Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Exercise Equipment Review: Do you BOSU?
Note: I bought my own BOSU at Target for $99. I'm reviewing it because I like the product and think some of my readers might enjoy it.
I have been trying to get myself motivated to start a strength training program for a while now. Since I don't seem to be able to get myself to the gym for a strength workout, I thought it might be useful to get some home equipment.
I have used the BOSU at gyms and in exercise classes and I think it's a really fun, versatile piece of equipment. I always thought that BOSU stood for "Both Sides Up," but now it has been changed to mean "Both Sides Utilized," according to the product site. The product is an inflated rubber dome attached to a hard plastic base. As the original name suggests, you can use the product with either side up. You can stand on the soft dome and do squats, or you can flip it over and do pushups while holding onto the handles on the hard base. You can use it as a stepper or as a soft bench for upper-body workouts.
The thing that makes the BOSU so great is that it creates a mildly unstable surface for exercise, no matter which side is up. You have to engage your core and lots of smaller muscles to maintain your balance. You also have to pay attention to what you're doing. If you start mentally going over the shopping list while standing on top of the BOSU, you risk falling off.
I am finishing up some physical therapy for a running-related foot injury and was talking to my therapist about transitioning to a home exercise program. He was really enthusiastic when he heard I had just bought a BOSU. A lot of my exercises in therapy involved standing on the injured foot on a foam block for instability, and those exercises can be done just as easily on the BOSU. I even found an article with special BOSU exercises to address my specific problems on the BOSU resources site. There are a bunch of other articles with special stretches and exercises for back, knee, and hip problems on the resources site. The BOSU also came with a DVD with four basic workouts. I tried two of them the other day: One was a full-body strength workout, and another was a yoga sequence. It seems like the possibilities are only limited by the user's creativity.
Do you BOSU? Have any great BOSU moves to share? What home equipment do you find especially useful in your workouts?
"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07