Heart to Hartman

Health Guide for Congenital Heart Disease

Creating Balance

Posted by in Exercise

Why balance?

Part of any good exercise program includes some functional exercises. A functional exercise would help you be able to perform a primary movement activity – like walking or picking something up. There are 6 so called primary movement patterns, squat, bend, single leg, push, pull and rotate. A key component to a lower body functional movement is balance.

How to add balance

Balance can be trained on its own or in conjunction with other exercises. For example, if you wanted to simply train your balance, try to stand on one foot and see how long you can hold it. Add closed eyes to make the exercise more difficult. You can step up onto a step with one leg and hold it. To make the balance integrate into your workout, simply choose any single leg exercise or a lunge.

While training balance you can also include various types of balance training devices. A common one is an Airex balance pad or a BOSU, which stands for both sides up. Once you can balance on one leg you may increase your challenge by adding one of these, the Airex first and then BOSU. Most gyms will have one or both of these items. If you are working out at home, you can purchase either of these items. They are a little pricey for your home so be sure you plan to use them. I bought mine used, which is a great way to get fitness equipment.

Once you have a BOSU you may want to do some exercises with it. Check out my video to get some ideas!

2:32 video explaining some exercises for a BOSU

You can add these to your workout or make them into a full-body workout. Beginners shoot for 1-2 sets, 8-12 reps, and work up to 2-5 sets 10-15 reps


  • BOSU
  • Dumbbell

Exercise 1

BOSU Mt Climbers. Works core, shoulder stability, and cardio

Support your upper body weight on your hands on the edge with the BOSU, black side up. The feet are straight out. Push one foot into the ground for stability and pull the other knee toward the same side elbow. Return that foot to the start position and repeat on the other side.

Exercise 2

I call this one THE BOSU exercise. It works your entire body and your cardiovascular system.

Start in a high plank position, hand on the edge of the BOSU, black side up. Hop both feet forward. Shift your weight to your feet and pull the BOSU toward your chest. Stand up from your squat, holding the BOSU close to your body. Push the BOSU overhead. Hold it overhead as you lunge, either forward or backward. on both legs. Bring the BOSU down and repeat for the desired reps.

Exercise 3

Lunge onto the BOSU. This will challenge your ankle stability and balance.

You can hold weights or just use your body weight. Be sure your weight is on the front heel that is on the BOSU not the back heel that is on the floor.

Exercise 4

Squat (or just stand) on the BOSU. This will also challenge your ankle stability and balance.

Be sure to place your feet equally from the center circle on the top of the BOSU. As always, keep your chest up, your abs in, and sink into your hips, not the knees. Hips move first.

Exercise 5

Lateral step up with a shoulder press. This will work your hips, inner thighs, shoulders, and balance, of course.

Stand to one side of the BOSU with one foot on the ground and one on the BOSU in the top center. Squat down into a 1/4 squat and press up and out of the squat onto the BOSU with the other foot. Keep most of your weight on the top foot. At the same time, drive the dumbbell up over the head. Return to the start position. Complete all your reps on one side before moving to the other side.

Exercise 6

BOSU hop over. This is a little power and balance move that will challenge your cardiovascular system.

Start with one foot on the ground and the other on the BOSU. Drive the BOSU foot into the top and push off the floor with the other foot. The foot on the floor will take the place of the foot on the BOSU as you move over the BOSU and put the BOSU foot on the floor. Keep going back and forth for the desired reps, or time. It is just like going over the top in a step class, but the platform is a BOSU instead. LOL Please let me know what you think in the comments below

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Heart to Hartman

Health Guide for Congenital Heart Disease


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