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Article posted: 5/13/2013 5:00 AM

BOSU adds extra challenge to workout

BOSU lunge to overhead press

BOSU lunge to overhead press

 
BOSU crunch with leg tuck

BOSU crunch with leg tuck

 
BOSU lateral plank

BOSU lateral plank

 
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By Joshua Steckler

The BOSU is a great tool for improving balance, stability and proprioception due to its unstable shape. A BOSU is basically a stability ball sliced in half with one domed side and one flat side. The BOSU can be used on either side, which adds to its versatility.

The BOSU can be used in conjunction with more traditional exercises, such as lunges, pushups and crunches to make them both more interesting and challenging. Perform the following five exercises in a row and then repeat for a total of three to five rounds.

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BOSU lunge to overhead press: Begin with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height while standing on the domed side. Step down and back and simultaneously drop into a lunged position. Hold the lunge at the bottom and press the dumbbells overhead. Bring the dumbbells back down to shoulder height and step back up to the top of the BOSU. Repeat for 15 reps and repeat on other leg. If this is too challenging, attempt with body weight only.

BOSU pushup with jumping jack:Take a pushup position on the flat side of the BOSU. With feet together, drop down until elbows are bent to 90 degrees. Hold that position and jump your feet to a wide position and then instantly jump your feet back together. Push back to the top and repeat for 15 reps.

BOSU up and overs:Place one foot on the center of the domed side of the BOSU. Your other foot will be on the floor, and balance out your body weight evenly on both legs. Squat down until both your knees are bent. Stand up with force and jump laterally over the BOSU and softly land on the other side in a mirror image of the position you were just in. Allow your knees to bend as you land softly and immediately reverse directions back to the other side. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds. To further challenge yourself, hold a set of dumbbells in each hand at shoulder height.

BOSU lateral plank:Assume a side plank position on the flat side of a BOSU. Stack your legs one on top of the other. Raise your hips until you feel tension on your core and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. If you need more of a challenge, try raising your top leg and hold it up as you maintain posture.

BOSU crunch with leg tuck:Take a lying position on the domed side of a BOSU. Position yourself so the curve of your low back is supported by the dome of the BOSU. Plant your right foot and your left hand on the floor. Your left leg and right arm should be hovering above the floor. Simultaneously crunch your upper body and tuck your knee toward your opposite elbow. Pause and squeeze your abs for a second at the top and slowly extend back to your starting point. Repeat for 15 reps and then switch sides.

So improve your balance and stability by getting to know the BOSU. It's a great tool to help keep your workouts fun and challenging. For more exercise and nutrition tips, visit our website at PushFitnessTraining.com or find us on Facebook and Pinterest.

• Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at PushFitnessTraining.com.

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