By: Elizabeth Lenart
Looking to spice up your BOSU® Balance Trainer routine? There are no two ways about it, using TWO Balance Trainers together can increase the level of difficulty, elevate your heart rate, and further challenge balance and coordination. Double it up this month with a few new BOSU® exercises!
Think carefully about the clients you will inspire with each exercise or drill. Contemplate why you have chosen the exercise and how you will cue it to ensure success. Will you progress or regress with speed, range of motion, or duration? How do you want it to feel? Smooth? Controlled? Explosive? Would you like the client to achieve a certain level of fatigue or breathlessness in a particular amount of time? There are always several ways to increase or decrease intensity so be deliberate with instructions and goals.
Think about spacing and safety considerations for group classes or personal training. Make sure the Balance Trainers are placed on a clean, dry, skid free surface. How close together or far apart the Balance Trainers are placed will depend on the exercise/drill AND height/length of each individual using them.
If your group fitness class has a 1:1 ratio of Balance Trainers to participants, create partner “teams” and have one partner perform the exercise or drill while the other coaches. This builds in effort and recovery intervals while creating a fun, social atmosphere.
Pair Up Lunge and Squat
- Place two BOSU® Balance Trainers side by side, making sure they are positioned so that you can perform a squat with one foot on each dome.
- Begin standing on one dome. Step back with your inside leg into a reverse lunge then stand up into a knee lift and hold for balance.
- Step side so you have one foot on each dome and perform a squat.
- As you come up from the squat, lift the opposite knee and step back into a reverse lunge with the inside leg.
****This drill is a great choice to introduce the use of two Balance Trainers together. Holding the hand or shoulder of a trainer or partner, can create a stable point of contact to assist with balance while lunging on and off.
Double Trouble Plank Straddle
- Begin in a plank position with hands on the front Balance Trainer dome and feet on the one behind you. Straddle down with one foot at a time to the floor outside the rim.
- Walk one foot at a time back on top. Now do the same with your arms on the front dome and floor.
- To progress, repeat the straddle down/up leg pattern and then lower, one arm at at time, onto your forearms and walk back up into a full plank position.
- For an additional challenge, progress to jumping into the straddle on the floor and then jumping back up onto the dome. Lower your body back down to the forearms, drive hips forward and “pop” back up to full plank.
****Make sure to keep your shoulders stabilized and maintain solid core engagement throughout.
Twice as Nice Plank Balance
- Begin in a plank position with hands on one Balance Trainer dome and feet on the other. Pull one knee into the chest, then extend your leg back and place the foot on the dome. Perform a push-up.
- Drive the same knee into your chest again, then extend while keeping your leg lifted. Perform a push-up with your leg extended.
- Drive your knee into the chest a third time. As your leg extends back, lift the leg into an “arabesque.”
- To further challenge yourself, perform a “Spiderman push-up” and then extend your leg into an arabesque.
****Play with speed and range of motion. Pay attention the the biofeedback you receive from the dome.
Just as there are two sides to every story, there ARE two sides to the BOSU® Balance Trainer. (BOSU® is an acronym for both sides utilized). Let’s do double duty and flip the front Balance Trainer to PSU (platform side up). We will not be standing on the platform side.
Divi It Up
- Flip the front Balance Trainer to PSU (platform side up) while the back one remains DSU (dome side up).
- Walk into plank with feet on the dome and the hands grasping the handles on the front Balance Trainer.
- Lower until your chest is flat on the platform, slowing all momentum, and extend the arms out to touch the floor in front of you. Place your hands back on the handles of the platform and press back up into plank.
- Press your hips up into a pike position, hold, then slowly lower your body back to the starting plank position.
It Takes Two Burpee Progression
- Flip the front Balance Trainer to PSU while the back one remains DSU.
- Start in plank with the hands on the platform side of the front Balance Trainer and the feet on the dome behind you.
- Walk your feet forward to a wide stance between the Balance Trainers and stand up, leaving the front Balance Trainer on the floor. Walk the feet back to plank on the dome.
- Repeat the above but lift the Balance Trainer to chest height, or as a “shield”.
- Progress to jumping legs to the back dome.
- Progress to jumping legs back and lifting the front Balance Trainer overhead.
- Progress to adding plank jacks to the burpee
For an example of how I mesh some of the above moves into my Metabolic Disruption class, perform the It Takes Two Burpee Progression above, and pushups and mountain climbers to the end of each progression.
Elizabeth Lenart is a BOSU® National Master Trainer. She is the founder of innerathlete in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where she consults, trains and coaches. She also appears on the TV show Mass Appeal as a fitness expert.