Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bosu HiiT

Last week I started a new class at my gym called Bosu HiiT (high intensity interval training).  A Bosu balance trainer looks like a balance ball cut in half and has a flat, heavy plastic bottom.  You can use it to do many of the exercises you're already doing - squats, leg lifts, shoulder presses, bicep curls, ab work - but with the unsteady surface of the Bosu you're using your core to help stay balanced.  The first class was relatively easy.  Most people were new to the Bosu so the instructor helped everyone ease into things and get comfortable with the feel of it.  Last night she upped the intensity a bit and we used the Bosu a lot more than we did the first week.  For most of the exercises we had the flat part on the floor.  You can, however, flip it over and have the ball part on the floor.  We did this for mountain climbers and push-ups.  It was extremely challenging!

In between sets on the Bosu we did intervals of cardio on the floor.  The instructor timed us for either 30, 60, or 90 seconds, depending on the activity.  Some of the cardio exercises we did were squat jumps, jumping rope, jumping lunges, skaters, and jumping jacks.  Lots of plyometrics.  The intensity of the cardio intervals didn't compare to what I do in my boot camp class but they were still good. In fact, the class wasn't as intense as any of my other workouts - boot camp, studio cycle, running, or the elliptical; however, I've learned that there's more to a good workout than burning lots of calories and having a high heart rate.  (Yoga taught me that.)  Using the Bosu should help me improve my balance and my core strength - two things that I don't work on nearly enough - and better balance and a stronger core should help improve my running and cycling performance.  

Have you ever used a Bosu?  What do you do to strengthen your core?

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