BOSU balls were all the rage about a decade ago but why have they faded to just being more of a fun toy in the gym than an actual piece of equipment that you can get a whole workout completed with?
Let’s first start off by rewinding back a bit more, before the BOSU ball. Before the BOSU that launched in 1999, therapists and trainers would use stability balls to challenge one’s balance by having clients sit on it, roll around on it, and occasionally kneel on it. Then the BOSU ball came around and showed to be slightly more stable and more useful to the masses due to one side of it being flat. When it first came out, a lot of people saw the BOSU ball as the greatest thing ever and the most fun to do some fancy tricks on that BOSU always cautioned to never try. However, trainers and therapists started having clients focus on balance, core strength, and functional exercises on the BOSU ball.
It started to fade pretty quickly when people realized, that playing with a BOSU ball was far more fun than actually effective. The BOSU ball does certainly have benefits to it and is a great tool to work into your workouts here and there. It is just that for most people’s goals, they need to do a lot more other forms of exercise and use exercise accessories than just the BOSU ball.
So what is the BOSU ball good at? Here are a few reasons we like the BOSU ball for.
The BOSU ball works pretty well for people who are going through rehab for lower body injuries to the knees and ankles due to the unstable nature of the BOSU ball. However, this is only the case for certain issues as it can make certain foot problems worse.
360 Degree Movement
The BOSU is great for working not just in a sagittal or lateral plane. For instance, using a single-leg lunge can work the leg in 360 degrees. This means you can challenge more than just one plane of movement. One can work the anteroposterior, lateral, and rotational planes while on the ball.
The BOSU ball doesn’t really make someone more athletic nor does it really provide enough variance to stimulate other terrains that you may encounter. However, it does do well in helping for some of the instability for jumping. Jumping onto the ball or exploding off of the ball could help strengthen that type of movement. Think of doing movements like forward to lateral jumping on the ball with a change of direction with rotation), lateral to lateral, etc.
All in all, the BOSU ball is great for some things but not an all in kind of exercise tool. If you have never used a BOSU ball before it is at least fun to try it out. Try standing on the flat side and squat down. Your legs will most likely uncontrollably shake like everyone else who has tried it for the first time.