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5 Bosu Ball Exercises You’ll Love

5 Bosu Ball Exercises You’ll Love You may trip over it, avoid it with a ten-foot pole, or simply not know what to do with it. Is it your friend’s newest abstract sculpture? No—it’s the Bosu ball.  Although it’s a staple in almost every gym, it may not be the first piece of equipment you […]

Published: 12/15/22

5 Bosu Ball Exercises You’ll Love

You may trip over it, avoid it with a ten-foot pole, or simply not know what to do with it. Is it your friend’s newest abstract sculpture? No—it’s the Bosu ball. 

Although it’s a staple in almost every gym, it may not be the first piece of equipment you gravitate towards. A half-sphere attached to a platform, the Bosu ball can be used to improve your balance, strengthen your core muscles, work out your upper body and lower body, and get your heart pumping. 

Whether or not you’re a Bosu buff, finding new exercises and workout tools can help to keep your routine feeling fresh. To set you on the right track, we’ve compiled a series of five Bosu ball exercises that can help train your balance, stability, and strength. Let’s jump in. 

What is a Bosu Ball? 

The Bosu ball is a dome-like piece of gym equipment that resembles a pilates ball someone cut in half. Although it sounds far-fetched, the origin story of this balance-training equipment isn’t so far off.

American physical trainer David Weck invented this balance training product in the late 1990s to assist him in overcoming chronic lower back pain.1 He tried training his balance and core with a traditional Swiss ball, but found that cutting the ball in half made it a safer surface to train on. Over time, he saw his condition improve and began recommending it to his clients.

Including exercises with Bosu balls in your workout routine can help you: 

  • Train balance and stability 
  • Strengthen your core
  • Expand movement capabilities

Balance training exercises are a vital part of any fitness routine, as they can help correct strength asymmetry and potentially prevent potential injury that can result from it.2 Additionally, strengthening your core has a plethora of possible benefits, such as:3 

  • Relief of lower back pain 
  • Improved posture 
  • Increased balance and stability 
  • Improved performance in daily movements such as bending, reaching, and lifting 

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5 Bosu Ball Exercises to Add to Your Routine

Bosu stands for “both sides utilized,” as you can execute exercises on either the flat side or the round side of the ball.1 After regular use, you may see improvement in your balance and core strength on and off the ball. 

Although the number of exercises you can perform with Bosu balls are seemingly endless, we’ve narrowed them down to five of our favorite variations to help get you started with your Bosu ball workout.

#1 Single-Leg Raise

Kick off your routine with a simple yet effective balance training exercise. Performing single-leg raises on an unstable surface can amp up your ability to find and maintain your center of gravity. 

Here’s how to complete this Bosu ball exercise:

  1. Place the Bosu ball platform side down. 
  2. Step onto the center of the Bosu ball with one foot.
  3. Hold the other leg up for 30 seconds. You can start by just lifting your foot a few inches off the ground, then lift your knee up to hip height as your balance improves.
  4. Repeat on both sides. 

Exercise tip: If you experience difficulty balancing in the beginning, place yourself near a wall or supportive surface you can grab onto to prevent falling. 

#2 Forward Lunge

Lunges are the perfect exercise to try on the Bosu ball, as they already work to build muscle strength and stability in your lower body. The forward lunge in particular works to target your knees, side glutes, and quads.4

Here’s how to combine a forward lunge with the Bosu ball:

  1. Place the Bosu ball platform side down. 
  2. Step onto the center of the Bosu ball with one foot, with the other foot planted on the ground behind you.
  3. Bend your knees as you lower your body down until the front knee reaches a 90-degree angle. 
  4. Raise your body back up and finish your reps on that leg before switching to the opposite one. 

Exercise tip: To prevent injury, make sure that your front knee does not extend past your ankle when bent. If it does, you may need to readjust your position.

#3 Bosu Burpee 

Ah, everyone’s favorite yet dreaded exercise—the burpee. To add an extra challenge to this burn-tastic workout, you’ll be lifting the added weight of the Bosu ball when you jump and working extra hard to balance yourself during the pushup.

Here’s how to do a Bosu burpee:

  1. Place the Bosu ball on the floor in front of you, platform side up. 
  2. Assume a high plank position, grabbing the platform at 9 and 3 o´clock. 
  3. Jump your feet forward towards the Bosu ball, still holding on with both hands.
  4. Push yourself into a standing position, fully lifting the Bosu ball over your head as you jump upwards.
  5. Lower the Bosu back to the floor, jump your feet back to a high plank position, and do one pushup. 
  6. Repeat for as many sets as you like.

Exercise tip: If you’d like to opt for a lighter version, you can skip the jump upon raising the Bosu as well as the pushup at the end. If you’d like to add some extra weight, hold a weighted exercise ball as you twist from side to side. 

#4 Abdominal Twist 

This core training and engaging exercise is fairly tough without the Bosu ball. But if you’re ready for some added difficulty, ditch the mat for the Bosu ball. The adaptation is fairly simple:

  1. Place the Bosu ball platform side down. 
  2. Sit in the center of the Bosu and create a v shape with your body, extending your legs and arms in front of you.
  3. With your core muscles engaged, move your clasped hands from one side to the other. 

Exercise tip: Looking to train your arms as well? Grab a weighted ball to move from side to side as you twist. 

#5 Wobble Board 

If you’re looking for an exercise that feels more like play than a workout, using a Bosu ball as a wobble board is for you. With this balance exercise, you’re going to be moving in all directions at your own pace with this one, seeing how long you can last without jumping off. Start the Bosu ball workout with these instructions:

  1. Place the Bosu ball platform side up. 
  2. Stand on top of the board and find your balance. 
  3. Slowly move forward, backward, and side to side.
  4. Make circles in one direction, then the other direction.
  5. Repeat until you feel the burn in both legs or can no longer maintain your balance.

Exercise tip: Leave a slight bend in the knee throughout this exercise to assist in maintaining balance. 

Begin Your Bosu Training with Chuze Fitness 

From lower body to balance exercises, the Bosu ball is a versatile equipment that can workout many different muscle groups. Yet, It can be intimidating to try out a new piece of fitness equipment for the first time in a gym, especially one as challenging as the Bosu ball. That’s why choosing a gym with a community culture that uplifts and supports each member is essential to truly enjoy your fitness journey. 

At Chuze Fitness, growing our members’ confidence is our number one priority. From exercise suggestions to form corrections, our trainers are eager to help you tick off those exercise goals. Find the closest Chuze location near you by searching for “gyms near me” and let us be a part of your fitness journey by getting started today. 

 

 

Reviewed By:

Ani is the Vice President of Fitness at Chuze Fitness and oversees the group fitness and team training departments. She’s had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Ani lives with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.

 

 

Sources:

  1. Physical Culture Study. The History of the Bosu Ball. https://physicalculturestudy.com/2018/03/21/the-history-of-the-bosu-ball/ 
  2. PubMed. Balance training exercises decrease lower-limb strength asymmetry in young tennis players. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24790496/
  3. Harvard Health. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-real-world-benefits-of-strengthening-your-core 
  4. Livestrong. What Muscles Do Lunges Work? https://www.livestrong.com/article/439335-what-muscles-do-lunges-work-out/ 
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