Better Balance for a Better Body
What does having a “better body” mean to you? Many of us tend to focus on losing fat and gaining muscle in order to look our best, but did you know that balance training is also an important and often overlooked component of a well-rounded fitness routine? Let’s face it, we are all active agers, and unfortunately, balance declines with age. If we don’t use it, we lose it. Balance refers to the ability to maintain equilibrium and stay in control of body position. If moving with greater ease is a goal, consider incorporating balance training into the mix. The good news is that you can focus on improving balance when training other fitness modalities so improving body composition and looking your best is attainable too. I love to multi-task! How about you?
The BOSU® Balance Trainer is an ideal tool to help you achieve this goal. The unstable surface provides opportunities to add stability challenges to your favorite exercises. There are endless options to modify movements so that you can progress at your own rate, and the Balance Trainer allows you to work in varied body positions as well. Trust me, you will never be bored when training with the BOSU® Balance Trainer! Check out this simple and fun workout to incorporate balance training into your fitness routine!
Cycle through the following five exercises 3 times, for 1 minute per exercise:
Exercise 1 – Rear Lunge
Begin standing on top of the dome. Step back with the right (R) foot and lower into a lunge, bending the knees about 90 degrees. Return to standing. Repeat left (L).
Regression: Reduce range of motion.
Progression: Bring the rear leg knee down to touch the dome and add a plyometric jump between sides.
Exercise 2 – Hip Hinge
Start kneeling on top of the dome with arms overhead. Hinge from the hips and bring the hands to the floor. Return to start position.
Regression: Flex the feet and keep the toes on the floor.
Progression: Lift the toes off the floor or hold a hand weight for added resistance.
Exercise 3 – Stand to V-Sit
Begin standing in front of the Balance Trainer. Squat and lower to a seated position on the dome. Return to standing position. After a few repetitions, progress to a V-Sit position by leaning back slightly with an extended spine and lifting the arms overhead.
Regression: Keep arms at shoulder height.
Progression: Add a jump when returning to standing position.
Exercise 4 – Push-Up Squat Walk
Turn the Balance Trainer platform side up. Start in plank position with hands on the platform. Perform a push-up. Walk the R foot forward to one side of the dome, then repeat on the left, to squat position. Step back to plank position. Repeat the push-up and squat walk on other side.
Regression: Push-up with knees on the floor.
Progression: Jump into the squat position.
Exercise 5 – Bridge Lift Rock
Turn the Balance Trainer platform side up. Begin in supine position with knees bent and heels on the platform. Lift the hips into bridge position and rock the Balance Trainer right and then left. Return to center and lower the hips. Repeat, tilting to the opposite side on the first tilt.
Regression: Reduce range of motion.
Progression: Lift the arms off the floor to increase stability challenge.
Melissa Weigelt, MS, is a BOSU® Master Trainer and owner at Flow Fitness Training, where she develops and presents a variety of continuing education programs for fitness instructors.
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