Balance is the key to all movement requiring the center of gravity over the base of support. Peak athletic performance comes from being able to improve balance, strength and proprioceptive awareness creating greater functionality. The BOSU Elite is the next generation of the BOSU balance trainer both created by David Weck. The BOSU Elite combines both the instability training of the original BOSU balance trainer with resistance and compression training.
How Does the BOSU Elite Work?
The unique dome shaped design of the original BOSU and the BOSU Elite create a training stimulus that safely upsets balance and challenges the center of gravity over the base of support at a reflexive level.
Optimal centerline strength is the result of a properly functioning balance system. This allows humans to see clearly while moving, identify orientation with respect to gravity, determine direction and speed of movement, and make automatic postural adjustments to maintain posture and stability in various conditions and activities.
Balance is achieved and maintained by a complex set of sensorimotor controls that include sensory input from vision (sight), proprioception (touch) and the vestibular system (motion, equilibrium, spatial orientation). There is an integration of the sensory input coming from these three balance systems with motor output to the eyes and muscles. Many different factors can disrupt or impair our balance from injury to aging or even psychological factors. For more information on the role of these three balance systems see “The Human Balance System.”
When our balance system becomes impaired even slightly the body responds by trying to regain balance. This causes the body to contort and morph into different positions to escape pain and discomfort. The result is muscle dysfunction contributing to poor posture. Poor posture hinders the body's ability to function optimally both inside and out. Below is a graphic showing how breathing is effected by compromised posture
Standing on the surface of the dome challenges sensorimotor controls and safely upsets internal balance connecting strength to the centerline. Both hemispheres of the brain are forced to communicate with each other and work in better harmony. The left side of the brain is responsible for controlling the right side of the body and performing tasks that have to do with logic. The right side of the brain is responsible for controlling the left side of the body and performing tasks that have to do with creativity. When there is synergy between both halves of the brain the body can work more optimally.
BOSU Elite's New Design Features
The BOSU Elite maintains the dome shaped design of the original BOSU ball, but the material composition of the dome has changed. The new high-density material provides a powerful dynamic elastic resistance when pressure is applied to the dome that combines the benefits of stability and resistance training. This creates resistance between your feet and the dome or your hands and the dome exciting untapped muscle fibers. When these fibers are activated the body can move more optimally with improved posture and performance.
The BOSU Elite’s high-density dome also creates more stability than the original BOSU balance trainer. There is a dimension of instability to the dome, but because of the upward/outward resistance from the dome material it is easier to find a balanced position. This aids the user in targeting and maintaining specific training positions that would be difficult to perform in the more unstable environment of the original BOSU balance trainer.
The new high-density dome design also includes features that aids the user in how to position their body and feet on the ball for maximal results. Different foot and hand positions on the dome create different force vectors and training stimulus.
The Power Zone with its honeycomb design creates a non-slip work zone. It guides the user to the optimal training area on the dome to promote proper loading throughout the body and maximize the dynamic resistance.
The numbered Power Line guides the body positioning of the hands and feet on the dome for different variations of feedback, tension, ranges of motion and alignment. A narrow foot position (place toes on the 2’s) will create a different training result than a wide foot position (place toes on the 6’s). This allows for many different postural variations to be trained.
Why the BOSU Elite is Important?
I was introduced to this tool and compression training protocols by its inventor. This innovative training strategy opened a door to a tangible physical awareness and fluidity that I had never experienced. A very exciting thing happens when you jump off the dome after engaging it. The feet feel light and bouncy and the body becomes more engaged. Incorporating this tool into training protocols helps to find optimal posture prior to training to avoid injury and maximize training sessions. It also aids the trainee in replacing detrimental postural habits and improving overall strength.
This new training methodology focuses on resistance and compression. It not only conditions your body for overall performance, but also helps to target the glutes and the dual function of the adductors as flexors and extensors. By compressing the BOSU Elite’s dome an intense resistance is created that excites the nervous system to fire more force faster. This builds TRUE core strength and primes your body to be lighter on the ground, faster on the floor and more powerful under the bar.
This new innovative technique is called muscle priming and is a great way to prep the body before any athletic endeavor. Priming sets are performed in less than 30 seconds. The effect on the nervous system is profound as this method aids the user in harnessing the full power of the posterior chain balanced through the balls of the feet. Previously untapped muscle fibers deep within the largest muscles of the body are engaged. This enables the user to lift heavier weights, run faster and jump higher.
What is WeckMethod Training?
David Weck, the inventor of the BOSU, takes a somatic approach to his inventions and WeckMethod training focusing on improving both internal and external balance to improve body biomechanics that aid in better functionality and athletic coordination. His innovative equipment and specialized training enhance the body's vertical and rotational movements.
WeckMethod training is based on four principles: bone alignment, fascial integration, spiraling and optimizing symmetry/asymmetry. The key to internal balance is tensegrity which refers to the balance and suspension of the bones within the soft tissue. According to David,
"It's about balancing both sides of your body, balancing strength and coordination, balancing power and efficiency, and balancing athletic movement with proper body alignment.
Our training objective is simple: to provide everyone, regardless of age or ability, innovative techniques and equipment to help continuously improve athletic movement and sustainable functional strength."
The evolution of WeckMethod training for the BOSU Elite is a break through for sports performance. The muscle priming effect is immediate if executed properly. Daily use gives profound effects in movement and posture.
Check Out this Video on Compression Training!
BOSU Elite Rating
I would give the BOSU Elite a five star rating. David Weck's innovative training dome has aided me in healing poor movement patterns created by a grade 3 spondylolisthesis (75% vertebral slippage L5/S1). The Elite's unique training stimulus is helping me fix and access proper rotation of my right hip. The soft tissue in response to the spondy rotates it out of alignment on a regular basis. By accessing 4th/5th metatarsal on right foot the right hip stays in place longer. I also practice wiggling those toes while driving which seems to help mitigate sitting for my long drives to and from clients. The soft tissue wants to curl me up into a contorted position when I am tired. It has been so great to be able to fight against these forces and improve my daily squat form.
Want to Learn More About the BOSU Elite?
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