Push-Ups…on a BOSU Balance Trainer?

Push-ups have long been the measuring stick of upper body strength and not surprisingly, a wide range of variations have emerged. But what happens when you cross this classic exercise with new age equipment? Both methods involve the chest, shoulders and arms, but the BOSU push-up also engages core muscles like the lower back, abdomen and obliques.

In a previous column, I covered doing kicks off the BOSU Balance Trainer. Named for its “both sides up” utility, the BOSU is essentially half of a stability ball inflated on a secure platform. For the kick movement, the BOSU’s dome faced up. This time around, flip it to its less stable side.

Position yourself on your hands and knees in front of the BOSU and grip the outer edges near the handles. This initially feels awkward as the dome will undoubtedly wobble, but engage your core to steady yourself and resist tightening your neck muscles or your grip.

Once you’re balanced, lift your knees off the floor and walk your feet out until your body forms the familiar “up” part of a push-up. Again, you may need a few seconds to adjust your balance but once you have it, inhale, bend your arms and lower your body until your elbows form 90-degree angles. After a pause, exhale and use your chest, shoulders and arms to push yourself back to the starting position. The number of repetitions and sets depends on your individual fitness level but you’ll find this more challenging than the traditional push-up.

To make this even more intense, execute the same motion with one leg lifted off the floor. If you’re able to perform ten standard BOSU push-ups, do five with the left leg lifted in the air and then five with the right leg in the air.

An even more advanced version requires two BOSUs side by side, domes down. Place one hand dead center on each BOSU, find your balance and then proceed with the push-up motion.

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

Minoru Yoshida of Japan holds the world record for most non-stop push-ups: 10,507.