6 Best Bosu Balls | March 2017
- helps strengthen weak ankles
- lightweight and easy to carry
- able to withstand up to 400 lbs.
- comfortable on your bare feet
- great for kids and seniors alike
- includes a helpful instruction sheet
- smooth, nonskid, nonmarking base
- strong dual over-molded platform
- includes a handy foot pump
The Invention Of The Bosu Ball
The BOSU ball was invented in 1999 by David Weck, who is an avid student of physiology. He draws his inspiration for fitness equipment from pioneers in somatic education, like F.M. Alexander, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Ida Rolf. After getting into a motorcycle accident, David suffered from chronic back pain that no amount of physical therapy could alleviate. He also tried alternative approaches like acupressure and acupuncture, but still the pain persisted.
When he started balance and core training on a stability ball, more specifically standing on one, he noticed that his back pain was less severe, and slowly started to recede completely. Unfortunately stability balls are not designed to be stood on, and he found himself falling off repeatedly.
In a moment of inspiration, David realized that if he cut the ball in half, he would get the benefits of standing on a stability ball-like surface, without the dangers of falling off when the ball rolled out from under him. After creating the prototype, he was able to use it to completely rehabilitate his back. This is when he realized that he truly had a great invention on his hands.
The name BOSU is actually an acronym which used to stand for "Both side up," over time it has evolved to mean "Both side utilized." The name signifies his philosophy that both sides of the body must be used during training to improve the balance and enhance the body's ability to perform a range of activities.
Since the advent of the BOSU ball, a number of elite athletes and coaches have incorporated it into training regimens as an effective way to improve one's balance and core stability. It is also believed that it can help with posture over time as it helps the body achieve a better alignment, which the body tends to keep even when finished exercising on the ball.
Top Reasons To Use A BOSU Ball
Incorporating a BOSU ball into your fitness regimen is a great way to improve core strength. Many people might be surprised to learn that the majority of one's strength and stability comes from the core. People with stronger cores are able to produce more force for other exercises. For this reason, you will most likely find that once your core strength increases, you will be able to perform better at the gym in a range of different exercises from crunches to deadlifts to bench presses.
Not only will increasing your core strength help you perform better, it also reduces the chance of injury. The better your balance, the less chance of stumbling when lifting heavy weights. There is also less chance of tweaking a muscle in your back when lifting a weight overhead.
Regularly training on a BOSU ball will also increase your balance in every day life, thereby increasing your confidence to respond to situations. You will have better body awareness and the ability to react more quickly to surprising situations, like trying to catch an object you have knocked over, or jumping out of the way when somebody comes biking or skating by. Most people find that greater physical confidence emanates out to other areas of their life, and makes them a more confident person in general.
One of the great things about training on a BOSU ball is that is provides a totally unique workout experience. Anytime you switch up your exercises, you create what is known as muscle confusion. It is believed that changing up one's workout routine increases muscle stimulation and helps the body push past plateaus. Even if it did not create muscle confusion, the unique experience is a great way to make workouts more fun, especially for those who have gotten into a stagnant routine and are beginning to get bored at the gym.
Types Of BOSU Balls
When looking to buy your first BOSU ball, you may notice that there are spiked and non-spiked version. The original BOSU balls are smooth, but some manufacturers have decided to make dual purpose balls. Spiked balls can be used for all of the traditional BOSU ball workouts, plus they can be used for massage therapy as well. This makes them a more versatile option that standard BOSU balls.
Unfortunately, most spiked BOSU balls are smaller than traditional BOSU balls, which may make them unsuitable for exercises performed on two feet. If you like the idea of a spiked BOSU ball that can double as a massage therapy ball, consider buying two so that you can stand with one foot on each. This way you can the benefits of a massage therapy ball without eliminating any exercises.
There are also BOSU balls that come with handles attached to exercise bands. These are ideal for those who don't have any weights to use in conjunction with their ball. They are also a good choice for somebody who is looking to incorporate resistance training into their routine instead of standard weight lifting. The exercise bands can be removed from most models as well, so they won't be in the way when performing exercises where they aren't needed.