We've all been there. It's that moment in the gym where you see a piece of equipment, you want to use it, but you're just not sure how it functions. You don't want to look silly or, even worse, injure yourself, so you just avoid it, sticking instead to the tried-and-true cardio equipment and free weights.
Here's the thing though--those odd-shaped balls and technical-looking bands? They can drastically improve your workouts. Not only will they help spice things up (and make fitness more fun), but each piece of equipment is designed for a purpose and reason. It would be a shame to miss out on the positive effects because of fear.
One such piece of equipment is the BOSU ball. Maybe it's not as alien as some of the other workout equipment in the gym, but it's not used often enough--although that may change after you learn the benefits.
First, though, let's explain what the BOSU ball is. A BOSU ball looks like half an exercise ball, and it's usually blue. You can use it on either end--the bottom half is a flat platform while the top is a bouncy dome-- and it's been around in the fitness world since the nineties. The name actually means 'both sides up.'
BOSU balls are an excellent addition to your workout for a few reasons. One, they work on your balance and stability; a BOSU ball can make squats and lunges more challenging, and it can help to ensure you're working your core. BOSU balls can also increase the intensity of your workout. Using this piece of equipment forces muscle stabilization and adds a new challenge to your routine.
For an example of some BOSU ball exercises, you can do next time you're at the gym, check out this article from SELF. And don't be afraid to try out new equipment and change up your workouts! You can always use Google or Youtube for tutorials, or you can ask a personal trainer at your gym. Either way, remember those instruments are there to be used and can improve your fitness regimen. Give them a try!