Monday, July 4, 2011

Yogi Gym Rat: Bosu Ball Workout Swap

At the end of a good vinyasa class I walk out feeling like my world is full of love and light and unicorns. At the end of a good, sweaty gym workout, I walk out feeling like I could kick someones ass.
It's a good balance for me.

So it's probably no surprise that my gym workouts are very heavily influenced by my yoga. I really like to work core strength and I always am taking into consideration what will enhance my yoga.

I've become Twitter friends with lots of really cool yogi's and gym rats and often we will share routines and offer pointers to each other. When @Krazy_Kris hurt her back, I was able to suggest some gentle yoga stretches to ease her pain. When I'm looking to kick up my gym workout,  @WorkoutNirvana  is always there to encourage me or give me strength training tips.

I don't usually participate in their workout swaps (truth be told, I'm pretty sure I'd tap out before both these ladies), but I thought I'd throw this Bosu Ball routine out there that I've been having fun with lately. And besides, like @Runnertrav says, "sometimes you gotta kick it up a notch, girl!"

Contraindications: Knee issues for lower body work - modify by doing leg work on the floor
Wrist issues for upper body/core work.

Equipment needed:  1 Bosu Ball (second Bosu optional), 1 set hand weights, 8-12 pound medicine ball

Cardio warm up:
  • Stand in front of Bosu holding medicine ball. Lower yourself to sitting on the Bosu and immediately stand up lifting medicine ball overhead. Repeat 8 times.
  • Toe taps. Stand behind Bosu, hop each foot to top of ball tapping your toes quickly. Repeat right and left 8 times.
Repeat entire set 3 times

This is NOT me on the Bosu.
Better alignment would be to
keep the chest lifted so not to
shift the weight forward.
Lower Body:
  • Stand with right foot on Bosu and left foot on floor to the side. Hop to other side landing left foot on Bosu and right foot on floor. Hop back. Repeat 8 times right and left.
  • Stationary lunges front to back. Stand with right foot on Bosu, left leg back. Lunge. Exhale up and extend right leg back into lunge. Repeat 8 times right and left. For more intensity add bicep curls with hand weights.
  • Side leg extensions. Stand with right foot on Bosu, squat back and extend left leg to side. Repeat right and left 8 times. For more intensity add shoulder lateral raises with hand weights.
  • Yoga Utkatasana (chair) pose (in gym lingo just called a squat) - stand with both feet on flat side of Bosu, squat with hips back and knees behind toes. Repeat 8 times. For more intensity add overhead press for shoulders with hand weights.
  • Bridge - lay flat on back with right foot on flat side of Bosu. Extend left leg straight up. Lift hips up and lower. Repeat 8 times right and left. For more intensity, add triceps press. As you lift hips, extend arms with palms facing toward each other holding hand weights. As you lower hips, lower arms so elbows are bent to 90 degree angle with forearms resting on floor.
  • Yoga Vrksasana (Tree) pose. Place right foot on Bosu and bring left leg into Vrksasana. Hold 8 seconds. Repeat right and left. For more intensity, stand on flat side of Bosu and/or add overhead tricep extensions with hand weights.
Repeat entire set 3 times
Upper Body:
  • Plyo push ups. Place right hand on Bosu and left hand on floor, with knees bent on the floor. Lower to push up, using force propel yourself to other side with left hand on Bosu and right hand on floor. Repeat 8 times right and left.
  • Hover to plank. Begin with both arms bent and forearms resting on round side of Bosu, legs extended in full plank position. Push up onto left hand, up onto right hand, down onto left arm, down onto right arm. That counts as 1. Repeat 8 times beginning with left hand then 8 times beginning on right hand.
  • Triceps push ups - place hands on Bosu, tuck elbows in and complete 8 push ups. For more intensity place hands on the flat side of the Bosu.
Repeat entire set 3 times

Core (using the Bosu works your core muscles for both the lower and upper body exercises. This next set is designed specifically for abs):
  • Yoga Navasana (Boat) Pose (in gym lingo called a V sit). Sit on the Bosu with your legs at tabletop and shins parallel to the floor. Holding the medicine ball in your hand, turn torso to the right, center, left center. That counts as 1. Repeat 8 times keeping legs up and back flat. Be sure to keep hips squared to center and turn from the waist only.
  • Four point balance. Place right knee and left hand on Bosu. Extend right arm front and left leg back. Hold 8 counts. Repeat right and left.
  • Plank toe kick. Place hands on Bosu with legs extended to full plank position. Bring right knee in under chest, quickly kick toe to the ball. Repeat 8 times right and left.
  • Double Bosu plank. Place forearms on flat side of Bosu and feet on flat side of second Bosu. Hold yourself in plank position 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Repeat entire set 3 times

Have fun and remember my rule: if I'm sweating, have my ear buds in and am over in the corner - this is MY workout. Don't talk to me!

But do let me know if you try this Bosu workout and what you think.


  1. DANG! the warm up looks hard! I really don't think I could do HALF of this - GREAT workout!

    Thanks so much for the kind shout out too!

  2. Every time you quote me I think "I didn't say that". Then I realize you just cleaned up what I actually said. Thank you. You know I have terrible balance but I am ready to try these.

  3. Awesome, thanks Jen! If I can get my son to agree to shoot the pool workout I have worked up (Hamstring issues), I will post it for you!

  4. This looks soooo cool. Would work for my Saturday full-body days. Love the Bosu. Nice work!

  5. hey those are my gym rat friends too!! aha i actually did swap a workout with them and boy i was DONE. LOL

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