T Nation

Bosu Ball Not BS?

Alright alright, I know i’m going to regret this, but I want to attempt to make a case for the Bosu ball.

There are countless reasons for it’s uselessness, one in particular I’d like to challenge. I believe it was Poliquin who pointed out that in order to use it you must be bow legged, which naturally is no good. However what about flipping it over, flat side on top. Doing Pushups and Squats on it would challenge balance, hence firing more stablizer muscles, possibly more muscle recruitment. Thoughts on this?

(Not necessarily an extensive arguement, but just wanted to try to point out it COULD have SOME place in a SOMEONE’S training regiment.)

How do you want to recruit more muscles while doing something with reduced load and speed ?

Doing push ups on a bosu ball can train you to do push ups during an earth quake…with perfect form.

Is there any other application that free weights couldn’t out-perform? Doubtful. It looks like fun though and I’m betting those balls float like no body’s business in a swimming pool. I want two.

As for squats I can see how you can have reduced speed and load, however for push ups you can keep damn near perfect form by gripping the sides, and there’s no reduction in speed.

Also something that I think would be good on a Bosu Ball is isometrics. You’re sort of limited in your arsenel here but how bout planks/bridges, elevate feet a little to compensate for the height gained from being on the bosu ball.

[quote]JSopko wrote:
As for squats I can see how you can have reduced speed and load, however for push ups you can keep damn near perfect form by gripping the sides, and there’s no reduction in speed.
[/quote]

Wouldn’t gripping the sides of a bosu ball be CHEATING? Isn’t that just eliminating the entire point of using one? WTF?

Either side of the BOSU would be good for pushups, especially for me since I lack upper body stability. Of course, you can just use a med ball or regular swiss ball and get the same effect.

I don’t think using it for squats is a great idea, for reasons previously mentioned. If you want firing of stabilizer muscles, do some front squats (really any squat done correctly), unsupported rows, or standing overhead presses. Those are much more effective.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

Wouldn’t gripping the sides of a bosu ball be CHEATING? Isn’t that just eliminating the entire point of using one? WTF?[/quote]

Not quite. Even when gripping the sides you still get a wobbly feeling, think of it sort of similarly to doing push ups on rings or parrelletes(sp?). Maybe not necessarily worth buying one, IMO buying one’s a waste of money, but we happen to have one so i’m trying to use my resources here.

[quote]JSopko wrote:
Professor X wrote:

Wouldn’t gripping the sides of a bosu ball be CHEATING? Isn’t that just eliminating the entire point of using one? WTF?

Not quite. Even when gripping the sides you still get a wobbly feeling, think of it sort of similarly to doing push ups on rings or parrelletes(sp?). Maybe not necessarily worth buying one, IMO buying one’s a waste of money, but we happen to have one so i’m trying to use my resources here.[/quote]

Honestly, if you want to use one, use it. I have one in my living room. It has some dust on it, but just in case I want to do crunches on it, all I have to do is wipe it off.

The problem is using cleaning fluid to clean it and then jumping on it before it dries off. Needless to say, the scene is not pretty.

I see nothing wrong with using it as a variation or just to try something different. Other than that, I think they are pretty useless.

I could see using it as a sex prop. Putting it under a womans belly and hitting that booty from a couple different angles would be cool, but only once in a while.

I used to use a swiss ball like that, so I’m pretty sure there would be good carryover.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Doing push ups on a bosu ball can train you to do push ups during an earth quake…with perfect form.

[/quote]

That is the whole point of the CHEK cruise.

Instead of just exercising on swiss balls, they will essentially get to LIVE ON ONE as the ship is sent to seek out only turbulent waters.

It will be the ultimate test of functional living.

-Matt

If you really want to train your “core” and “stabilizer” muscles, bring some kettle balls to the ice skating rink.

Listen, I do push-ups with one arm on a medicine ball and other stuff like that. No one has ever said (and really meant it) that bosu balls and swiss balls are worthless. It’s when you plan your workouts around those things (instead of doing them during your last 10 minutes or so of training) that people get pissy.

So the only people you’re going to argue with are 150 lb. guys who take every word read here literally.

Well, more or less everything has been exhausted with Cali finishing it up. I’m done.

Susp. chain pushups for me thanks.

Just a general thought on “instability” training, a related point was brought up on a discussion forum. A research study dealing with training on unstable (bosu ball, soft/gooey surfaces) surfaces found that trining on these implements does not increase core activation/stability but rather increases the activation of the periphery muscles as stabilzers.

In reality the “core” is more activated as a stabilzer while training on “stable” surfaces. So, while some may argue for or against I think what we need to remeber is what we are trying to accomplish in training. My personal intuiton says that this makes sense. Instability surfaces are useful in the re-education of dormant periphery muscles which would be a result of coming off on injury where some appendages where immobilized. True “core stability” lies within the concepts of utilizing the many froms of ISOMETRIC training on stable surfaces.

just a thought,
Pete Arroyo

I know that most average folk have screwed up coordination and mobility. For those purposes training with these things is fine. They can also be used for calisthenics, etc. But the bullshit starts when people begin hyping it like it’s a step above everything else.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Doing push ups on a bosu ball can train you to do push ups during an earth quake…with perfect form.

Is there any other application that free weights couldn’t out-perform? Doubtful. It looks like fun though and I’m betting those balls float like no body’s business in a swimming pool. I want two.[/quote]

At $120 a pop, you would be better served by getting a water noodle lounge chair for $9.95 and 12 cases of beer.

Just my .02 worth.

[quote]Majin wrote:
I know that most average folk have screwed up coordination and mobility. For those purposes training with these things is fine. They can also be used for calisthenics, etc. But the bullshit starts when people begin hyping it like it’s a step above everything else.[/quote]

Thats right. Because everyone knows that kettelbells are a step above everything else.

I’ve had pretty good luck using a bosu ball for rehabbing sprained ankles. Just balancing on one foot (move around on the ball every 30 seconds or minute or whatever so the foot is at different angles) or doing partial 1-legged squats really helped build the strength back up and open up the joint’s mobility.

Just my $.02,
Jay

Before you jump down this guys throat, you might want to check this out.

This video is of Phil Pfister, worlds strongest man. You will notice the inclusion of both a bosu and stability balls in his workouts.

You might want to check this one out also. I don’t really buy into all the stuff this guy does, but two of those guys, Tommy Rowlands and Joe Heskett are the number 1 ranked wrestlers in the united states at heavy weight and 163lbs respectively.

I think with any of this stuff if you use it as a tool, in it’s proper place and time, it can be very valuable. The problem is when people start forming mini cults with this stuff and become known as the stability ball guy, the bosu guy, and the I’m too bad ass to use any of that crap guy.

It is a lot like the “I don’t do any direct arm work guys”. You could sure build a house with just a hammer and saw, but you can build a much nicer house if you use all the tools available.

Granted, the ball and bosu probably only consist as small part of Pfisters workout (he was pulling something like 700lbs for reps in dead), but he still uses them.

For the record, I am a trainer in Princeton New Jersey and I can attest to the Bosu Abuse that I see every day. In fact, some of the crap I see would make the average member of T-Nation throw up. I have seen guys doing single leg, bent over dumbbell flyes while standing on an upside down bosu.

I personally am sickened by this more than the average guy here because everyday that type of crap takes money out of my pocket because it is the in thing to do and it works your “core” and develops “balance”.

I refuse to buy into that bullshit and I pay a price for it since people who want that crap will go elsewhere for it, even though in my opinion 90% of that shit is worthless and even dangerous.

But, I still encorporate some Bosu and ball work into my sets in addition to dips, lunges, chinups, squats, and pushups.

Like I said, there is a proper time and place for most things in training, part of being good is being able to recognize when that time is.

Thanks,
Mike

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
I could see using it as a sex prop. Putting it under a womans belly and hitting that booty from a couple different angles would be cool, but only once in a while.

[/quote]

This is the only good idea in this thread!