A Stable and Unstable Warm-Up

by Jennifer Renfroe on Dec 18, 2008


Integrate the BOSU® Balance Trainer into the start of class and help participants find poise.

If you’re like a lot of instructors, you tend to use the same warm-up over and over, regardless of the class. By adding a new piece of equipment like the BOSU Balance Trainer, you can turn an old warm-up into a fresh challenge for participants. You also expose students to equipment they might not have used before, which helps promote other classes on the schedule that utilize the same tool. In programs ranging from yoga and Pilates to strength and cardio, there are endless ways to use this fun equipment.

The BOSU Balance Trainer allows participants to experience both a stable surface (the floor) and an unstable surface (the BOSU trainer). This is an ideal situation for people who are new to working with instability and for those who just like variety. It’s also a quick and easy way to add a balance component to class. Below are some sample ideas for three different classes—mix and match to customize your own warm-up. Always make sure the BOSU trainer is properly inflated and any other equipment being used is appropriately stored in order to avoid injury.

Step/Sculpt/Conditioning/ Cardio-Based Classes

Each participant has his or her own BOSU Balance Trainer.

Cue the following moves:

  • Dome side up: standing figure eight with squat (option to use medicine ball or dumbbell).

  • Dome side up: standing balance rotation with alternating knee lift or abduction.

  • Dome side up: squat series: start on floor, step onto dome, squat to floor right, squat left, exit and squat on floor (16 counts).

  • Dome side down: high plank with alternating lunges to each side.

  • Dome side down: high plank with slow alternating knee pulls to center.

  • Dome side up: stand behind BOSU trainer to start, and perform alternating lunges to center of dome.

  • Dome side up: stand behind BOSU trainer to start, walk up 3x with knee lift on top, walk back 3x with knee lift on floor.

  • Dome side up: make figure eight using BOSU trainer—mount dome from floor, exit and “loop-walk” right; return to starting point, mount dome again and “loop-walk” left.

Yoga/Pilates/Core Classes

Each participant has his or her own BOSU Balance Trainer.

Cue the following moves:

  • Seated modified hamstring stretch into seated twist.

  • Dome side down: high plank to modified downward-facing dog.

  • Dome side up: standing on dome, abduct into slow leg circles, alternating sides.

  • Dome side up: standing on dome, perform cross-over reaches to rotation squat.

  • Dome side up: slow back extensions with torso on dome.

  • Seated V-sit rotations.

Circuit Classes

Line up BOSU Balance Trainers in either a horizontal or a vertical configuration the width of the room.

Horizontal lineup: O O O O O

Vertical lineup: O





Cue the following moves:

  • Plank-crawl from dome to dome.

  • Weave in and out of dome line (on floor; there is slight separation between BOSU trainers).

  • Run or jog the line.

  • Step on top of first dome, exit to floor; shuffle to fifth dome and repeat drill.

  • Jog the “baseball diamond” on floor (domes are used as markers or “bases”).

  • Shuffle the dome line (on floor); touch last dome, turn and jog back to starting point.

Always make sure the equipment is set up correctly and that you give proper instruction before adding the BOSU trainer to any exercise. All the suggestions listed above can also be done without equipment. Always give students the option to perform the exercises on the floor first and then gradually integrate the BOSU trainer. By providing the option of an unstable surface and a stable surface, you’ll cater to a wide variety of fitness levels in one class. The inclusive environment will encourage participants to try a new, fun “balancing act” and will let them enjoy early success in your classes. n

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About the Author

Jennifer Renfroe

Jennifer Renfroe IDEA Author/Presenter

Jennifer has over twenty years of experience in the fitness industry. She has instructed, trained, and developed a wide variety of group fitness programming. With a strong passion for group fitness, she has held a number of positions in management, program development, and training in the fitness industry. As a continuing education provider for both ACE and AFAA, she has traveled throughout the United States and internationally presenting workshops and training fitness professionals. Jennifer has worked for Crunch for over twelve years and was most recently a Regional Director of Group Fitness before joining the franchise team as the Group Fitness Training Manager.