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BOSU ball is an innovative product from the fitness industry invented in 2000 by David Weck. It is a simple and comparatively inexpensive piece of fitness equipment that has been adapted into the fitness regimen of many a bodybuilder and athlete.
This fitness equipment has surely caught the fancy of many fitness enthusiasts and has continued to expand, shape and develop the exercise regimen of many. The BOSU ball comes with a flat platform on one side and a rubber dome on the other (resembling half an exercise ball).
The device is often used for balance training. Earlier the name stood for “Both Sides Upâ€ť, in reference to the two ways a BOSU ball can be positioned. It is also referred as the “blue half-ball”, because it gives the resemblance of a half of a stability ball. Â The acronym used recently is “Both Sides Utilized” because this device can be used to exercise on both the surfaces.
Exercises for Bodybuilders
When it comes to exercises you can do with your Ball, the options are nearly limitless. One can really get creative and add this device to various exercise regimens. Some of the popular workouts done by bodybuilders are:
- Push up
- Sideforearm plank
- One legged bridge
- Mountain climber
- Front lunge
- Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
Virtually, incorporating the use of a BOSU Ball can enhance any workout.
BOSU ball helps in increasing movement capabilities, improved balancing prowess, enhanced flexibility and is a good accompaniment to heavy cardio workouts as preferred by bodybuilders.
Benefits of BOSU Ball to the Bodybuilders is broadly categorized:
- Discomfort enhances Activity
When the body is uncomfortable, the muscles tense to protect the body against the pain or injury. An unstable surface allows for greater activity per exercise when compared to a stable surface. Speaking in medical terms use of BOSU ball in the workout leads to a greater electromyography (EMG) activity than exercising on a stable or flat base or ground.
- Gives Balance Training
The benefits of balance training using an unstable surface have been scientifically proven. It is said that balance begins to weaken after the age of 30. Using the BOSU ball while lying sideways or lying prone on it shifts the center of gravit and thus helps provide the body with the capacity for balancing better. This is really beneficial for weightlifters and bodybuilders.
The versatility of BOSU provides the user a great variety in the workout. Whatever your goals as a bodybuilder are, BOSU exercises fits. The BOSU Balance enables one to perform complex functional training exercises and involves a full body movement pattern.
Whether one is looking for greater strength or improved endurance and flexibility the BOSU can be a great device for use. Â Because the BOSU is so designed that it requires more muscles to be used for stabilizing the body, it makes the overall workout much more intense.
Criticism and Drawbacks
Eastern Illinois University in 2009, conducted an experiment in which 12 men exercised with and without the BOSU ball. Â It was found that including the BOSU ball did not create a real difference in the muscle activity and thus this research questioned the BOSU ballâ€™s ability to bring any significant improvement in an athleteâ€™s exercise outcomes.
Some main drawbacks of BOSU Ball are:
Not Suited for Heavy Weights: One of the main drawbacks of BOSU Ball is that, balancing on BOSU Ball, limit the total weight that can be used. BOSU ball is not suited to do excessive weight exercises. You need to use lighter weight to perform an exercise on the BOSU
Unstable Surface Leads to Injury: BOSU Ball also leads to injury sometimes unless done in professional guidance and extreme concentration. In absence of the same there is an increased risk of slipping off the device and chances of injury are also increased.
Inspite of these drawbacks, trainerâ€™s advice the BOSU ball to bodybuilders, as it allows them to develop their core muscles and improve strength and balance like no other exercise.
BOSU for regular users
Because the BOSU is essentially an unstable surface, it is ideal for adding intensity to workouts since one is required to engage core muscles for maintaining balance. Other than bodybuilders and professionals it is gaining popularity amidst the general public too since exercising on it not only gets one in shape but it also makes one equipped to better perform the movements needed to get through the day, which becomes especially important as one advances in age.
Since every time we walk our body encounters uneven ground, the BOSU ball serves as an ideal exercise medium since it forces you to maintain your center of gravity while exercising, helping you be active in daily activities too.