As I was doing my BOSU workout the other day, I thought to myself “who came up with this thing?!”
Well, let me introduce you to David Weck. He invented the BOSU balance trainer along with the BOSU Ballast Ball and Quick Hands Bola Trainer. He graciously agreed to let me interview him and here is what we talked about:
What inspired you to create the Bosu and what is the significance of it’s name?
I created the BOSU Ball as a tool to help me overcome chronic lower back pain. After a minor mishap on my motorcycle, I suffered a year with chronic (everyday) pain in my lower back. Traditional physical therapy did not work for me nor did several other treatment alternatives. I discovered that balance and core training with a stability ball began to provide relief. As I progressed the exercises, I found that standing a top the ball was very beneficial for coordinating my core strength and improving my condition. After several falls from atop the ball, I decided to cut the ball in half. I created a prototype and used it to fully rehabilitate my lower back. I also used it trained my personal training clients (ranging from 9 yrs old to 68 yrs old) with great success. The name BOSU was created from the acronym “Both Sides Up” to describe the functional utility of the device. Since then, BOSU has come to signify “Both Sides Utilized” which represents an approach to exercise that seeks to enhance performance and movement capabilities through better balance – both in the two brain hemispheres and in both sides of the body.
What is one (or some) of your favorite Bosu exercises?
One leg eyes closed standing on the dome side is one of the most challenging balance activities I love. There is very little risk involved in this exercise as you can always open your eyes and step down when necessary. 10 seconds is a long time. 1 minute means you have incredible balance.
I like to jump rope atop the BOSU Ball. Dome side up of course. The impact forces are less and the demands to balance are higher. This is definitely one of my favorites. The key to learning how is to learn to “throw” the rope around your body to maintain rhythm and timing and then learning exactly when to jump it.
There are so many other exercises I like and I’m always discovering new variations and progressions. You can see some at www.bosufitness.com.
I have little ones at home and can rarely get in a solid workout. Can I get a full body workout done with the Bosu?
You can train your entire body with just a BOSU Ball and Gravity. While you don’t need other props, the BOSU Ball works well with so many of them. In a lot of sports conditioning classes, the BOSU Ball is a center piece and other equipment like medicine balls, dumbbells, etc. are used in conjunction.
I am not familiar with your other products, the Ballast Ball or the Quick Hands Bola Trainer. Can you tell me a little bit about them?
The BOSU Ballast Ball is the future of stability ball training. Having “ballast” inside the ball enables you to perform many more exercises than what is possible in a regular ball. We like to say “lift it, shift it, shake it”. Then of course you can do dynamic exercises where you engage, disengage, then reengage the ball without having to secure it in place. Watch and see as the “new school” stability ball changes the industry.
The Quick Hands Bola Trainer is a hand-eye coordination training tool I created for athletes and people with balance disorders, say after a stroke for example. For the athletes, this tool can be used at very high speeds from any angle. It helps to sharpen reactions and spatial awareness which can contribute to athletic success. I have clocked the balls moving at more than 110 MPH while I catch it from less than 8 feet away. ON the other end of the spectrum, the device can be used to perform very simple balance training exercises in activities such as physical therapy. I’ve had many hours of fun “playing” with it and my reflexes, hand eye coordination, and reaction timing have all improved significantly.
What is your advice for clients, especially moms, who tell you they don’t have time to exercise?
If you make time for it, you will make better use of your time. Exercise is essential and a little can go a long way to give you more energy and a better outlook on life. Whether it means you take a 5 minute play break to lift your child up several times (which young ones love) and engage in active play, or you set aside 20 minutes to take a brisk walk – I say just do something and just keep moving.
Thank you David for taking the time out to answer my questions and for inventing the BOSU!
Please visit his website for some great information, ideas and an adorable picture of his daughter that you must go and see.
Now as David just told us, let’s go “do something and just keep moving”. No excuses gang, go be active!