Getting Your Kicks with BOSU

A BOSU Balance Trainer basically looks like half of a stability ball—inflated on a secure platform. Invented more than a decade ago, the BOSU was named for its user-friendly “both sides up” versatility and has quickly become standard equipment in gyms from coast to coast; BOSU is a fun and easy path towards fitness and self-defense.

You start by standing about 18 inches in front of a BOSU in the dome-up position. Stepping directly forward with your right foot, place that foot flat and dead center onto the BOSU dome. Once your right foot has landed on the BOSU, you begin to raise the left leg in preparation to throw a front kick.

To execute that front kick properly, raise your left knee to at least waist height. This is your chamber. From there, you thrust out your hips and use your leg muscles to explode your foot outward—imagining the heel as the striking surface as you snap the kick toward the intended target. This movement may be made up two components (chamber and kick) but it has the look and feel of one smooth motion. All the while, your right leg—and entire core—is working to maintain balance and stability.

{ad-fitness}After performing a powerful, snapping front kick with your left leg, return that leg to the floor between you and the BOSU. Meanwhile, your right foot lifts off the BOSU and you immediately step the right foot back into a rear lunge in a fluid transition. After a beat, repeat the exercise by again stepping the right foot onto the BOSU, throwing a left front kick, and then completing the movement with a right leg rear lunge.

After a predetermined number of repetitions, you perform a follow-up set that has your left leg stepping onto the BOSU, your right leg throwing the front kick, and your left leg doing the rear lunge.

Once you’ve mastered proper form, BOSU kicks can be executed quickly and intensely, thus increasing the cardiovascular component of the movement. With a subtle shift in foot position on the BOSU, those more experienced in hand-to-hand combat can use the same formula to perform roundhouse kicks and/or side kicks.

Also, keep in mind that if you’re training to use a front kick primarily in a self-defense capacity, it is often best to utilize your instep as the striking point and your attacker’s sensitive groin area as the visualized target.

Final note: The exercise advice presented above is not meant for anyone with contraindicated health problems. Please consult a medical or fitness professional prior to beginning any exercise.