At first glance, this is a strange-looking piece of kit that looks like an oversized exercise ball that’s been cut in half and glued to a black plastic manhole cover. However, it remains one of the best pieces of equipment you can use to improve the fundamental element of all athletic and everyday movement: balance.
Take it further, and the Bosu becomes an extremely efficient all-round fitness tool. If you want to boost your cardio, strength and endurance in one workout, the following Bosu program will help you do just that. Here are the 5 exercises for you to do at home:
- Bosu - Superman
- Bosu - Shuffle Run
- Bosu - Lunges
- Bosu - Lateral Crunches
- Bosu - Mountain Climber Push Ups
Bosu - Superman
Execution: Lie belly down on the Bosu in a push-up position, with your abdominals resting on the centre of the half-ball. Perform one push-up, then lower yourself back down. As soon as your abdominals are resting on the half-ball, simultaneously raise your hands and feet off the floor as high as they can go, as if assuming the position of a free-falling parachutist. Hold them there for two seconds, then lower back down into the push-up position. Repeat for desired number of reps or until failure.
Muscle groups targeted: erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest
Bosu - Shuffle Run
Execution: Stand to the right of the Bosu and adopt a stance as if you are about to sprint. Side-step your left foot onto the centre of the half-ball, followed by your right foot. The instant your right foot lands on the half-ball, step your left foot off to the floor to the left of the Bosu, and follow with your right, so the entire sequence of steps is performed in one quick action. Repeat the opposite way, this time leading with the right foot. Do the shuffle runs continuously for set periods of time to improve your dynamic cardio.
Muscle groups targeted: legs, buttocks, torso.
Bosu - Lunges
Execution: Stand feet shoulder width apart with the Bosu in front of you. Step your left foot forward so that it lands on the centre of the half-ball and your left leg bends 90-degrees – don’t allow your knee to go further than the tips of your toes. From there, push your left foot off the Bosu and land it down behind you so that now your right leg bends 90-degrees, again ensuring your right knee goes no further than the toes of your right foot. Push the left foot off the floor and land it down on the centre of the half-ball, then bring it back to standing parallel with your right foot. Repeat with the right foot/leg. The exercise can be performed slowly to build strength and coordination, or quickly to build dynamic cardio.
Muscle groups targeted: quadriceps, buttocks, thighs.
Bosu - Lateral Crunches
Execution: Lay with you left side resting on the Bosu, so that the middle of your torso is in line with the centre of the half-ball. Spread your feet out in front of each other for stability, if required, and put your hands behind your head, so that your left elbow is resting on the floor. Now bend up sideways, so that your left elbow is raised off the floor as high as it can go. Hold for a second, then slowly lower to the floor. Repeat for desired number of reps or until failure, then switch to the right side of your body. The exercise can be varied by stretching your upper arm out over your head as you bring the lower elbow back down the floor.
Muscle groups targeted: obliques, abdominals.
Bosu - Mountain Climber Push Ups
Execution: Turn the Bosu over so that the half-ball side is in contact with the ground and the black plastic plate faces upwards. Grip the handles on either side of the plate and assume the push-up position. Slowly lower your chest to the plate so that your arms bend 90-degrees, then as you push back up bring your right foot off the floor and swing your right knee as far forwards as it can go. Return your right foot to the floor behind you, lower your chest back down to the plate, then push back up and this time swing your left knee forwards. Perform slowly to increase your strength, or quickly to boost your cardio endurance.
Muscle groups targeted: abdominals, back, buttocks, legs, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest.