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Having a Ball with a Bosu Series – Core Workout
by Sárka-Jonae Miller
(The Best Years in Life) If you're like most people who had an exercise-related New Year's resolution, by March you may have found yourself with a shiny new gym membership and/or home equipment you haven't touched in weeks. A Bosu ball might now be your new ottoman! There are better uses for that versatile piece of exercise equipment. Kick your core routine up a notch by doing it on the Bosu.
Bosu Single-Leg Bridges
Bridges are a beginner-level core exercise to tone the glutes. By pushing your hips up to the ceiling from a prone position, you force your butt muscles to extend your hips. This is a primary job of the glutes and one you probably don't do enough of unless you're a fan of walking up several flights of stairs on a regular basis.
By placing your feet on the top of the Bosu ball instead of the floor, you add an element of instability that makes your core work harder to stabilize your trunk. Put another way, the Bosu ball moves under your feet while the floor doesn't – unless there's an earthquake. Doing single-leg bridges instead of using both legs makes one side of your buttocks responsible for all the lifting, doubling the challenge and increasing results.
Being by lying on your back and place your feet on the center of the Bosu, round side up. Your knees should be bent and your arms flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and press your hips toward the ceiling. If this is doable, extend one leg straight and keep it in the air throughout your set. Aim for six to 12 repetitions, and then repeat on of the other leg.
Bosu Scissors Planks
Planks are another traditional core exercise but more for the abdominals than the glutes. Planks actually work the entire core but most people feel their abs fatigue first. Instead of placing your hands or forearms on the floor, place your forearms on the Bosu ball with the round side up. Just like with the bridges, adding an unstable surface makes the exercise more difficult and rewarding.
With your forearms resting on the Bosu, step your feet back and straighten your body until your back is parallel to the floor. You must keep your spine straight and hips level for the plank to work. Now, add the scissor motion by jumping your feet wide apart as if doing a lower-body only jumping jack. But, do not allow your upper body to move. Jump your feet back together. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Bosu Side-lying Leg Lifts
The Bosu side-lying leg lifts target your outer thighs while challenging your abs and obliques to keep your body steady. Lie sideways on the Bosu bracing yourself with your bottom forearm on the floor. Place your top hand on your hip and extend your legs straight. Check that your hips are stacked, meaning one is not farther forward than the other. Tighten your abs.
Next, raise your top leg a few inches into the air. Do not raise your leg too high or you will not be able to maintain your balance. Lower your leg to complete one repetition. Perform at least eight reps before switching sides, but work up to 15 to 20 per leg.
These three Bosu ball exercises constitute a complete core workout. However, it's important to change up your routine at least once a month, so look for more exercises and workout tips on TBYIL.com. Also, remember to consult a medical professional before beginning a new exercise routine.
About the Author
Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.