Fitness for Kids – Using a Bosu Ball for Jumping

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 32,442
    Certified personal trainer Margie Weiss demonstrates jumping exercises with a bosu ball.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    My name is Margie Weiss and this is Kids Cardio Conditioning. What we have here are bosu balls, they are new piece of equipment and number one, they are really fun. Kids love them because they simulate the trampoline, but they are a lot more versatile. They can be bought at your local sports store. They are a little bit expensive, but if you dont want to spend the money for a bosu ball, you can use a mini tramp which is much less expensive -- again, bought at any local store. Anytime, you use things that are bouncing, you want to make sure that you spot or assist the child until they know the actions. So, what we are going to do here is show you again from basic up to a little bit more advanced. So, what Rye (ph) is going to do -- I am just going to support her hand and under her armpit here, so, all she is going to do is step up on to here and she is just going to jump off. Yeah, lets try that again. This time well take a little bit higher on the jumps, so, we will step up and we will do a higher jump off. All she needs to do is focus straight forwards, so that she is seeing the floor out in front of her, so its step, step and a jump.

    Once she has gotten the step, step idea, were going to pretend like this is a diving boat, where you run, run, hit on two feet on the bosu ball, and then go off, little bit more coordination required. So, she is going to bounce two feet, so it will be run, run two feet and two feet, so that is a little bit higher. Once we do that, lets try this for you, and she knows how to do it. I am going to let her do it herself, but she is going to bounce and land. When she lands, she tries to let her knees bend just a little bit, because you want to cushion the landing. So, we jump and we land, perfect. You can do a lot of stuff with this. You can add some twist to it, you can add a tuck jump or a straddle jump as the child gets more coordinative, but what we are going to do next is jump up on the ball. We are just going to stay right up on top. Yeah, come on up on top here and all we are going to do is just bounce up and down. Looks easy because they know how to do it; see if your child can do it for 10 seconds. Now, the object behind the bosu ball is it's okay to fall off, because if you never fall off, you are not testing your limits. So, these girls know to do it pretty well. What I do with my grandkids, is we have bosu balls in the television room and if they want to watch television, they have to bounce on the ball. Once they start watching TV and now paying attention to it, it's amazing how much, number one, coordination they get, but number two strength, because it takes core strength to balance yourself on the ball. Again, dont be afraid to fall off because thats going to happen and you dont want that to be a negative thing. When you do fall off what you want to tell the child is, make sure if you do feel that you are not balanced, jump away from the bosu ball, rather than right on to the edge of it, because obviously, you dont want to hurt an ankle when you do it. When you jump around the bosu ball -- your shoes -- make sure that the childs shoes are tied tightly because they are going to feel it in the ankle. It's really good exercise for both the inner and the outer thighs, the tummy; the coordination, the balance is awesome. Its much harder than the trampoline because you have to stay in one little spot. It's harder than a mini tramp, because the mini tramp is flat. Okay, we can stop now, and notice too, after they have done this, they have done some cardio, because they are breathing heavier. Your criteria for whether you have done some cardio work, is if your heart rate goes up and you start to sweat a little bit and thats not a bad thing. So, using the bosu ball, just for basic jumping up and down and balance, is a great exercise.