Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Little Fitness Gem: B-B-B…the Bosu Ball Burpee


How many fitness techniques can you easily fit into six and a half minutes, but they seem to hit every muscle?

One of them is the Bosu ball burpee, which combines that weird half-inflatable ball thing you see at gyms with the venerable burpee from Marine bootcamps. The reason I believe they are effective is that they are all-body, reasonably high-intensity training sessions that you can fit into narrow time slots and do outdoors.

You get a lot of bang for the buck.

Here's how to initiate a typical session:

Do three sets of 10-20 reps with short rests in between them, of 20 to 30 seconds. A rep consists of:

(1) Pressing the ball over your head while gripping its sides, as depicted in the image.

(2) Squat down, hold the ball by the sides the mushy end down, thrust your legs out, and do one pushup.

(3) Pull your legs in, stand up, still gripping the half-ball, and push it over your head again (to begin another rep).

High Intensity

The exercise strengthens the arms, shoulders, lower back, hip extensors, abs, and legs.

It is high intensity. I did sets of 15, 20, and 15 reps. The sets of 15 reps took me about two minutes, the 20 reps about 2.5 minutes. The routine pushed my heart to over 140 beats per minute, which for me equals about 81 percent of maximum. You really don't have to do anything else the rest of the day.

Now before you jump all over me for making the prior statement, consider this: you don't have to overdo it and kill yourself every day to efficiently obtain fitness. Efficiency and getting the most bang for your buck is the key.

The Numbers

A Bosu ball weighs around 15 pounds. So let's say you complete three sets of burpees; 15 reps, 15, 15.

* You just managed to do 45 difficult (wobbly) pushups;
* You lifted 675 pounds over your head (15 reps X 15 pounds X 3);
* You just did 45 squats;

Put it all together, and that's why it feels like a complete six minute routine (about 8 seconds per rep). Do it outside on a nice piece of level grass, and you're getting some sunshine to boot.

If you want to have some fun on the mushy side, then do some jumps before or after!

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