Monday Rehab: To Bosu or not to Bosu, that is the question!

Today we take a look at the Bosu, the half physio ball, half platform training tool that has lead to beauties such as this……

I still remember when it first I showed up on the scene.  Everyone went crazy for it! Who needed to do a traditional step aerobics class when you could do the same on an unstable surface that was an injury waiting to happen?  And let’s not forget all the ‘power’ training that you could use it for.  People started jumping off it, on it, squating, lunging….you name it, us trainers did it!

Here’s the problem though, can you really train for power off of an unstable surface?  And will the Bosu give you a high rate of return?

In my experience, the answer to both of those questions is NO!!!!!!

In order to create movement, speed it up and decelerate it, there must be an external force present. To use that external force, we must have something to push off of.  For us golfers, that would be the ground!  By pushing into it, it will push right back at equal force and allow you to hit that little white ball far.

Knowing this, imagine pushing your foot into the ground only to find out you’re pushing into quick sand.  The harder your push, the less you get back and you can’t find any reactive force to allow you to recover.  This is what it’s like training on a Bosu!  There is no way to find the ground force reaction while squating and jumping on it, you will only be putting yourself in a potential injury situation and perhaps losing distance.  The Bosu basically blocks the ground from reacting back.  All those powerful moves you are doing on it, will not yield the results you could achieve by simply doing the same exercises on the ground.

On top of that, due to the instability, you could easily fall off or even roll an ankle.  If you can’t even balance on the stable ground on one foot, why on earth would it be safe to do so on a Bosu?  Master the floor first, then we can talk about how to do more advanced balance work!

But Shawn, I spent $100 on this thing, what now?

Here’s how I use my old Bosu balls in our office to build power!

The first is a Standing Broad Jump with a 180 degree turn and the second is just a Lateral Bound focused on elevating up.  Both are great ways to push hard into the ground generating that push back you are looking for and incorporating awareness into the feet at the landing.  Add these in on short 20 second bursts between each set of a strength exercise and you’ll take your workout to a new level!

Happy Jumping!

-S

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