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Bosu Ball

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85/100

Everyone should own a BOSU ball. Yes, I said it. This amazing, virtually indestructible balance trainer can be used for physical therapy, advanced training and everything in between.

 The BOSU ball was designed for core stability but it certainly isn’t limited to core exercises. It can be used effectively for a variety of fitness goals and whatever your goals, the BOSU ball will benefit your workout program.

There are several reasons why I’m so passionate about using the BOSU. It strengthens the very core of your body (literally) and increases muscle balance. Balance is your ability to keep your center of mass over your base of support but also describes the relationship between the left and right side of your body. By performing exercises while standing on the flat side of the BOSU ball, the left and right side of your body must work equally to ensure that you do not wobble from side to side. This means that you are less likely to develop a strength imbalance from left to right.

Another reason why I use the BOSU for my clients (and myself) is because of proprioception, your innate awareness of the location and position of your limbs. Proprioception, sometimes called position-sense or spatial awareness, is how you know where your limbs are and what they are doing despite not being able to see them. Exercises performed on a BOSU are inherently unstable and this constant shifting of position will improve your lower body proprioception by challenging your muscles and nervous system. Good proprioception is essential in sports and also activities of daily living. If you have poor lower body proprioception, you may find that walking on an uneven surface is difficult as your body — specifically your feet and ankles — does not respond very effectively to the irregular bumps and dips, and results in a hesitant or unsteady walking gait.

BOSU balls can be used for a variety of muscle conditioning exercises and they can take an exercise you’ve performed a hundred times feel like a brand new challenge. A BOSU ball can be used for squats and lunges to target your legs, for pushups for upper body or a wide variety of abdominal and lower back exercises. Many BOSU exercises place an indirect load on your core muscles. Your core — the collective term used to describe your abdominals, lower back and waist muscles — must work hard to stabilize your spine as you workout on the unstable BOSU ball.

So what’s not to like about the BOSU ball? It’s a great investment for any home or gym. I’ve had mine for years and it works as well as the day I purchased it! I find new exercises for it every day and my clients absolutely love the benefits they’re seeing from using it.

Jeff Wolfram

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