Balance training on the Bosu

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What is a Bosu?  
The Bosu is an inflatable device (looks like half a Swiss ball).  It can be used ‘both sides up’ hence the name ‘Bosu’.

What is it used for?  
Used mainly for balance, core stability and proprioception or ‘position sense’ training – the body’s ability to use the senses to perform a movement without looking.
It can also be used for strength, agility, flexibility, sports conditioning or to add variety to your existing exercise programme.

Who can use it?
People of all ages and ability levels, from everyday fitness enthusiasts to elite athletes. However, if you are new to the Bosu it would be a good idea to book in with a registered personal trainer or physiotherapist so they can demonstrate the basics and give you a programme to ‘find your feet’.

How can it help?
The Bosu is beneficial for many aspects of training but the most common factors are to enhance coordination, balance and neuromuscular function.  It is widely used by health professionals such as physiotherapists and personal trainers for this reason.  You may have suffered an injury/ have muscular imbalance and certain muscles need to be taught to ‘fire’ again.

Balance training on a dynamic surface can improve posture and functional movement as it requires a combined effort from your muscles to execute the movement.  (See www.advancephysio.co.nz – ‘Articles’ – ‘Holistic WOF’ for more information on functional movement and how this can be tested).

In some exercise training you tend to isolate certain muscles but it is very rare that you do this when performing daily tasks or movements.  By incorporating balance training regularly into your training routine it will ensure that you are not just using the bigger muscles or ‘play movers’ all the time and neglecting the smaller stabilising muscles. The stabilisers are the ‘protectors’ so if you are not focusing or including these as a regular part of your training you are increasing the risk of injury.

How important is learning how to use it correctly?
As with all training it is important to perform each exercise as technically correct as we can.  As the Bosu is an unstable device, it would be beneficial to make sure you can perform certain exercises on stable ground before progressing to the Bosu.
freeconsultWhere can I learn?
Advance Physiotherapy REPs Registered Personal Trainers can teach you how to use the Bosu correctly and prescribe a programme most suited to your needs.  Whether this be injury rehabilitation, muscular imbalance or general strength and fitness.

How much does it cost?  
$35 at Advance Physiotherapy.  This includes a FREE consultation before your Bosu personal training session if you mention this article.

Why should I give it a go?
The Bosu can boost performance, efficiency and safety in movement which means you are decreasing your chances of sustaining an injury.  It will add variety to your training and can be challenging so will keep your body and mind engaged throughout the session.

www.advancephysio.co.nz

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