bored doing the same workout all the time. I like to have as much variety as possible. So every month during our fitness posts I will do my best to always share something new. Whether that is a new type of exercise, work out circuit, or information on new equipment. Today’s post is featuring another piece of exercise equipment. Our October fitness post was on exercise balls (love them!) and this month I thought we would feature the Bosu Ball. They are very similar, but have their own purposes so I thought the two would go nicely together:-)
I love using the Bosu ball; it is great for a little variety in your workouts. As you can see in the picture, a bosu ball is an exercise ball cut in half. There is a flat platform on one side and a rounded semi-circle on the other. The main two functions of the Bosu ball, in my opinion, are to improve balance (and as an added bonus you get a good core workout as well) or to take your workout to a slightly more advanced level. What is even better is that these two are usually accomplished at the same time!
Sadly, as much as I love the Bosu ball, they are rather expensive, the average starting at $100. I just got one for my birthday and it makes me soo happy! However I realize they are outside of the average at home gym budget. If you have access to a gym that provides them I would definitely take advantage of it!
(This is not my image.)
Fitness is such a vital part of living a healthy life and feeling your best. (Even on those days when working out is the last thing we want to do.) To get you started here is a sampling of exercises you can do with the Bosu ball.
Flat side up
Squats: For a little added variety you can hold the squat position or pulse the squat position.
Pushups: Take push up or plank position with your hands on the flat portion of the ball. You can do these with your knees on the ground in order to make it a little easier.
Knee pull-ins: This move is done by taking plank position with your hands on the flat side of the ball, lifting one leg off the ground, pulling your knee toward your chest and then finally extending the leg back. You alternate between both legs. ** If you want to engage your obliques as well you can add a twist to it by pulling your knee to the opposite side of the ball instead of coming to the center.
Calf raises: This will really work on your balancing- please be careful not to injure yourself!
Free weights: Bicep curls, tricep lifts, shoulder press, lateral raise. For each of these stand with you feet about hip length apart and your knees slightly bent. For a harder workout sink into squat position, because the lower you go the hard your body is working!
Butt Crunches: Lie down with your back on the ground and your feet on the flat platform of the Bosu ball, push your hips towards the ceiling and then release back to the ground. You can alternate doing fast and slow repetition or for an even harder crunch lift one leg straight up in the air balancing and pushing upward with only one leg. It will burn, but in the best way possible!
Rounded side up
Crunch: Start with your back against the rounded portion of the ball and your feet on the ground. You can put your hands behind your neck for support (just don’t pull on your neck- make your abs do the pulling:-) or cross your arms across your chest as you raise your chest towards the ceiling and come into a seated position.
V-sit: You are going to balance on your tailbone on the rounded portion of the ball and then extend your body out, trying to make yourself as straight as possible. From there, contract your body pulling your knees and your chest towards one another and then release and lengthen your body out again.
Bicycle: You will start in the same position, except your hands with be behind your neck. Pull the right elbow and the left knee towards one another, extend out and pull the left elbow towards the right knee.
Power lunges: Start with your right leg on the rounded dome of the ball, lunge down and as you push up out of the lunge, jump and switch your legs so when you land you will have your left leg on the dome and be ready to lunge down again.
***Remember the most important thing is to keep the proper form. Never try to do something that is beyond your current skill level; it’s not worth risking an injury.