BOSU Circuit Workout: Balance, Burn and Build

Bored with your routine? Throw your core a curveball (literally) with this 20-minute total-body BOSU circuit.
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At the inception of functional fitness, there was the BOSU — a large, blue pimple composed of half a stability ball secured to a flat rubber platform. But unlike many “fad” training tools, the BOSU still holds its own, providing an unstable surface on which to train, thereby engaging more muscles and increasing the difficulty and inherent value of each exercise.

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“The BOSU’s added layer of instability really forces you to engage your core and activate all your muscles,” says Danielle Natoni, AFAA personal trainer and ACE group fitness instructor based in Frisco, Texas, who created this total-body workout exclusively for Oxygen. “It’s a great tool for quick workouts, building muscle and elevating your heart rate to burn max calories.”

Lunge-to-Knee-Drive-Oxygen

Lunge to Knee Drive

Dome side up

Place your left foot in the center of the BOSU dome and extend your right leg behind you, balancing on your toes. Lower into a lunge, reaching your left arm forward and your right arm back. Quickly extend your left leg to stand up on top of the BOSU, driving your right knee through to hip height while swinging your left arm back and your right arm forward. Balance briefly, then return to the start. Do all reps on one side before switching.

Make it easier: Do a toe tap instead of a knee drive.

Make it harder: As you drive your knee forward, add a small jump.

Prone-Superman-Twist-Oxygen

Prone Superman Twist

Dome side up

Lie facedown with your abdomen centered on the BOSU dome and your feet spread wide for stability. Place your fingertips behind your head, elbows flared, and allow your upper body to relax over the curve of the dome. Lift your torso and simultaneously twist to the right, opening your chest to the side as far as you can while reaching your right elbow toward the sky. Pause, then lower to the start. Repeat, alternating sides.

Make it easier: Eliminate the twist and perform hyperextensions instead.

Make it harder: Between each twist, perform a hyperextension.

Alternating-One-Legged-Push-Up-Oxygen

Alternating One-Legged Push-Up

Dome side down

Get into plank with your hands on the edges of the BOSU platform and your head, hips and heels aligned. Lift one leg off the floor, and keep your hips square as you bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the BOSU until it’s nearly touching. Return to the start. Continue, alternating legs.

Make it easier: Keep both feet on the floor and focus solely on the push-up.

Make it harder: Pause for a count of two at the bottom of the push-up.

Chair-Squat-Oxygen

Chair Squat

Dome side down

Stand on the BOSU platform with your feet hip-width apart, toes forward. Kick your hips back and bend your knees to squat down as you raise your arms overhead, aiming to get your elbows by your ears. Pause briefly, then stand back up to the start.

Make it easier: Do a half-squat in the same manner, or place your hands on your hips and do a full squat.

Make it harder: Pause for a count of two at the bottom.

Alternating-Spider-Lunge-Oxygen

Alternating Spider Lunge

Dome side down

Place your hands on the edges of the BOSU platform and extend your legs behind you. Bring your right leg forward, bend your knee and place your foot next to the BOSU. Quickly hop and switch feet, keeping your hips low as you land with your left leg forward and your right leg back. Continue at an even, yet brisk, pace.

Make it easier: Eliminate the hop and bring your legs back together in plank before switching sides.

Make it harder: Increase your speed.

Bird-Dog-hold-Oxygen

Bird Dog hold

Dome side up

Get on all fours with your knees on the BOSU, hands on the floor. Extend your right leg behind you and reach your left arm forward so both limbs are parallel to the floor, hips level. Hold here and breathe for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Make it easier: Place the toes of the extended leg on the ground.

Make it harder: Reach your arm and leg out to the side.

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