In a continuation of his BOSU Balance Trainer series, Brian combines the plank and Balance Trainer to create a simple exercise for improving core strength and stability.

See 'Related Resources' below for past Functionally Fits and other exercises and training tips.



Begin with the forearms in a stable position on the BOSU Balance Trainer (knees on the floor). Next, rise up into a plank position. Choose a direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) and begin moving that way by walking the feet that way and simultaneously lifting each arm to keep the body in line over the Balance Trainer.


Continue moving in one direction for 15-30 seconds and then repeat moving in the other direction. It is important to move in a controlled and deliberate manner as well as staying above the Balance Trainer to prevent a displacement of the Balance Trainer and/or your center of gravity.


If you are new to this or have clients with lower core strength, begin using a BOSU Stax Elevation System with the Balance Trainer to lower the difficulty level. Once you master form, remove the Stax Elevation System and progress to just the Balance Trainer.


This exercise is effective for improving core strength and stability. A secondary benefit will be enhanced scapular stabilization and serratus anterior strengthening particularly if you emphasize the need to maintain a protracted scapula position at the start (think push-up plus position, only in a plank position).

If you have concerns about a client's ability to do this activity, begin on the floor, since it is a more stable environment and assess his/her capacity to execute the movement properly. Additionally, increasing the angle at the shoulder joint to more than 90 degrees (center of gravity shifting further away from the Balance Trainer) will make the exercise more demanding on the core. Just be sure you avoid lumbar hyperextension or poor form.

Brian Schiff, PT, CSCS (www.brianschiff.com) is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. He became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in 1998. In 2000, he opened his own personal training and sport-specific conditioning facility, Fitness Edge, in Dublin, Ohio. Brian has presented at several professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention and sport-specific training.

BOSU Balance Trainer is a registered trademark of BOSU Fitness LLC.