The use of a balance trainer is something that I feel is largely overlooked when it comes to cross-training for runners. I’m sure you have heard it before but let me say it again, strength training is so important when it comes to becoming a stronger runner. So what happens when you make it fun by adding the added challenge of being required to engage your brain to focus on keeping your balance. Well, suddenly you’re motivated to increase your strength to improve your balance and reduce that “wobble”.
One of the many things that we love about trail running, is the all-body workout that it gives you, right down to strengthening your ankles and improving your overall balance and reaction time. I think this is what makes the prospect of going to the gym a little bit of a turn off for so many runners who would rather be outdoors and on the trails.
The Bosu Balance Trainer is a great motivational tool for me to do more strength and balance workouts. Especially knowing that it is targeting key muscle groups needed for running on the trails, in a fun and challenging way. Better still, I can do all this before breakfast, from the comfort of my own home without ever needing to travel to the gym.
Key features of the Bosu Balance Trainer that stand out
Use it both sides up
The Bosu NexGen Pro Balance Trainer has been designed so that both sides can be utilised or can be used BOth Sides Up (yes, that is the reason for the acronym and brand name). This gives you lots of options to get really creative with how you plan to use the balance trainer.
Looking to the inflatable rubberised dome of the Bosu NexGen Pro, you can see that there are attractive grip textures embossed to stop you slipping off it. This works well and I feel I can get adventurous with my movements when jumping on it. An example of this can be seen in the video above when I do my jumping leg switches.
The rubberised dome is made from a latex-free burst resistant material which should make the Bosu very durable.
This symmetrical quadrant has been incorporated into the design to make it easier for you to line up your feet or hands consistently when doing your exercise routines. It’s not something you would really think about needing but I’m actually finding it pretty useful.
Dimensions and weight
The Bosu NexGen Pro is 65cm in diameter and weighs 9kg which feels quite heavy. It needs the weight to keep it stable when you’re doing all kinds of crazy things on it. Knowing these facts, it’s not really for taking with you places. That works for me as I will always favour a safe and stable platform for precise balance training over portability.
Green, Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing
We love that Bosu makes products intended to promote health, wellness and an overall better quality of life. The message really resonates with the heart of Trail & Kale and what we stand for ourselves. Hedstrom Fitness has been committed to the use of renewable resources, recycling and the elimination of toxins that harm the environment ever since the inception of the Bosu.
Getting Started with the Bosu Balance Trainer
Before I could use the Bosu it needed pumping up. This was a quick and painless process as a small hand pump is included in the package. Being able to deflate the Bosu fully makes it much smaller for storing and/or transporting it.
A couple of tips when inflating the Bosu:
- Make sure you inflate it so that its roughly 8.5 inches tall. You can easily measure this by flipping the Bosu upside down so that the inflated side is touching the floor, then measure from the plastic edge to the floor.
- You can actually make balancing exercises easier or tougher depending on how much you inflate it by. If for example, you inflate it so that it stands 7 inches tall, then balancing on this less inflated surface will require much more effort to stabilise on your part.
There are so many creative ways in which to use the Bosu Balance Trainer
The video attached to this article is a demonstration of how the Bosu can be used to improve balance, strength and focus for trail running. Bosu has a large resource of clips online, demonstrating how the balance trainer can be used for building strength in other areas, for general balance or specific sports.
If using the Bosu balance trainer upside down, please be cautious when stepping onto and off it. It’s a tougher way to use the balance trainer but once you get the hang of it, you will be hooked by the extra challenges involved. I confess I fell when stepping off the flipped Bosu. I landed safely on the sofa though…
*BOSU does not recommend standing on the platform side, I understand the risks of doing so. Please use caution if attempting this.
Using a balance trainer is a good way to improve your trail running strength as you can benefit from it regardless of your fitness and ability levels. That makes it a very accessible tool for any trail runner seeking a fun and challenging way to get stronger, ready for their trail adventures.
Have a question about the Bosu?
If you have any questions about the Bosu NexGen Pro Balance Trainer or how to use it, then please leave a comment below and I will reply as soon as possible. Happy Balancing!!