| You may have seen them in the gym: half of a large rubber ball|
that’s flat on one side. They’re often blue in color and look
like a gigantic outtie belly button. “What are those things?”
you wonder. Well they’re BOSU balls (or balance trainers). It’s
the latest rave to hit fitness centers across America.
BOSU is an acronym that stands for "Both Sides Up". You can use
the balls, also referred to as trainers, or balance trainers, on
either side. Whether the rounded bouncy dome part is up or the
flat 25 inch platform side is up, you’ll get different types of
This cross-training fitness invention has its origins in the
field of medicine, balance, functional and sports specific
training. It offers a different means to make exercise more
appealing and effective for average people, fitness fanatics and
highly trained athletes.
So what do you do with it? You can walk, run, step, hop, jump and
leap on the BOSU trainer. You can work it at an easy steady
rate-pace that can be maintained for long periods or push the
intensity with anaerobic intervals. Or do some stretching on it.
Active stretches use the muscles of the body to move a body part
whereas passive stretching uses gravity or an outside force to
put stretch-tension on the target muscle(s). While standing or
kneeling on the dome, you can move the upper body lower, higher,
to the sides or by reaching for and picking up cards from various
locations on the floor, or by touching and/or relocating cones
that have been placed in close proximity to the dome. It’s great
for working your trunk too. Maintaining spinal alignment is
important to low back health and sports performance.
Many sports teams use BOSU training too. Says Bennie Wylie,
Assistant Strength Coach of the Dallas Cowboys "I implement the
BOSU trainer during our off-season program for core strength
training and rehabilitation of ankle and knee problems. It is a
great piece of equipment and gives us an important extra
dimension to our overall fitness program. Almost all of the
players use the BOSU trainer in some fashion on a regular
So the next time you overhear a conversation in the grocery store
or your friend tells you that she’s going to the 5:30 p.m. BOSU
class at the Y, you’ll know what they’re talking about. Better
yet, give it a try yourself!
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.
About the Author
Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News
where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on
many medical, health and lifestyle topics.
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