By: Melissa Towey
Have you been wanting to join a BOSU® class at your gym, but not sure what to expect? BOSU® classes are appropriate for nearly everyone – and once you try it, you’ll want to come back again and again!.
The BOSU® Balance Trainer or BOSU® Ball (which stands for “BOth Sides Utilized”, by the way) allows you to train for multiple components of fitness, including balance, stability, strengthening the core and more. These skills are important for accomplishing everyday activities. For example, once you learn how to properly engage the core to maintain balance while standing on it, you will be better equipped to prevent slips and falls in daily life. On the extreme side of the spectrum, an elite athlete might use the BOSU® Balance Trainer to train for the agility required for his/her sport. There are so many layers between both of those examples, and there is no doubt YOU fit somewhere within!
The BOSU® Balance Trainer is 26” in diameter and weighs about 14 pounds inflated. It has a burst resistance of 350 pounds. The Balance Trainer may be used in various positions:
- Standing (on the dome side only)
- Kneeling (dome or platform side)
- Seated (dome or platform side)
- Prone/belly down (dome side likely to be most comfortable)
- Supine/belly up (dome side likely to be most comfortable)
- Side lying (dome side likely to be most comfortable)
- Holding the BOSU® Ball for upper body resistance
What to Expect in a BOSU® Class
We know you peek in the room and assume you either just missed us doing backflips, or that certainly, we’re about to do them. Trust me, that does NOT occur. EVER. BOSU® Certified Instructors learn how to safely and effectively program exercises for all levels. We use a series of Balance Challenge Variables to progress and regress each drill we give you. We can make exercises easier by having you perform them on the floor (instead of on the BOSU® Ball) or by giving you something to hold onto for balance, such as a Body Bar or chair. We can progress an exercise by increasing the range of movement (such as a deeper squat) or by having you hold another piece of equipment, such as a medicine ball to challenge. We can even make something as basic as a squat harder by having you perform the squat with your eyes closed! Your well-trained instructor will be able to treat everyone in class as an individual, yet keep things moving along in an energetic and cohesive “group exercise” manner…all while rocking your world not with mind-blowing choreography, but rather with everyday exercises made more challenging by using the BOSU® Balance Trainer.
I Really Want to Try a Class! Now What?
Tell your instructor that you are a “BOSU® newbie,” and he or she will be able to provide on the spot modifications while assessing your abilities. Remember, no matter what class you are in, everyone is working at their own level. What makes it a “group” class is the leadership of your instructor and his/her ability to make each individual feel successful.
Wear comfortable athletic shoes that offer lateral motion support (example: cross-trainers). We also recommend wearing legging-style gym pants as opposed to shorts or baggy pants, which can inhibit certain side-lying and crunching motions by pulling or bunching, and in general…making you feel uncomfortable.
Please DO tell us about any joint injuries you’re overcoming, or if there are any other limitations to your movement, so we can modify exercises for you.
Please DON’T tell us you “can’t possibly do this”. We know you CAN!
Melissa Towey is a BOSU® National Master Trainer and teaches BOSU® classes every week in New Jersey. Come join a class like hers at a club or facility in your town!