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Having a Ball with a Bosu Series – Glute Workout
by Sárka-Jonae Miller
(The Best Years in Life) Continuing with our Bosu series, here is a targeted workout for all the muscles in your derriere, including the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. Known together as the glutes, these muscles are primarily responsible for hip extension, abduction, and external rotation. More simply put, they move the hips backward, out to the side, and rotate them in a clockwise direction. As always, adding a Bosu ball to your exercise routine increases the difficultly of the workout in a way that leads to a greater activation of your entire core.
Bosu Ball Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
The opposite arm and leg raise is a simple exercise performed on the floor to strengthen the glutes and lower back muscles. A benefit of this exercise is the emphasis on only one glute muscle at a time, which ensures an even workout.
Instead of lying face down on the floor, lie with a Bosu ball under your abdomen. Extend your arms straight in front of you, palms facing downwards. Tighten your abs and keep them squeezed throughout the exercise.
Now, raise your left arm and right leg a few inches off the ground. Return them to the starting position and repeat with your right arm and left leg. Alternate until you have performed between five and 10 repetitions per side. Stop immediately if you feel pain in your lower back.
Bosu Ball Reverse Back Extension
From the same starting position as the Bosu ball opposite arm and leg raise, you can do a reverse back extension that focuses solely on the lower body. Instead of performing a back extension only with the upper body, you lie in a prone position and lift your legs.
Start lying on the Bosu ball and tighten your abs. Unlike when performing the exercise without a Bosu ball, it is easiest to keep your arms on the floor in front of you to counterbalance your lower body when doing this version. Remember to keep your abs contracted throughout the exercise to protect your lower back.
Raise both legs together a few inches off the floor. A helpful visual image to ensure your glutes are doing their share of the work instead of overemphasizing the lower back or hamstrings is to imagine yourself squeezing a quarter between your butt cheeks. Do six to 12 reps.
Bosu Ball Clams
The clams exercise is one of the few ways to target the smaller muscles of the glutes responsible for hip rotation. If you want a balanced, shapely rear the clams exercise is for you.
Lie sideways with the Bosu ball under your right hip. Use your right arm to prop up your torso. Bend your knees and squeeze your arms. Without breaking contact between your feet, rotate your left leg toward the ceiling. The movement should resemble the opening of a clam shell. Do five to 10 reps and then repeat lying on your left side.
These three exercise may be done together as one set or could each be added to a different workout throughout the week. Start with one to two sets if doing them as a targeted glute routine. Work up to three sets.
Please consult a medical professional before beginning a new exercise routine. Many of these exercises are common in rehabilitation routines for back injuries. But, do not perform them if you have lower back issues unless advised to do so by a physician or physical therapist. If too difficult to perform on a Bosu ball, try the exercises on the floor until you feel strong enough to use the ball.
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.