If ski moguls were blue, they would resemble the bosu. This is just one of the reasons why the bosu can provide one of the most efficient forms of ski-fitness training. The word "bosu" stands for both sides up and both sides utilized. The device, which resembles a halved stability ball, is a cross between a stability ball and a balance board. Both the dome side and the platform side can be used for ski-specific balance exercises. Inflation influences the degree of difficulty. A softer inflation will make the dome-side exercises challenging but the platform side exercises doable. A heavily inflated bosu will be easy on the dome side, but nearly impossible on the platform.
The Bosu Carve
Carving is one of the most coveted alpine ski skills. It requires ankle stability, strength and overall dynamic balance. This movement is rarely used in daily activities, which makes it difficult to practice. The bosu's softer dome side, however, can simulate the snow's slippery surface and provide an efficient way to practice your carving technique. Stand at the top of the dome with your feet separated to the width of your normal ski stance. Shift your weight so that your weight is on the little toe of your right foot and the big toe of your left foot. Make a smooth transition by flattening both feet into the bosu, then shift your weight to the opposite direction. Perform 30 repetitions, or 15 to each side. When you gain proficiency, move forward and practice the movement on the front part of the bosu, to simulate the effect of carving on a downhill slope.
Bosu Ski Tuck
If you've ever skied down a steep slope, which is followed by a steep uphill slope, you understand the importance of the ski tuck. The tuck is an aerodynamic position, which minimizes wind drag and makes you ski faster. If you use it on a downhill steep followed by an uphill steep, your momentum will carry you up the steep slope. Straight-lining down a steep slope is scary, but hiking up a steep slope is exhausting. Practicing the tuck on the platform side of the bosu will enhance your balance and make you more confident. Place the bosu so the platform side is facing up. Step to the center of the platform with one foot, then bring the other one up to meet it. Bend your knees to a squat position, then tilt your pelvis to create the tuck. Your weight may shift from side to side, but try not to let either side of the platform touch the ground. Stay on for as long as you feel comfortable.
Side Squat Shuffle
The side squat shuffle enhances the agility required for mogul skiing. Stand sideways with one foot on the bosu and the other foot on the ground. Assume a squat position. Extend your legs as you shuffle across the top of the bosu, then land in a squat on the other side. Aim for 30 to 60 minute intervals.
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.