Take it Outside with the BOSU® Balance Trainer
During these challenging “stay at home” times many of us have been feeling a bit cooped up, and this can impact our motivation to exercise. When energy and enthusiasm for our workouts is running low, we need to come up with creative ways to stay active. Thankfully, for most of us, better weather is here! Have you considered taking your fitness regimen outside? Stepping out into the great outdoors for a workout offers many benefits. Here are some compelling reasons to give it a try!
- Breathing in fresh air and enjoying some sunshine can make your next sweat session more enjoyable. A little bit of vitamin D can help improve mood and boost energy, and this can equate to a more effective workout. Just remember your sunscreen and water bottle so you stay safe and hydrated!
- Exercising outside is super convenient. No excuses here! Simply throw on some sneakers and step out your door. Work out on your own schedule with no worries about class schedules or gym hours. Local tracks and neighborhood streets are always available, and stairs, benches and hills can be utilized to provide variations in body positioning and intensity.
- Switching up your training environment and exercise selection may also help you avoid plateaus. This is the key to staying challenged and keeping your body from adapting to the same workout routine. Mix it up and try something new! If the treadmill is your “go to” cardio choice during the winter months, consider taking advantage of the challenges that the outdoor terrain has to offer.
- If you are craving peace and want to bring some calmness into your life, let nature help. Throughout this challenging time, we can all use more solitude. Don’t you agree? Simply take your yoga or stretching routine outside and notice how the calming outdoor environment can enhance the experience. Sometimes a restorative and gentle workout can be just what the doctor ordered.
- If you enjoy connecting with like-minded fitness enthusiasts, why not try getting social with your exercise routine? Coordinate your efforts with neighbors and invite furry friends to join in on the fun. You can keep distance between you and your partners and stay safe while reaching for your fitness goals as a team.
For my outdoor adventures, I often add just one training tool into the mix -- The BOSU® Balance Trainer! Since you can use both sides, the Balance Trainer is like two pieces of equipment in one. The dome provides a soft surface to stand, lie, sit, or kneel on, and the height of the dome makes some exercises and stretches more accessible. In addition, you can add more intensity to your workout by utilizing the unstable surface of the dome or platform as a base for your favorite moves. You will engage additional muscle groups to maintain balance and stay in control of body position.
How about trying this 30-minute interval workout? After a thorough warm-up, do the following exercises for 1 minute each. Rest two minutes between blocks. Then repeat the entire sequence one additional time. Finish with a short walk to cool down and you are all set!
Strength: Core Balance & Plank Walk
Dome Side Up (DSU)
Start standing in front of the Balance Trainer and behind a bench or stairs. Squat down and sit on the front side of the dome. Lie back to supine position. Return to seated position, then stand. Place hands on a step or bench and jump back to plank, landing with feet on the dome. “Walk” hands to the next higher step, then down. Jump forward and stand.
* If stairs or a bench are not available, walk hands forward on the ground a few inches and return to starting position.
Cardio: Dome Jump & Burpee
Begin standing on the Balance Trainer dome. Flex slightly at the hips and knees and jump vertically, landing center on the dome with soft knees. Jump down into a straddle position, with feet on either side of the Balance Trainer. Place hands on the dome and jump to plank position. Return feet forward to sides of dome, then jump to the top of dome.
Strength: Traveling Biased Push-Up & Triceps Push-Up
Begin in biased plank position with left (L) hand on the dome and right (R) hand on the ground. Perform a push-up by bending the elbows and lowering chest to dome. Press up and bring R hand to dome. Perform a triceps push-up by tucking elbows toward the sides and lowering shoulders to the dome. Walk L hand off the dome and set up biased plank on the opposite side. Repeat other side.
Cardio: 200-meter Run
Strength: Alternating Deficit Front Lunge & Sit to Stand
Start standing in front of the Balance Trainer and behind a bench or stairs. Squat down and sit on the dome, then stand. Step forward onto a bench or step with R leg and lower into a deep lunge position, bringing rear knee to the ground. Return to standing position. Repeat the lunge with L leg.
*If stairs or a bench are not available, do the lunge on the ground.
Cardio: Skater & Tap Down
Begin standing, facing side, in between the Balance Trainer and a set of stairs. Leap to the side with L leg and bring R leg diagonally behind. Reach down and touch a higher level step with L hand. Leap to R bringing R foot to top of dome and tap left foot on side of dome. Do several more repetitions, alternating between a higher and lower step to vary range of motion. Repeat the sequence facing the other side.
Strength: Deadrow, Biceps Curl & Overhead Press
Platform Side Up (PSU)
Begin standing with feet hip-width distance apart holding the Balance Trainer by the handles. Hinge from the hips and bring the Balance Trainer to knee level. Flex elbows and pull dome toward the chest for three repetitions, then stand. Bend elbows and curl the dome to shoulders, then press overhead. Return to starting position.
Cardio: 200-meter Run
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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