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Core Training With The Bosu Ball And Exercise Ball

Jul 23, 2008
In gyms all across the country, people are using many different tools to exercise their core muscles. Some people really like the Swiss ball (Exercise Ball), and some people really like using the Bosu Ball. The Bosu is half of a Swiss ball on a flat rubber platform, and it stands for Both Sides Up or Both Sides Utilized because you can do exercises on the flat platform and also on the soft dome shaped side.

Balance Training has become an important part of core workouts, because when you stand on one leg your center of gravity shifts, and the core muscles in your lower back and hips must work harder to maintain your stability. You can stand on the Bosu Ball with 2 feet or on 1 leg. 1 legged balancing is really challenging, but it can lead to dramatic improvements in balance, coordination, and sports performance.

In addition to balancing exercises, you can do traditional abdominal and core exercises on the exercise ball. The stability ball can enhance your core workout in 2 major ways. It can challenge your stability because it has a soft unstable surface, and it can increase your core strength by allowing your body to utilize a greater range of motion when you perform traditional core exercises.

Whenever you do a core exercise on a ball, your core muscles work both to stabilize and move your lower back and pelvis. When you perform core exercises on a stable surface like a machine or the floor, there is less challenge for the stabilizer muscles.

The balls can also enhance your core workout by allowing your spine to utilize a greater range of motion. Your lower back has a natural curve, and the abdominal muscles work to reverse that natural curve. When you lie flat on the floor, the floor partially reverses the natural curve in your lower back, and this decreases the range of motion that the spine can move. Less range of motion equals less muscle work.

Here is an example of how the Bosu can be used in your core workout to make your exercises more effective. When you perform crunches on a Bosu Ball, your spine can extend to its natural position, so you get additional range of motion when compared to the floor. It is also unstable like the stability ball, so your core muscles also work to keep you balanced as you crunch.

Also, because the balls are contoured, your body can focus more on segmental movement through the spine. Lastly, because the balls keeps your body elevated off the ground, there truly is no rest position for the core muscles, so they stay engaged throughout the entire exercise.

The balls are great tool to use for core exercises. In addition to regular ab crunches, you can do reverse crunches, oblique crunches, or Russian Twists. If you see a ball lying around the gym floor, ask a trainer to show you a few exercises on it. You may find that it is one of your favorite tools to incorporate into your core workouts.
About the Author
Dr. Charles A. Inniss, Jr. is a physical therapist and personal trainer.

For pictures of core exercises and free ab workouts with the Bosu Ball visit his website Ab-Core-and-Stomach-Exercises.com
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