The BOSU Ball is arguably the most popular piece of fitness equipment ever created. Go into any gym, and you will likely find dozens of BOSU ball exercises being done by soccer moms, athletes, and everyone in between. People are crazy, and I am sure you have seen crazy people use the BOSU ball for crazy things, resulting in epic gym fails. However, the BOSU is a serious piece of gym equipment and is one of the key “tools” in my tool bag that helps me meet my goal.
My goal is to become a faster, more athletic golfer. Better athletes make better golfers. Rather than training to become bigger and stronger, I focus on trying to get my nervous system faster and more efficient. Make no mistake—these exercises will get you stronger, but they will also teach your body to be more athletic and efficient in the way it moves. Below are three BOSU ball exercises that will train your nervous system to fire more powerfully and efficiently.
Placing your feet at a 45-degree angle on the dome, compress as hard as you can while keeping your chest up and your lower back slightly arched. Squat down only as far as you can while keeping maximum compression, then feel your glutes fire as you rise back to a standing position while maintaining compression. This exercise lights up the posterior chain as your hamstrings and adductors contract the dome, and your glutes fire your hips into extension. The angle of your feet on the dome allows you to target your adductors in a way that is unique to the BOSU Elite. Start with bodyweight and then add a kettlebell or dumbbell in a front squat position.
This is my favorite exercise. Using the same compression squat stance, pull yourself down into a compression squat. At the bottom of the compression squat, begin to swing the bell using just your arms. After you have achieved a balanced position while the bell is swinging, fire the hips to start your kettlebell swing. Maintain compression into the dome the entire time. The swing should be short and tight—your focus is on compression and glute activation, not swinging the bell with your arms. In the concentric portion (on the way up) you should feel maximum contraction of your glutes. All the same principles of the compression squat apply, but now we are adding a power element. Rather than count reps, try to contract and fatigue the glutes as rapidly as possible.
This is a more athletic and functionally appropriate movement than the bench press. When we push, we do it from our centerline, not with our hands and elbows in a fixed outward position as they are with a barbell. Begin in a pushup position with your hands forming a “diamond– type” position on the dome. As you descend into the pushup, compress the dome as hard as you can throughout the movement, transferring pressure from the outside of your hands at the bottom to the insides of your hands at the top. Keep your pelvis neutral and tucked (do not arch your back), with your back flat, core engaged, and shoulders pulled down. Keep this “plank” position throughout the movement. The elastic force of the BOSU will light up your nervous system as you attempt to keep the dome compressed.