One of the most underrated and underutilized pieces of equipment in the gym the BOSU Balance Trainer can add a balance factor to any exercise you can imagine. Specifically designed for “functional training” it’s purpose is to make real world activities easier. Whether you are an athlete or a senior incorporating one of the four BOSU Balance Trainer options into your routine can make a huge difference when trying to accomplish your fitness goals.
If a stability ball and a balance board had a baby it would be named BOSU. What’s great about a BOSU ball is both sides can be utilized for performing different exercises. That’s where BOSU gets its name, BOth Sides Utilized. The top or rubber side can be used for performing a multitude of different exercises. It’s especially useful when performing athletic type agility drills and/or yoga-type core strengthening exercises. The bottom or platform side is great for pushups and squats. But one thing to remember when it comes to BOSU you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to different exercises. Want to change it up? Simply flip it over and try the same exercise on the other side!
There are several different versions of the BOSU Ball available each one appealing to different needs and of course budgets. Here a quick chart depicting the different types of balls available from BOSU.
The First BOSU I’ll review is the Elite Version designed for heavy duty athletic applications. This is BOSU’s top of the line balance trainer. So, if you plan on putting your BOSU through some rigorous training routines then this is the one for you. Able to stand up to repeated jumps, drops and whatever else you throw at it this is one tough BOSU. It even comes with a two-year warranty should you have any issues. Certainly rated for commercial gym applications it’s designed to stand up to 400 lbs of force.
As the newest edition to the BOSU line, the Elite comes with a new honeycomb textured Power Zone to let you know when your feet are in the right position for optimal balance training. It also comes with a plethora of other features such as a training DVD and a wall chart. With a hefty addition of about $65 to the price tag for the Elite, you may want to check out the Pro version if it’s a bit outside your price range.
Check out the BOSU Elite Balance Trainer
The go-to option for commercial gyms across the nation the BOSU Pro is the version found in most aerobics and group training classes. Able to stand up to almost anything in the commercial gym application it’s rated at a 350-pound max weight rating. This is a great option for normal at home use as it should certainly last well beyond the one year warranty.
The design has recently been revamped with a new non-skid underside and a smooth non-slip top side. The dome is designed using a stronger burst resistant bladder making useful in commercial applications as well as rehab facilities. Not as resilient as the Elite version the Pro will still make a great addition to any home gym. Not to mention, considering the number of applications the BOSU Balance Trainer can be used for a $135 price tag is more than reasonable. Again you really are only limited by your imagination as far as exercises go. But, If this is still a bit out of your price range you are still left with two more options the Original BOSU and the BOSU Sport which I will cover below.
Check out the BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
The Original BOSU is exactly as it states, the first BOSU available on the market. Although not recommended for commercial use it is still rated up to 300 pounds. This is OK for most balance exercises and some light athletic training drills. It’s recommended you not over do the jumps or plyometric drills as it will create too much pressure and could burst the ball. If you are a beginner when it comes to balance drills this would certainly be a good place to start but if you are intermediate or advanced you will certainly be pushing the limits of this ball and could risk voiding the 90 day warranty. If you weight about 150 pounds even light jumping on the ball will exceed the 300-pound weight limit. So, if you plan on doing these types of exercises again I recommend going with one of the options above.
Check out the BOSU Original Balance Trainer
The Sport comes in a compact size offering the same functionality as the larger versions but with easier portability. It’s also ideal for kids and smaller adults. The BOSU Sport is only rated for 250 pounds meaning you will be extremely limited by the number of exercises you can do as far as jumping or plyometric exercises are concerned. Also, currently on Amazon.com the price of the Sport is actually more than the Original. So, you should certainly go for the Original over the Sport unless you’re a kid and/or portability is a factor for you.
Check out the BOSU Sport Balance Trainer
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