What is a BOSU Ball? / by James Leath

Profile of the BOSU Ball, invented in 1999 by David Weck. (See video here.) I. What is it? It’s called a “BOSU Ball” (pronounced Bo-Sue). Apparently it is short for “Both Sides Up” because you can use it with either side up.

When was it invented? 1999

Who invented it? David Weck

What else have they invented? Quick Hands Bola Trainer

Who endorsed it? No one famous that I know of, though many famous athletes have gone on record as using it, including Lance Armstrong and some other people not as famous as Lance Armstrong.

Other Names: Blue half ball, half stability ball, the thing in the corner that crazy dude uses to do pushups.

Why should you use it? Number one reason: balance training. The best part of using a BOSU ball is to gain a sense of balance. Being on an unstable surface while doing other typical exercises like a shoulder press or biceps curl engages the rest of your body during the workout.

Who should use it? It is not “off limits” to anyone, but there is an element of danger that should be noted. Anytime a piece of equipment has an unstable surface, there is a chance to fall. That being said, it can be used for rehab all the way to elite athletes.

II. How do you use it? Safety First- Getting on and getting off can be tricky. For you smart people out there, make sure to practice near a wall or with a friend before doing anything crazy. If you DO decide to do something crazy without practicing, you deserve to fall so be sure to record it. Dumb people falling is hilarious and could get you $10,000 and a corny one-liner from Tom Bergeron. Totally worth the broken ankle and smashed face, right?

III. The Trainer James Top 5 exercises with the BOSU Ball I am deliberately NOT including any of your stupid, precious little ab exercises because there is WAY to much focus on that area of the body. Stop it. Please. Besides, there are many ways to use the BOSU to focus on your mid-section and with balance training you are using your whole body, which includes the holy grail of muscles, your abs.

1. Standing- The beginners move. Just stand there. Try not to kill yourself getting on.

2. Pushups- Either surface is difficult. I like to grip the plastic side and go to town!

3. Burpies- A bootcamp staple. This combines the plank, the pushup, the crunch, the squat, the “good morning” and a jump at the end if you are really special.

4. Squats- This is difficult at first, but gets easier with time. The deeper the better. (Get your mind out of the gutter!)

5. Upper Body Motions- Standing on the plastic part while doing shoulder presses, biceps curls, upright rows, etc.

Now let’s go and sweat it out!

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