When you think about working out with the BOSU® Balance Trainer, what comes to mind? Most likely, you envision balance training, core work, and cardiovascular conditioning. Yes, the BOSU® Balance Trainer is a fantastic tool for all types of workouts, but did you know that the BOSU® Balance Trainer can help enhance your stretching routine?
Flexibility training is a component of fitness that is often overlooked and sometimes avoided, yet stretching is important because it allows you to maintain optimal range of motion in the joints, and it may help you improve performance in physical activities and decrease risk of injury.
Are you looking for a better way to improve flexibility? Try adding the Balance Trainer into the mix. It can make stretching more comfortable by providing a soft surface to cushion the joints. Place the BOSU® Balance Trainer under your hips for prone stretches or under your shins for kneeling stretches, and see how you can progress toward reaching your goals.
The height of the BOSU® Balance Trainer can also make certain exercises more accessible. Think of it as a big yoga block. Raise the body or body parts off the floor to allow for more success with some challenging yoga-inspired moves.
Here are several flexibility exercises that are better with the BOSU® Balance Trainer. Try holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Place your left knee on the dome and step out with your right foot in front of the Balance Trainer. Stack your right knee above your right ankle and sink into a low lunge position. Place your hands on your right thigh for support or reach both arms overhead. For an added challenge, bend your left knee and reach back to hold your ankle with your left hand. Repeat on the other side.
Stand with your left foot behind the Balance Trainer and your right foot on the dome. Hinge forward from the hips and maintain an extended spine. Place the hands on the dome on either side of the right foot. Repeat on the other side.
Begin by standing in front of the Balance Trainer with feet about hip width distance apart. Bend the knees and lower into a deep squat position, reaching the hips down to the BOSU® Ball. Place your palms together and bring the elbows to the inside of the knees. Lengthen your spine while relaxing your shoulders.
Downward Facing Dog
Begin in plank position with hands on the dome, slightly forward of center. Press the hips up and back into a pike position. Press the heels gently toward the floor. Maintain a long spine and open the shoulders into full flexion, if possible, to form a straight line from the hands through the hips.
Upward Facing Dog
Begin in a prone position with the hips on the center of the dome and the hands on the floor. Press through the hands to extend the spine. Press the chest forward while simultaneously pulling the shoulders down and back. To increase the range of motion, try placing the hands on the dome in front of the hips.
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.