BOSU Balance Trainer

The BOSU balance trainer is basically a very large ball that has been cut in half. One side is round and inflated, while the other is like a rubber mat. It is an exercise platform designed to help develop balance, cardio-vascular health, muscle strength and tone, as well as physical awareness. "BOSU" stands for "BOth Sides Up". The idea is that it can be used either side up.

Simply sitting on the BOSU balance trainer with feet off the floor can be a challenge, inducing the use of muscles that normally do not get a work out. Because the surface is constantly shifting the user also gets to work on balance. It can be used in step aerobics, as well as standard exercises.

Unlike a basketball, the BOSU balance trainer is not used fully inflated. In most exercises the flat side will be on the floor, giving it a stable base. A basic exercise is to simply stand on the top. When balance is achieved, the user can then shift weight from one foot to the other for a number of repetitions. New users should consider using a chair-back as support at first.

Pushups can be accomplished by turning the trainer so the flat side is up. Spread hands on the flat side and extend the body full-length. Then do standard style push-ups. From this same position, with arms fully extended the BOSU can be tilted back and forth. Simply holding the body and arms stiff and balancing with the ball-side down develops tone and muscles throughout the upper and lower body, as well as the torso.

Crunches, back extensions, and v-sits are all straightforward as well as beneficial. There are wide variety of exercises that can be done with the BOSU balance trainer. Most BOSU balance trainers come with a booklet and video tape that thoroughly describes exercises. It is also flexible enough for the user to develop techniques for specific muscles or purposes. It can be used in combination with weights.

This device is not recommended for people highly susceptible to falling or breaking bones. It should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet.

How much does it really help? Naturally, like most exercise gadgets the BOSU balance trainer requires effort from the user. Most of the benefits of using it could probably be achieved without it. For example, standing on one foot can help develop balance. Nevertheless, the unusual shape and attendant unaccustomed activities can create interest, challenge, and innovation on the part of the user. If having this exercise device available makes the average person more likely to exercise, then it is worth the modest investment in a BOSU balance trainer.


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