BOSU Training

A Bosu® Balance Trainer (or Bosu ball) is an effective tool for adding balance and stability training to your workouts. Balance is important for managing dive gear on a rocking boat, and stability is key for maneuvering underwater where your muscles must pull on your core to propel you. A Bosu ball consists of a flat plane on one side and an inflated vinyl hemisphere on the other; the name “Bosu” comes from “both sides utilized.”

In addition to the exercises provided in this article, you can do many of the exercises described in previous issues of Alert Diver on a Bosu ball. Bosu training can help you diversify your exercise routine, push through fitness plateaus, improve stability and balance, and keep your routine interesting.

The greatest benefits of exercise are seen when comparing people who do moderate exercise to people who do not exercise, which shows that any amount of exercise is better than none at all. If you can intersperse these exercises throughout your day, you will reap the greatest benefits.

Proper form always takes precedent over speed and number of rounds and/or repetitions. It is essential to train your nervous system to recruit the right muscle fibers for each movement. Improving muscle memory will ultimately allow you to reach a higher level of performance.

Try to do three rounds of the following exercise sequence. It’s fine if you have the time or stamina for only a single round. You will be able to do more in less time as your fitness improves.

Side Lunges

Female personal trainer performs side lunges on BOSU ball

(10 per side)

  1. Begin standing on the Bosu ball, round side up, with your feet together.
  2. Step to the side and squat down, pushing your butt back, keeping your eyes slightly up and forcing your weight through your heels.
  3. Push off to return to standing with your feet together on the ball.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tip: Keep a slight bend in your knees when standing on the ball to assist with balance.

Challenge: Between lunges, hop from one side to the other rather than returning to standing.

Female personal trainer performs a side-plank drop on BOSU on right side

Side-Plank Drops

(10 per side)

  1. Begin lying on your side with your forearm on the top of the Bosu ball.
  2. Your feet should be spread apart, top foot forward.
  3. Elevate your hip to achieve a side-plank position.
  4. Drop your hip to touch the floor.
  5. Return to side-plank position.

Tip: If this is uncomfortable, you can start supported by your knees rather than your feet. Keep your forearm directly beneath your shoulder.

Challenge: Stack your feet rather than separating them. If that’s still easy, try lifting your top leg as you lift your hip off the ground.

Front Lunges

(10 per side)

  1. Begin standing with the Bosu ball about 2 feet in front of you (depending on your height), round side up.
  2. Lunge toward the ball, placing one foot on top of it.
  3. Drop your back knee close to, but not touching, the ground.
  4. Push off to return to a standing position.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.
Female personal trainer performs a front lunge on a BOSU ball with left leg

Tip: Keep your torso upright while keeping your front heel on the ball. Momentum may lead your trunk forward, but maintain control, keeping your eyes and chest slightly upward.

Challenge: Try adding dumbbells. First just hold the weights, then progress to adding a bicep curl or curl to shoulder press.

female personal trainer performs single-leg glute bridge with right leg up

One-Legged Bridges

(10 per side)

  1. Start lying supine (on your back) with the round part of the Bosu ball right under your knees.
  2. Place the sole of one foot near the top of the ball.
  3. Elevate your hips by pressing into the sole of your foot, and keep the other leg straight.
  4. Squeeze your glutes, and hold for two breaths at the top of the movement.
  5. Relax and repeat.

Tip: Try to keep your knees together.

Challenge: Try to push your hips higher, and hold for five breaths.

Burpee Push-Ups

(Start with three, and work up to 15.)

Female personal trainer performs a burpee push-up on BOSU
  1. Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding the Bosu ball at chest height, flat side toward you, with your arms bent.
  2. Squat down, and hinge at your hips to place the curved side of the ball onto the ground.
  3. Step or jump back into plank position.
  4. Do a push-up, or stay in plank position for a 20 count, if possible.
  5. Step or jump your feet forward toward the ball.
  6. Hinge at your hips, and stand back up.
  7. Extend both arms upward, pressing the ball toward the sky.

Tip: Keep your chest up, making sure your back does not round during the movement. Maintain a tight core — don’t allow your abs to sag in the plank and/or push-up portion of the movement.

Challenge: Add a jump after the shoulder-press portion of the movement.

NOTE: To avoid an increased risk of decompression sickness, DAN® recommends that divers avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours after making a dive. During your annual physical exam or following any changes in your health status, consult your physician to ensure you have medical clearance to dive.

© Alert Diver — Q4 Fall 2015