The BOSU Balance Trainer is the perfect accessory to complement a wide range of authentic Pilates exercises. In this article, you’ll learn to incorporate the BOSU ball into traditional mat and equipment exercises. Regardless of how experienced your clients are, this workout will give you dynamic and fresh content to use with them, both in one-on-one training and in group settings.
Adding a BOSU ball to many of the Pilates exercises helps “dimensionalize” and change the repertoire. In some instances, it can serve as a wonderful assist for a client, making certain exercises easier and more manageable. For example, during spine stretch sitting, the BOSU ball helps keep the hamstrings and hip flexors from overfiring, which allows for better functional elongation of the spine. Conversely, this equipment can “up the ante” when balance, proprioception and overall difficulty need to be addressed. For instance, flipping the BOSU ball on its dome and placing the feet on the platform while performing the pelvic curl dramatically changes how the brain organizes the articulation of the movement, while also providing a much more challenging exercise pattern for the hamstrings and gluteals.
Before introducing the BOSU ball into a client’s Pilates sessions, be sure to assess the client’s goals, limitations and contraindications and be prepared to modify exercises as needed.
Feel free to teach this workout in its entirety or to use one or two segments at a time, as part of an equipment-based Pilates session.
Erika Quest is the owner of Studio Q Pilates Conditioning in Laguna Beach, California, and a Body Arts & Science graduate. An IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenter in 2009 and 2010, she is a content developer and star of the BOSU® Studio Pilates DVD and the new “2011 BOSU® Pilates 3D” workshop.