Bosu Exercises – Part 1 of 3

The bosu is one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment. It’s so versatile that it allows you to get a full body workout at a variety of intensities. It really jazzes up exercises that can become mundane and boring on their own.

Below, I’ve listed and shown my favorite LEG exercises to do with a bosu. Try some out!

LEG EXERCISES

    1. Burpees – Regular burpees are tough, but holding a bosu in your hands througout a burpee movement makes them even tougher!
      *Hold the bosu with the black side facing up. Lift the bosu overhead. Next, bring it down so the blue side is touching the ground, jump down and extend your legs back, then hop your legs back in, stand up, and repeat.
    2. Squats – Squats are great to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes! Now perform them on a bosu to really strengthen those muscles and improve your balance by strengthening your core too.
      *With the black side of the bosu facing up on the floor, stand on the bosu with your feet shoulder width apart and perform your squats slowly and controlled. You can make this even harder by performing single leg squats. Just adjust your stance so your weight is balanced at the center of the bosu and squat on one leg.
    3. Glute Bridges – Work that booty again! This is a great exercise on its own that can be done with both legs, or just one leg at a time. A bosu adds a little more fun.
      *With the blue side facing up on the ground, position your feet on the blue ball. Make sure your butt, knees and feet are aligned at slight angle to achieve the best contraction of your muscles. Flex your hips up and contract your glutes, then return to the ground and repeat. You can also do single leg glute bridges by keeping one leg off the bosu, lining it up parallel to your other quad as you bridge up.

Let me know what you think! Any questions, just leave a comment!

Sneakers Sneakers Sneakers

As a runner, I cannot stress enough the importance of a good pair of sneakers…Especially if you’ve had a substantial injury pertaining to running! A good pair of running shoes can cost upwards of $100, but trust me, if you enjoy running and want to continue to do so injury free, you don’t want to skimp out on this.

When I ran in high school, my long distance coach told me how important it was to buy new sneakers every six months. Now, we were running for an hour or more each day, so we racked up a lot of miles very quickly. If you don’t run long distances very often, or only run for short periods of time, your sneakers will probably last longer.

But the point remains: Don’t continue to run in a worn out pair of sneakers.

Think of how great your sneakers felt when you first bought them. Like clouds on your feet? Like you never wanted to take them off? Like these pillows gently holding your feet securely in place? That’s how a good pair of sneakers should feel – comfortable and supportive.

asics sneaksWhen you realize your sneakers are tired and worn, fraying at the seams, with a wrinkled outer base from the constant pounding you put them through, I suggest going to a running specific sport store. At a store like this, compared to a large shoe franchise, the employees actually know what they’re talking about. Usually, if the store is good, they’ll have a footmapping machine you stand on to read the pressure distribution of your body weight in your feet. They’ll also analyze your gait and arches to see if you over-pronate, under-pronate, or have any other special concerns that you might need support for from your shoe. This machine will also measure your foot size, to ensure you’re in the right size shoe. Then the employees will know exactly what brand and style of sneaker will provide you and your feet the best possible support and cushion for your run. They’ll help you try on pairs until you find your perfect match.

A lot of people get sucked into cool looking sneakers that are currently hot in the market. For example, my senior year in college, a lot of my lacrosse teammates wore Nike free runs. Our practices were intense: three hours a day, six days a week. We did sprints and endurance conditioning mixed in with dynamic strength exercises. We were constantly sprinting, jumping, changing direction on a hardwood gym floor – putting a lot of pressure on our feet and ligaments. Those who wore Nike free runs had shin splints – or worse – in less than a couple of weeks. Why? Well, I believe it has a lot to do with Nike’s minimal feel.

These shoes my teammates were wearing had little to no cushion, minimal arch support and little to no ankle support. They just weren’t made for the workouts we were doing. Now, I’m not saying Nike shoes are terrible for all runners. I’m simply stressing the importance of wearing the RIGHT sneakers for YOUR preferred type of running and YOUR feet.

Personally, I enjoy long runs. I also enjoy running fast when I can. I tend to over-pronate. My ankles collapse inward when I run and my arches aren’t all that stable either. I told my old coach, who works at one of these fabulous running stores I’m talking about, about my stress fracture injury and how I was starting to run again after six months. She recommended a brooks2sneaker with good cushion and lots of support. So, I’m thinking ASICS. I’ve worn ASICS my whole running career and love them. I only wore Nike’s for one pre-season of lacrosse and after developing numerous issues in these shoes, switched back to ASICS. The ASICS I typically wore had adequate cushion, so I thought they were the best for rehabbing a stress fracture. However, this coach put me in a pair of Brooks, which offer the same cushion, plus a whole lot of stability and support.

These people KNOW what they’re talking about.

You’ll be amazed at how the quality of your runs will improve when your feet are being protected and supported the way they should be. Additionally, you likely won’t feel as sore and worn after a run when your shoes are the right fit. Sneakers not only support and cushion the impact to your feet, but also everything connected to your feet! The forces that come from the impact of your feet hitting the ground while running disperse and travel up your legs. In the right pair of shoes, your knees and your shins will be spared. In the wrong pair of shoes, you could develop plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tendonitis, stress fractures or worse.

I know sneakers can be expensive. Especially a good pair. But it’s worth the money to take care of yourself and ensure you can continue to exercise and enjoy your runs. Don’t skimp out and get injured! I swear, you really can feel a difference in the right pair of sneakers.