I've had numerous people ask about my lifting routine, what I do in the gym to supplement and support my normal training. So, I will try to post a little more about this subject! Note that all opinions are my own, I am not currently a personal trainer but WAS in college and have about 10 years of weight lifting experience behind me.
I'm back on the gym more regularly now since my marathon in March and overall, my focus is a bit different these days. Before it was heavy weights, focused muscle groups and exercises, but I have been growing weary of that routine and from a time management perspective, it just doesn't work for me! Whereas the focus over the winter is building strength, lifting too heavy of weights at any one workout can really hinder my ability to complete workouts effectively. So my focus as of late has been maintenance of strength and an emphasis on injury prevention. To accomplish this, I wanted to branch out and utilize some new equipment, challenge my body in different ways and streamline my workouts by utilizing multiple muscle groups at once.
So, meet my friend Bosu.
Bosu is a great friend. He assists me on my workouts, pushes me in different ways and is helping me to become more 'balanced.' Hehe.
I originally started playing around with the Bosu ball per the recommendation of my husband to build the lower body stability necessary to stay injury free. By engaging and strengthening accessory muscles, my larger muscle groups receive greater 'support' and stay happy. For example: I battled chronic hip pain from May 2012 to Summer 2013... While stretching and loosing was once piece of the puzzle, I needed an effective strategy for strengthening the accessory muscles that stabilize the hips to prevent future strain and flare-ups.
Simulate or recreate those scenarios via utilization of a non-stable platform while completing standard exercises. The Bosu ball challenges my balance while engaging my core and accessory muscles more so than a flat surface would. It adds interest through the challenge of staying upright and the need to stay focused to do so. And because it's difficult to utilize overly heavy weights on the Bosu, I feel as if I'm getting a great workout without the residual fatigue heavy lifting create.
What do I do on the Bosu, you ask ? Here are a few of my favorite exercises utilizing the Bosu ball, some recommended to me by a former personal trainer and many which were recommended by my Physical Therapist hubby:
- Simple Balance Exercise: Stand on the rounded side and end age your core while balancing on one foot. You can simply elevate the one foot slightly above ground or bring it up towards your knee to hold a 'tree' pose.
- Toe Taps: Thanks to my personal trainer for introducing me to this last fall! Place the flat side down and do quick toe taps to the center of the ball for 30-60 seconds. For added challenge, try rotating around the ball as you've so, switching directions halfway. This is great for strenthening calves!
- Single-Leg Dead Lifts: A challenge in itself to do on flat ground, this one requires focus !! Try it without hand weights first then slowly progress by adding in hand weights.
- Squat with Overhead Press: Standing on the Bosu adds an extra dimension of stability, engaging my core and glutes more. The addition of the overhead press makes this a great full body exercise.
- Push-Ups: Put your feet on the flat portion for a great upper body exercise with increased core engagement. Or place your hands on the rounded side for added upper body challenge and to engage those triceps more!
|Picture by:veloasana.com |
- Bridges: Put you feet on the round part of the Bosu and drive your hips/glutes up. The instability adds extra challenge to those glutes, which will in turn work to better stabilize your hips!
- Lunges and/or Step-Ups: You can either stand on the ball and do reverse lunges (step back, alternating legs) or do forward lunges stepping onto the ball.
- Extended Planks: Place you hands on the rim of the flat side and hold your plank. Hard enough on flat ground, this one is quite fun!!!
- V-Sit & Hold: Sit on the round side of the ball and bring your legs and chest up yo firm a V with your body. Probably one of THE MOST challenging core exercises I've done.
Okay, time to tackle the day! Have a great Friday/Weekend ya'll!!