The “Scary” Equipment Series – BOSU Ball
We require balance in our daily lives to perform the simplest of tasks, so it only makes sense to incorporate balance and stability training in our workouts. By training our balance, we can improve our body’s natural ability to react quickly in situations that may throw our stability off by an external force (such as slipping on a wet floor). By challenging our balance during a particular exercise our core muscles (abs/low back) and core stabilizers (surrounding muscles) are recruited as our body tries to find its centre of gravity.
The BOSU squat has many variations and many can be performed statically (holding the position while maintaining centre of gravity-no movement is made) or dynamically (incorporating movement to the exercise). A more advanced variation would be to perform a dynamic squat with an explosive jump (up in the air or by hopping over to the other side of the BOSU). Adding weight is another way to increase the difficulty level and further challenge your stability.
The ‘One Leg On-One Leg Off’ (On/Off) BOSU Squat works your quadriceps, hip adductors and abductors, glutes, and core. It can be performed on a BOSU (as pictured), balance board, balance cushion, or a wobble board. To perform any stability exercise it is imperative to engage your core first by pulling your abdominals in (often described as ‘navel to spine’). This will provide back support throughout the exercise.
How To Perform The On/Off BOSU Squat
- Stand with your left foot centered on top of the BOSU. Place your right foot on the ground/floor a bit wider than shoulder-width apart from your left foot.
- Engage your core by pulling in your abdominals and maintain a neutral spine.
- Inhale and hinge at your hips while simultaneously dropping your bum down into a squat position.
- Keep your knees behind your toes and eyes looking forward.
- Repeat for 8-12 repetitions before switching legs/sides.
- Stay in control and try to maintain your centre of gravity throughout the entirety of the exercise.
For the dynamic variation, maintain your balance, exhale, and come to standing position to complete 1 repetition. For the more advanced dynamic variation, exhale as you explode upward to a standing position, lifting your right foot off the ground/floor and hop over to the other side of the bosu back into a squat.