BOSU helps build core strength, agility

LOS ANGELES "We have a philosophy of training the Joes like the pros, so we have all of our Joes and Janes of the world striving to be the best they can be," said Todd Durkin, head of the Under Armour Training Council and a seasoned fitness expert.

Durkin is a former NFL quarter back who who uses all kinds of tools to get his clients in shape. He says the BOSU is one of his favorites.

"It's great for speed, agility, quickness, as well as core strength, as well as upper and lower body strength," Durkin said.

It's been 10 years since BOSU's debut, so pros like Durkin are helping to bring back BOSU enthusiasm. Its multifunctional attributes makes it one toy to keep around.

"There's an unstable surface, so therefore, there's going to be a balance component," Durkin said.

When our balance system is engaged, every muscle needs to turn on, especially your core in order to be successful. BOSU works not just balance, but flexibility and killer cardio if you get to it.

"We love to mix it up and do what's called metabolic conditioning … if you don't have all day to work out in a gym," Durkin said.

Cardio bursts mixed with strength and flexibility works well for advanced and beginners, who benefit from short, albeit more intense, sessions.

On the dome side, the surface is unstable and for some a bit scary, so Durkin cautions not to jump into a program you're not ready for.

"You want to master the basics and then you want to start playing a little bit, you want to have some fun, so try it out," Durkin said.

Take cardio for example. Beginners can start by doing a simple up-up-down-down step routine, and then move on to a syncopated step, and when ready, go all out as fast as your feet will take you.

For upper body strength, there's ample ways to push it or dip it, and the abdominal ideas are endless.

"I think diversify, diversify, diversify. If you keep doing the same thing, you're going to get stale," Durkin said.

You can buy a BOSU for about $100 complete with DVD workouts. Dome to platform, it might just be your best bet for a workout boost.

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