BOSU, the importance of balance. Benefits, exercises, where to buy and differences with fitball
You have probably seen BOSU balls in your gym at some point and wondered what they are. He BOSU It is a two-sided fitness tool: one side is a flat platform and the other is a soft dome that resembles half of an exercise ball (Fitball).
BOSU balls were invented in 1999, the name was originally an acronym for "both sides up", which means that the exercises could be performed with either side of the ball.
This meaning has evolved to both sides utilized, to better represent a conscious approach to exercise and a nod to functional training that goes beyond traditional exercise. What started as the launch of one of the most innovative products the fitness industry has ever seen, turned out to be just the beginning of a journey that continues to expand and define functional training.
Many of us have a relatively orderly schedule in our training routines. In the best of cases we do the recommended 150 minutes weekly or more of aerobic activity combined with strength training of the different muscle groups.
Bosu: the importance of balance
But have we forgotten the Balance? More importantly, do we understand the importance of balance for quality of life and functional movement?
We must first think about balance beyond the common definition and description of simply being able to stand for a period of time on one foot. Balance is being able to control the body during dynamic movement and static postures. To be able to move smoothly, safely, efficiently and with great power.
The BOSU is an element that will bring an extra intensity in different types of training: upper and lower body, core and cardio. In any exercise, if you do it with BOSU, you will be challenging your balance, improving your central strength and stability.
BOSU balls offer an unstable surface, so no matter what exercise you're doing, multiple muscle groups, large and small, will come together to help you balance.
In a scientific study conducted at Eastern Illinois University in 2009, 12 men performed various physical exercises (back squats, deadlifts, and head presses) with and without the BOSU ball. The unstable surface increased the activation of the abdominal area of the participants, doing more work per exercise compared to a stable surface and producing more activity in the electromyography (graphic recording technique of the electrical activity produced by the muscles)
The BOSU, like the bands or elastic bands, the fitball, the TRX, the medicine ball are some elements of resistance training alternative to the weights. It allows to strengthen the muscles of the whole body without impact or loads and develops balance. A product suitable for all ages and fitness levels that leaves us multiple Benefits:
- Tones the muscles.
- Improves the stability of the body.
- Improve flexibility.
- Improve endurance.
- Strengthens and forms the abs.
- Strengthens the glutes.
- Improves agility.
Where to buy
Here we leave you one of the offers with the best value for money:
One of the preferred accessories to work with this material would be small balance balls for the hands and the soles of the feet:
Differences between Fitball and BOSU
The BOSU and the fitball are very similar devices due to their shape and material, both are elements that seek to destabilize us. The fitball is a complete ball and we could say that it is more unstable than the BOSU since the entire surface is round unlike the BOSU that has one of the flat sides.
We will use the BOSU to carry out exercises that require a flat base to support us, such as push-ups and squats. The difference with the fitball is that you can execute certain routines without risking your integrity.
How to use it
The BOSU is mainly used as a support base, especially for the lower extremities like the sole of the foot, but also for the upper extremities (palms of the hands), the sacrum, buttocks during the abdominal contraction and for the back during the crosses or stretches (chest, shoulders and triceps).
It can be worked in two ways:
- with the ball up
- with the ball down.
The first is characterized by low or medium instability, while the second is characterized by high instability. This allows you to adapt your work with BOSU to different levels depending on your fitness and goals.
Routines and exercises
The best thing about using a BOSU is that almost all exercises challenge your balance in one way or another. It requires that we be thoughtful and aware of each movement.
Balance can easily be incorporated into your warm-up, cardio, strength, core, and mobility workout routines. You can experiment with the multiple proposals that you will find on the YouTube channel of the BOSU brand, the time has come to leave the theory and get to work!