Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Blame It on the the Bosu Balance…

By Ryan Unverzagt

September is one of my favorite months because college and pro football are in full swing. Athletes have been grinding it out for the past month and a half in training camps and the weight room. Now is their opportunity to showcase their talents to the world. I can only hope that you can find that same type of motivation to keep working hard on your health. Think of how exercise makes you feel better. You have more energy, sleep soundly, stress less, and think clearer, but more importantly, you have more confidence and happiness in your life. If these benefits don’t get you going, I’m not sure what will!

This month’s exercise is called the Bosu Balance Single-Leg Abduction. A great challenge for balance and concentration. You want to get comfortable standing on top with both feet before attempting just one. This exercise can be included in your warm-up and performed at the beginning of your routine. To start, step on top of the Bosu with a single foot directly in the center of the rings. I think of it as a bulls-eye. Line the opposite foot next to the planted one (Figure 1). Keep only one foot in contact with the Bosu before moving the leg out to the side (abduction) and away from the center (Figure 2). This movement should be slow and under control. Pause for a few seconds once your leg is abducted before bringing it back to the start position.

If your balance gets thrown off (and it will), simply touch the non-planted foot back on the Bosu to regain balance. It’s also ok if you just step off completely and start over. I suggest using a mirror for feedback, but the goal is to maintain balance without looking down at your feet. You want to establish that connection between your brain and foot. The main benefit of balance training is to improve your proprioception which is the ability to sense the position, location, orientation, and movement of your body parts in space.

If you’re a beginner on the Bosu, I suggest placing it next to something solid that you can grab on to such as railing, wall, or an exercise machine. A training partner can also come in handy when balance is lost. Try at least two sets of ten repetitions with each leg. You might find that you have better balance on your dominant side. In this case, add an extra set to the more challenging side for practice. This exercise not only improves body awareness, but will help strengthen your hips, ankles, and feet. The next time you’re at the gym, grab a Bosu Balance Trainer and give this one a whirl!

About the Author: Unverzagt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wellness Management from Black Hills State University. He is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association and a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.

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