I’m in Olmeca gym at a BOSU * Fit class with several Ranch guests, looking forward to 45 minutes of an energetic and balancing workout. Our fitness instructor Ethan hits play and turns up the volume to an upbeat danceable Motown soundtrack. “The BOSU,” says Ethan, “is great for sport specific training. It’s more bang for your workout buck! Standing on the BOSU gives you immediate feedback as your body responds to find a neutral and steady, stabilized posture.”
To start, I step up on the center of the squishy blue side of this half ball and test my balance to learn a bit about my strength. I’m a bit wobbly as we do step-ups with the BOSU. Like a sailor learning to walk on a ship out to sea, my legs and ankles adjust and I feel more confident. Next, using light free weights, we move into bicep curls and balancing for what Ethan enthusiastically calls, “deep muscle fun.” I learn that the BOSU helps target core muscles, which protects and support the spine and pelvis. A stronger core helps control posture, ease back pain and prevent pinched nerves.
Midway through the workout, we flip the BOSU over so the blue dome is on the floor. We move into a plank position and I hold the handles of the BOSU platform. With my arms stretched below me and supporting my weight, any imbalance is revealed in the inherent instability of the BOSU as my shoulders and upper body dip from side to side. I find my center, stop swaying, and gain control. I feel challenged and rewarded.
Now in the second half of class, Ethan takes the workout to another level by adding more steps to the routines and bigger challenges to the exercises. It’s a progressive workout, so the complexity and difficulty can grow if you chose to add the new movements.
The BOSU Fit class was a great challenge and made the exercises I regularly do more interesting. Normal exercises, like planks, felt much more demanding with the BOSU. And with those demands came a greater feeling of reward and satisfaction.
For more information on BOSU Fit and other fitness classes at Rancho La Puerta visit: http://rancholapuerta.com/at-the-ranch/activities/fitness/
*BOSU is an acronym for both sides up