BOSU® Elevation Training

Elevation training with progressive variations in height enhances the ability to create and deliver programming for a variety of applications, and brings a new training format to health club, athletic conditioning, and rehabilitation settings. BOSU® Elevation Training, facilitated by the new STAX risers helps fitness professionals and coaches improve training outcomes for all client levels, and creates a new category of drills and training skills which can challenge anyone on the fitness continuum from world class athletes to deconditioned older adults.

Combining BOSU® STAX with the BOSU® Balance Trainer offers unlimited options for advanced drills and exercises, sport progressions, plyometrics, explosive power and agility drills. Incorporating variations in height and intensity allows trainers to amplify the athleticism of any client. Peak athleticism requires a host of foundational athletic traits that include strength, power, anaerobic endurance, reactive capability, balance, coordination, speed and agility. All of these qualities are highly trainable, regardless of fitness level.

Plyometric training has long been established as a highly effective form of power training and is used by many of the world's top athletes to help them reach peak physical condition. For health clubs that do not have expensive and often cumbersome plyo boxes that require a lot of space, the STAX risers and Balance Trainers provide effective tools for both personal trainers and group fitness instructors to introduce plyometric power training that is level appropriate and progressive. Beginners can learn eccentric loading, acceleration and deceleration on the 10" height, and then progressively move to 15" and 19" heights. Progressions can begin with a focus on "powering up" to the dome and gently stepping off, before adding more intensive floor landings such as a drop or quick coupling jumps. This progressive method of teaching body control and the ability to absorb force is key to injury prevention and performance improvement.

STAX are also a great addition to sport conditioning programs that already use plyometric training as they can introduce an element of instability on the "up" movement phase, with the advantage of still being able to perform the actual plyo movement and quick coupling off a stable floor surface. Drills that focus on speed, agility and balance are easy to intersperse with plyometric training for varied programming goals.

The STAX system is ideal for group fitness as well as personal training because the Stax risers are light to move around and different patterns can be set up quickly and easily. An individual or a small group can perform a multitude of drills and progressions with the simple configuration shown below.

One of the unique factors of the STAX system is the adaptability to train in multiple body positions. Head to toe conditioning can be achieved in standing, seated, prone, supine, side-lying and kneeling positions. Upper body, lower body and core integration result in training functionality where the body works as a whole interdependent unit. Performing a drop plank-push up-jump/shuffle side progression at different heights will require a total body integrated response.

Opposite in nature to high intensity training, the height options of the STAX Elevation System are perfect for seated workouts for older adults and corrective exercise. For the personal trainer or therapist, combining STAX with the Balance Trainer creates a simple and elevated "seat" for clients or patients, which allows them to move easily into and out of seated positions. The load in a seated position can be progressed by moving from higher height (easier/less range of motion) to lower height (harder/more range of motion), and by introducing proprioceptive tasks such as single leg elements into the exercises or drills. This makes it easy to create programming that uses level appropriate training progressions and regressions, and provides a fun, productive and results oriented training outcome.

BOSU® Elevation Training offers options for exercises and drills that use both Variable Height and Selected Height. Variable Height drills move from low to high or high to low elevations, varying intensity and challenge. Selected Height drills are performed on one height that is level appropriate for the participant. The Stax Elevation System allows fitness professionals and coaches to design a variety of workouts with ideal progressions for all fitness levels.
A unique feature of the Stax Elevation System is represented by the "intensity paradox:" 

  • For most standing movement positions, moving a drill or exercise from lower to higher height increases the intensity or complexity of the drill.
  • Conversely, when working from a prone, supine or seated position, moving a drill or exercise from higher to lower height generally increases the intensity, even though at first glance one might believe otherwise.

For example, running up and down for several repetitions on the lowest height, then moving the drill to the middle height and finally to the highest height will progressively increase the intensity. However, a squat to seated position with a single leg press up to standing will get easier if moved from lowest to highest heights. In order to increase the range of motion and intensity in this seated position, the exercise must travel from high to low.

Elevation training will elevate results!


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