From The Trainer
First things first: Happy New Year! I hope that all of your dreams came true during the holidays but more importantly that you rose to my fitness challenge. Did you manage to stay active the past two months even when it seemed impossible? It doesn’t take much. A simple walk around the neighborhood can do the trick. Have some fun this year and enjoy all the benefits that being active can bring to your life.
January 2014’s exercise of the month is called the Bosu Forward Lunge (with dumbbells-DBs). This exercise is a fun way to work on your legs without all the grunting of a leg press or squat. The Bosu will challenge your balance and improve ankle stability. To start, grab a pair of DBs and hold them at shoulder-level. Stand directly behind the Bosu and then take one exaggerated step backward (about 3-4 feet). Figure 1 shows the starting and finishing positions.
Before attempting your first lunge onto the Bosu, it’s important to note that it may slide if you don’t place your foot in the proper area. To avoid this mishap, I suggest placing it next to a wall or something solid to hold it in place. The reason for holding the DBs at shoulder-level is to make your spinal and abdominal muscles work a little harder than if you were to hold them at your side. This also keeps your posture in check while performing the lunge.
Step forward with the left foot to place it on top of the Bosu. While doing this, you also need to shift your body weight to the front foot, bend your hip and knee until they reach about ninety degrees (Figure 2). Keep your back straight, chest and chin up. The front of the knee shouldn’t go past the toes. A common mistake is standing too close to the Bosu before lunging. If this happens, your knee will go past the toes. Make sure that you have plenty of space to actually lunge forward. To finish, you’ll need to forcefully push yourself off the top while transferring your body weight back to the right leg. This movement should be much quicker than the actual lunge.
You’re not done yet! You have a couple options. You can keep lunging forward with the same leg or alternate legs as you go. Regardless, try at least two sets of ten reps per leg. The key to a successful Bosu lunge is being consistent on the placement of your foot. If this is slightly off, your balance will be as well. Give it a whirl and remember that it’s ok to try this one without the dumbbells too!
Written by: Ryan Unverzagt