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7 BOSU Ball Exercises For Beginners

Have you ever noticed what appears to be half a fit ball in the corner of your gym or physio’s practice and wondered what it is used for?

It may look like an accident waiting to happen, but those gym goers wobbling back and forth are onto something.

The BOSU-ball is a sure-fire way to improve your core strength and balance, and in this article I’ll tell you why, along with 7 key BOSU ball exercises to get you started. So let’s get into it.

What is a BOSU ball?

BOSU is an acronym, which stands for ‘both sides utilised’, meaning both sides of the ball can be used as part of your workout exercises.

Studies in the Journal of Strength and Condition Research found that not only are BOSU-balls effective in improving postural stability and dynamic balance in adults aged 65 years and older but they also decrease the risk of falls.

Furthermore, if you are younger and into sporting activities, they have been shown to help improve core stability and contribute to injury prevention.

How does it work?

Your core stabilising muscles work functionally during sitting, standing and lying positions and can be challenged with traditional stabilisation or isolation exercises.

The BOSU-ball adds another dynamic to your workout, as it requires your core stabilising muscles to work together to maintain stability.

Therefore, the use of the ball allows you to make traditional exercises more challenging in order to further improve core stability, balance and proprioception.

7 BOSU ball workouts

Interested in beginning your journey to improving your core stability and control? These 7 BOSU-ball exercises will help get you started.

Stabilisation Squat

Perform a squat by placing one foot at a time on the flat side of the BOSU-ball. Ensure that your feet are shoulder width apart and that you have gained balance before starting the exercise. Once you are comfortable, slowly squat down while keeping your chest and back straight and knees pointing forward throughout the exercise.

Front Lunge

Start by placing the flat side of the BOSU-ball on the floor. Face the ball and step onto it with one leg. From this position gradually lower into a lunge keeping your leading knee pointing forward at all times. When you get to the bottom of your lunge push up with your leading leg into original starting position. Repeat on alternate leg.

Drinking Bird

Keeping the flat side of the BOSU-ball face down and step up with just one leg onto the centre of the ball. With that knee slightly bent begin to learn forward at your hip and straighten your free leg behind you. Slowly lower your chest as far as comfortable and then gradually return to standing position. Ensure that your pelvis is level throughout the movement.

Single Leg Bridge

Place the flat side of the BOSU-ball face down. Position yourself so that you are on your back with one foot placed in the centre of the ball and your knee bent at 90 degrees, with the other legs hip and knee at a 45 degree angle. Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles to slowly lift your hips towards the ceiling. Hold, then return to starting position.

Push-Up

This exercise is performed with the flat side of the BOSU-ball facing up. Place your hands on the outside of the platform ensuring that they are directly under your shoulders. Assume the push up position making sure that you engage your core and maintain a flat back throughout the exercise. Slowly lower your chest towards the platform, then push back up into starting position.

Forearm Plank

Turn the BOSU-ball over so that the flat side of the ball is facing down. Gently place your forearms on top of the ball so that they are shoulder width apart. Move into the plank position ensuring that you maintain a flat back and engage your core throughout. Hold the positon for a predetermined time.

Side Forearm Plank

With the flat side of the BOSU-ball facing down place one forearm on the centre of the ball, position yourself in a side laying plank position. Make sure that your elbow is placed directly under your shoulder. Prop yourself up into side plank by activating your core and gluts to lift your body off the ground. Hold this position, keeping a straight line from head to feet. Repeat on alternate side.

Correct technique is important!

The above examples provide only a guide on how to perform these bosu ball exercises. I can’t underestimate the importance of using the correct technique to get the most out of your BOSU-ball. To learn more about engaging your core during these exercises simply ask your physio. They’ll be more than happy to help.

Matt Ransom – Physiotherapist, Back In Motion Semaphore

Matt completed his Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of South Australia. He has a particular interest in sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapy and has been working at the Adelaide Crows Football Club since 2011. Matt believes in the unique Results4Life® philosophy that underpins our clinical delivery of care. This means lifelong optimal health outcomes for our clients.

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The BOSU® Balance Trainer is a versatile exercise tool designed to enhance balance. The beauty of the product shines in its ability to simultaneously challenge your cardio, strength, core, and flexibility routines. We searched the web to find the best workout and exercise ideas for the BOSU. Here are 12 workouts that will help you integrate balance training into your next gym session!

1.Beginner BOSU Balance Trainer Exercises

If you’re just getting started or want to step lightly into balance training with the BOSU, this workout is for you. The 10 exercises included are the best to get settled into the BOSU – they’ll help you start to develop static & dynamic balance, as well as core control. Start here to gain confidence in your balance training workouts. Pictures and descriptions included.

See more: TRX and BOSU Warrior Dash Workout

2. 41 Exercises to Do on a Bosu Ball

A great compilation of exercises covering planks, abs, push-ups, leg conditioning, arms & back exercises, and cardio ideas. The only exercise we’d suggest you avoid is #41: the BOSU Box Jump. While this can potentially be executed safely with a coach or a personal trainer for specific populations with specific needs, this is not the best use of the BOSU. Videos included.

3. Sara Haley’s BOSU Total Body Blast

Sara Haley demonstrates 5 fantastic exercises that are a must to add to your BOSU repertoire. Pictures and instructions are included for lower body, upper body, core, cardio, and balance. Don’t let the number of exercises fool you – there are multiple moves happening in each exercise. Modifications and challenges are also included. Pictures and descriptions included.

4. TRX and BOSU Body Blast Workout

This workout is perfect for a quick cardio fix and for someone comfortable with balance training. Descriptions and video included.

5. 6 Quick BOSU-Ball Exercises

With a promise that in 15 minutes you’ll be done, this full body BOSU workout from Real Simple magazine tops my list. Straight forward moves that work you from head to toe. Progress from core to cardio and finish with upper body strength. Pictures and descriptions included.

6. 5 BOSU® Exercises for Dynamic Balance

From the American Council on Exercise, Pete McCall works out with the inventor of the BOSU, David Weck. The article includes several unique exercises designed to enhance your dynamic balance. The exercises are variations on ones you may have seen, but I love that there is an explanation of the why behind the move. The article was written for trainers, but the information will be beneficial for the exercise enthusiast, as well. Videos and explanation included.

7. Bosu Ball Circuit Workout

A great, quick fix circuit to perform with the BOSU and little else. Perfect for when you’re crunched for time or just want to add a few moves with the BOSU into your workout. Not only will you receive full body and core conditioning with this workout, if you keep up the pace, your heart will respond, as well! Video included.

8. BOSU Ball Total Body Workout: Challenge Your Balance, Core Strength, and Stability

Great information about balance and the product are included. The 9 exercises reviewed target the main areas of lower body, upper body, and core work the entire body. Descriptions only.

9. BOSU for Big Boys: Half the Ball Twice the Workout

The Real Jock website provides a full-body workout that will challenge your core, legs, arms, chest, and shoulders, plus the many small muscles that support and stabilize them. With 11 exercises in all, many that are included in previous posts, you’ll experience a full body blast. My reason for including redundant exercises is the way they are presented here in this specific routine. The videos are great, there’s a chart with an explanation of what you’re working and the descriptions are robust. The only thing I would take caution, standing on the platform side of the BOSU is not necessarily the best way to advance an exercise! Videos included.

10. Workout: Channel Your Inner Jennifer Lawrence

Stay motivated at the gym by thinking of American Sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence doing the workout with you! This circuit brings in both the TRX and BOSU for a full body workout!

11. BOSU Total Body Strength

All you need for this workout is a set of dumbbells and a BOSU. The focus is full body strength, but don’t be surprised when your heart rate responds as well. I like how the workout moves from kneeling, to standing, sitting, and back again. Changing your body position on the BOSU is a must for integrated balance training. Pictures and descriptions included.

12. Cardio on the BOSU

Looking for a way to get your heart rate up but test your core & balance simultaneously? These 7 moves will do just the trick. With nothing more than a BOSU, work up a sweat and increase your balance at the same time!

What’s your favorite exercise or workout to do on BOSU?

If you haven’t used a BOSU ball before, be prepared to fire up your entire core. This versatile exercise tool tests your core strength and balance by adding an element of instability. On one side, you have a bouncy, rubber ball and on the other side, a flat piece of plastic in the shape of a circle. There isn’t one way to use a BOSU ball, but because it’s not symmetrical you can use it to create an unstable environment.

Larysa DiDio, a certified personal trainer and creator of Tone Up in 15, a fitness DVD filled with 15-minute workouts that target a variety of muscle groups, says, “It forces you to work more muscles during a particular exercise, and it also forces you to work your core in order to balance and keep yourself from falling over. Additionally, the balance work is great for your mind.”

The main thing to keep in mind when working out with a BOSU ball is to prevent it from shaking and limit the extra movement, DiDio says. “Keep the core engaged and maintain proper posture with your shoulders back, head neutral, and abs engaged,” DiDio says. You also want to avoid locking your knees when you’re standing on a BOSU ball. Having a slight bend in them can help you balance and reduce your chances of falling.

Ready to give the BOSU ball a try? Get started with this beginner BOSU ball workout designed by DiDio. It strengthens your entire body while also increasing your heart rate so you turn up a sweat, too.

Time: 45 to 60 minutes

Reps: 10 to 15 reps per exercise for 3 to 4 rounds

Equipment: BOSU ball and Gaiam reversible yoga mat

Apparel: Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity 7/8 Run Leggings, APL TechLoom Pro Knit Running Shoes, and Athleta Speedlight Texture Tank in Coastal Teal

Balance & Fall Prevention Training for the Older Adult

by: Josie Gardener & Joy Prouty

The inclusion of fun, effective and safe balance training in programs for seniors is critical. As the older adult population increases exponentially, the health care costs associated with a lack of balance and resultant falls totals a staggering 19+ billion dollars.

For the most transferable and useable functional balance training, exercises need to engage multiple muscles and stimulate the body’s response in a manner that requires both to work together. This results in efficient movement. Both the BOSU® Balance Trainer (BT) and BOSU® Ballast® Ball (BB) are great tools to incorporate into programming in order to accomplish this goal.

Performing balance exercises on an unstable surface, or dome side up of the BT, results in unpredictable challenges to the body. Introducing this type of proprioceptively rich training and physical stimulus results in head-to-toe integrated strength gains, and helps to develops body awareness and reactive capability. Developing high levels of body control is an important goal. Proprioception is defined as the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from physical stimuli (similar to standing on the dome of the BT), and the feedback provided by the body’s feedback mechanisms including visual, vestibular and somato sensory systems. This type of training integration not only challenges the individual and is fun, but it also enhances the individual’s ability to balance and move in a functional way, transferring to an older adult’s real life needs. Older adults must be able to move through space, change direction, focus and react to everyday physical challenges on an ongoing basis.

Both the BT and BB provide the participant the best of both worlds from a training perspective. The older adult is able to work on an unstable surface, but at the same time feel confident and secure in knowing that the unstable surface will stay in place underfoot. This allows for unstable training in a controlled, safe environment which is ideal to prepare the older adult for the daily physical challenges of life.

The following exercises may be simple or quite challenging for older adults. It is important for instructors to progress or regress each exercise as needed, to keep the participant safe, challenged and successful.

Balance Exercises on the BOSU® Ballast® Ball (BB)

Knee Lift

  • Sit on the BB with both feet a comfortable distance apart. Rest hands on sides of the BB or on hips.
  • Lift R knee toward the ceiling, while maintaining balance and correct posture. Hold for 2 to 4 counts.
  • Repeat with L knee.
  • To increase challenge, close eyes.

Cueing & Teaching Tips:

  • Contract/tighten core muscles before lifting knee. Feel control first, then it will be easier to maintain balance with lifted knee.
  • To increase challenge, bring both arms out to the side. Then, bring one arm forward and one arm backward in opposition. This modification requires unconscious/reflexive control needed in activities of daily life, as they are unpredictable.
  • Ease into the challenge of closing eyes by squinting first. Then, close eyes completely when feeling secure.

Leg Extension with Rotation

  • Sit on a BB with both feet a comfortable distance apart. Extend R leg in front with R heel resting on the floor.
  • Rotate torso to the R, maintaining a neutral spine, return to the front and bring R leg back to starting position.
  • Repeat with L leg.
  • To increase challenge, close eyes as exercise is performed.

Cueing & Teaching Tips:

  • Contract/tighten core muscles before extending leg in front. Be mindful and set neutral alignment.
  • Once a balanced position is set with the split stance of the legs, rotate torso slowly, going only as far as controllable.
  • Use both arms to assist with balance. For example, if arms extend out to the side and the trainer moves with the participant during torso rotation, this helps to create a sense of balance and security.
  • Ease into challenge of closing eyes by closing one eye (winking) first. Then, focus on core muscles before closing both eyes.

Balance Exercises on the BOSU® Balance Trainer (BT)

Unilateral Heel Raise

  • Stand with L foot on the BT. Extend R leg behind with heel on the floor. Place hands on hips or extend out to sides.
  • Lift R heel and lower to the floor. Repeat 6 to 8 times, maintaining balance and alignment.
  • Bring both legs together on the floor to rest.
  • Repeat on L side.
  • To increase challenge, close eyes while lifting heel, but open eyes when lowering heel back to the floor.

Cueing & Teaching Tips:

  • While in the beginning exercise position, or split stance, use the entire core to stabilize before lifting heel.
  • Keep hips even throughout the exercise. The knee, ankle and toes of the back leg should be in a straight line, or facing forward.
  • When lifting the back heel, lift the body straight up to avoid over flexing or overloading the front knee.
  • Perform the exercise with control before closing eyes.

Split Stance with Torso Rotation

  • Stand with L foot on the BT. Extend R leg slightly behind with heel on the floor. Place hands on hips.
  • Rotate torso to the R, hold and return to starting position. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
  • Repeat on opposite side (R foot on the BT, L leg extended slightly behind with heel on the floor).
  • To increase challenge, extend arms out to the side. Then, close eyes during torso rotation.

Cueing & Teaching Tips:

  • While in the beginning exercise position, or split stance, use the entire core to stabilize before rotating torso.
  • Keep hips even throughout the exercise. The knee, ankle and toes of the back leg should be in a straight line, or facing forward.
  • Although torso rotation is very small (to protect the alignment of hips and extended leg), be aware of the proprioceptive challenge to maintain balance and alignment.
  • To increase challenge, close eyes and maintain balance before rotating torso.

As with any series of exercises, progress slowly when introducing these balance moves into senior programming. Balance represents a double edged sword. When afraid of falling and unsure of balance, older adults often limit movement patterns, and actually become more likely to fall. So, while balance training should be integrated into a complete conditioning program for older adults, slow progressions are the key to building strength, balance, confidence and success.

About the Authors:
Josie Gardiner, a former Reebok Master Trainer and member of the Reebok University Development Team, is the 2002 IDEA Group Exercise Fitness Instructor of the Year and 2005 ACE Instructor of the Year. Gardiner served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports for ten years. With over 35 years presenting for the fitness industry, Gardiner is recognized for her creative dance style and expertise with the 50-plus market.

Joy Prouty, a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, has been a fitness instructor and trainer for 40 years. Prouty operates Fitness Programming, Inc., where she develops fitness programs for individuals and corporations, and conducts fitness instructor education. As a former member of the Reebok University Training and Development Team, Prouty taught fitness programs to trainers and consumers around the world. Certified by ACSM as a Health Fitness Director, she also holds certifications from ACE and AFAA, and is a certified and licensed Wellcoach.

Gardiner and Prouty have 14 fitness DVDs and eight music CDs on the international market mostly focusing on 50-plus and de-conditioned individuals. Partnering with Dr. Carolyn Kaelin, Director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Francesca Coltrera, medical writer, Gardiner and Prouty co-authored The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan published by McGraw-Hill and Harvard Medical. They also co-developed the Zumba Gold training program, and are members of the Beamfit Advisory Board, to cater to program development for the active older adult.

7 Basic BOSU Balance Exercises

The BOSU is an effective tool for training both static and dynamic balance, as well as training motor skills, kinesthetic awareness and proprioception. When training on an unstable surface, the core automatically fires and contracts to keep the body upright. Thus, the BOSU challenges individuals to build strength and balance simultaneously. Beginning exercisers should have solid balance skills on the ground before using the BOSU ball.

You can manipulate balance exercises for your clients with the four primary BOSU balance challenge variables. These variables can be used separately or together to regress or progress an exercise, or to make the exercise different. The four variables are:

  • Movement
  • Eye gaze
  • External stimulus (equipment, trainers touch, wall)
  • Contact points (toes, hands, feet, knees)

With a single exercise, you can use tiny progressions to make clients feel more comfortable with the BOSU. This basic BOSU balance exercise sequence provides progression tips to help you adapt the movements to the fitness levels of your clients and helps them build the foundation they need to pursue more challenging exercises. The sequence also includes a combination of static and dynamic balance to promote balance in transition, which helps build the foundation your clients need to be able to pursue more challenging exercises.

Shin Balances

Position the client with shins on top of the BOSU with a neutral spine. Place the toes on the ground and keep hands in front of the shoulders; hold this position. To progress the exercise, lift the toes off the ground, close the eyes or catch a ball thrown by the trainer.

Static Awareness Balance

Position the client upright on the dome with the feet hip-distance apart, near the second and third ring on the dome. Place the hands by the sides with palms facing forward. Cue the client to focus on a focal point on the floor or wall directly ahead. Hold the position. The purpose is to bring awareness to the position, the unstable surface, the movement of the feet and ankles and the contraction of the core and breath. To progress the exercise, cue the clients to close one or both eyes.

Athletic Stance With Hand Tracking

Position the client upright on the dome with the feet hip-distance apart, near the second and third ring on the dome. Position the body into a squat or an athletic stance. Place the hands in front of the face with bent elbows and palms facing forward. Begin to move the hands to the right and left, while allowing the torso and head to rotate with the movement. Track the hands with the eyes. To progress the exercise, keep the torso and head still while only moving the eyes.

Standing Abduction Toe Taps

Position the client upright on the dome with the feet hip-distance apart, near the second and third ring on the dome. Place the arms into an athletic position in front of the body with a 90-degree bend at the elbows. Cue the client to lift the right foot off the dome and tap the foot on the side of the dome. Return to center and repeat with the left leg. To progress the exercise, place the foot on the floor next to the dome and lower the body into a slight squat position.

Static Lunge

Position the client with the right foot on the dome. The arch of the foot should be on the center “bullet point.” Keep the hands on the hips or in front of the body with bent elbows. Lift the heel of the left foot and lower the left knee into a lunge position. Complete a set on the left leg and then switch to the right.

Walk Ups

In a repetitious manner, cue the client to walk up and down on the dome. Clients can lead with one foot for a certain length of time or alternate the feet. The client can use a body bar or wall to assist with balance. To progress the exercise, cue the client to perform step-ups where only one foot is on the dome instead of two.

Lateral Walk Overs

Have the client stand next to the dome. Cue the client to walk the right foot on top, followed the left, and to exit the dome on the other side. Continue walking up and over the dome. This exercise trains for lateral shuffles, which is the progression.

41 Exercises to Do on a Bosu Ball

Be baffled by the Bosu no more! Here’s how to work your arms, legs, abs and more on a Bosu ball. By Emily Leaman· 4/16/2013, 12:54 p.m.

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I’m sure you’ve seen a Bosu ball at the gym before. It’s that half-circle stability ball gathering dust in the corner.

I’m also fairly certain that you’ve never used a Bosu ball before, at least not of your own accord. If you have a trainer, he or she may have gotten you to do a few reps of something on one, but us regular gym-going folk tend to look at the contraption and see a whole lot of question marks.

The truth is, the Bosu ball is one awesome piece of equipment. It makes otherwise “eh, that was easy” moves, like squats, much, much harder by adding an element of instability—which means, of course, a better workout. Here, I’ve rounded up and organized 41 terrific moves you can do on a Bosu ball, with links to demos so you can see proper form. Try working, six—one from each group below—into your fitness routine this week, then come back here and tell me how it went.

PLANKS

1. Bosu Ball Forearm Plank
Variation: Extended Arm Plank

2. Bosu Ball Side Plank with Lateral Shoulder Raise

3. Single Leg Bosu Ball Plank

4. Bosu Ball Plank to Tap Out

5. Bosu Ball Scissor Plank

6. Bosu Ball Side Plank with Leg Lift

7. Side Plank and Hip Raise with Arm on the Bosu
Variation: Side Plank and Hip Raise with Feet on the Bosu

8. Side Plank with Hip and Leg Raise with Arm on the Bosu
Variation: Side Plank with Hip and Leg Raise with Feet on the Bosu

ABS

9. Bosu Ball Sit-ups

10. Bosu Ball Oblique Crunches

11. Bosu Ball Bicycle Crunches

12. Bosu Single-Leg Ab Extension

13. Bosu Ball Ab Roll-Backs

14. Bosu Ball Ab Twist

15. One-Leg Bosu Bridge

PUSH-UPS

16. Push-Ups with One Hand on the Bosu

17. Two-Handed Push-Ups on the Bosu

18. Bosu Traveling Push-Ups

19. Bosu Push-Ups with Glute Lifts

20. Plyometric Bosu Push-Ups

{Related Post: 25 Plank Variations You Have to Try}

LEGS

21. Bosu Forward Lunges

22. Bosu Reverse Lunges

23. Bosu Ball Side Lunges

24. Bosu Static Lunge with Ball Throw

25. Bosu Squats

26. Bosu Squat with Shoulder Press

27. Bosu Ball Side-to-Side Squats

28. Bosu Squat V-Sit

29. Bosu Hamstring Tilt

30. Bosu Hamstring Flexion

ARMS & BACK

31. Bosu Triceps Dip

32. Bosu Bicep Curl

33. Bosu Ball Shoulder Raise

34. Bosu Rows

35. Bosu Ball Back Extensions

36. Bosu Ball Superman

CARDIO

37. Bosu Burpee

38. Bosu Mountain Climbers

39. Bosu Toe Taps

40. Ice Skater Hop to Bosu

41. Bosu Box Jump

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6 Bosu Ball Exercises That Belong In Your Weekly Routine

The bosu ball may look a little odd, but this half-platform, half-exercise ball hybrid is a great tool to switch up your typical routine. In short, the bosu ball basically takes some of your favorite moves—planks, burpees, and lunges, for starters—and makes them that much more challenging by adding in a balance component and waking up your muscle stabilizers. (Related: The Powered-Up Plank Workout That HIITs Your Core Hard​)

Plus, the bosu ball gives you a better range of motion (something stability and mobility training help with, too), so you can try more challenging exercises as you become stronger. The best part: You don’t need to be a pro to use one.

To get you started, Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S., developed this beginner-friendly bosu ball workout. Not only does it give you a full-body blast, but you’ll be out the door in under 15 minutes. (Related: The Advanced Bosu Ball HIIT Workout That’ll Make You Feel Like an Athlete)

How it works: Grab some space and perform these exercises in order for the recommended rep range. Do 2 to 3 rounds of these bosu ball exercises.

Bosu Ball Burpee

A. Stand with feet at hip-width distance holding bosu ball flat side to chest. Hinge forward at hips; bring bosu ball down to the floor.

B. Jump back into plank position with shoulders over wrists, and perform a push-up.

C. Jump both feet back in, stand, and press bosu up overhead for 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

Note: To make this exercise easier, you can step back instead of jumping, and/or drop to your knees for a modified push-up. (Related: The 30-Day Burpee Challenge That Will Totally Kick Your Butt)

Bosu Ball Side-to-Side Hop

A. With the round side of the bosu ball facing up, place right foot on the center of the bosu ball, keeping left foot on the ground to the left of the ball.

B. Jump, and replace the right foot with the left foot, landing with your right foot to the right of the bosu ball for 1 rep.

C. Quickly repeat, jumping side-to-side for 20 reps.

Bosu Ball Plank Up-Downs

A. Start in forearm plank on bosu ball, round side up. One hand at a time, push yourself up to a high plank position.

B. Return back down to forearm plank for 1 rep.

C. Do 15 reps, alternating your lead hand each time.

Bosu Ball Front Lunge

A. Stand with feet together about a foot in front of the bosu ball, round side up. Lunge back with right foot landing in center of bosu.

B. Lower into lunge, bringing right knee close to ground. Lift back up for 1 rep. Do 10 reps per leg.

Note: To make this exercise more difficult, hold a dumbbell in each hand. (Related: How to Do Lunges Correctly)

Bosu Ball Plank Taps

A. Start in a high plank with both feet balancing on the center of the bosu ball, flat side up.

B. Engaging your core, lift your right foot up and tap it to the side of the bosu ball.

C. Return to start for 1 rep. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

Bosu Ball Single-Leg Bridge

A. Start on your back with right foot on the bosu ball, round side up. Your left leg should be extended straight up in the air.

B. Push through right heel to lift glutes into air. Lower back to start for 1 rep.

C. Do 10 reps on right side; repeat on opposte side.

Note: To make this easier, keep both heels on the bosu ball. (Related: Glute Bridge Exercise Variations to Target Specific Results)

  • By Emily Abbate @emilyabbate

10 Full-Body BOSU Ball Exercises

You’re pressed for time and only have 30 minutes to get a full-body workout in. No problem. Use this BOSU ball workout to burn calories, get your heart rate up, and build muscle. Do three sets of each move 12 to 15 times.

1. Push-Ups—Ball Side Down

This is just like a regular push-up except you are balancing your body while on the BOSU ball. It will help work your core, triceps, chest and shoulders. The bonus is you can improve your balance coordination.

More: 8 Ways to Modify the Everyday Push-up

2. Sit-Ups—Ball Side Up

Tighten your stomach and lift with your core as you sit up. As you release back towards the ground, don’t let your back arch over the BOSU ball. For proper form, keep your back flat with the ball.

3. Squats—Ball Side Up

Stand on the ball with your legs hip-width apart and squat. Hold the squat for three seconds before standing. This works your legs, glutes and core.

4. Balance and Curl—Ball Side Up

Grab dumbbells for bicep curls. Stand on the ball and when you are balanced, start your bicep curl.

If you want to take it to the next level, flip the BOSU over so you are standing on the black side. Make sure you focus, align properly, and do your bicep curl slowly.

More: 7 Exercises to Improve Balance

5. Lunges—Ball Side Up

There are a few different variations for lunges. You can either do one leg at a time or switch legs during each set. It’s up to how comfortable you feel. Make sure your foot is sturdy on the ball, and don’t let your knee go over your toe when you lunge.

6. Boat Pose—Ball Side Up

Sit in the middle of the BOSU ball and find your balance. When ready, lift your knees up to a 45-degree angle and balance. You can put your hands slightly on the ball to help you find maintain your balance or bring them up in front of you. Try to hold this position for 15 seconds and build from there. Your ultimate goal should be one minute. But, it takes time. Be sure to tighten your stomach and breath.

More: 5-Minute Pilates Power Abs

15 Best BOSU Ball Exercises To Improve Balance And Core Strength Charushila Biswas Hyderabd040-395603080 October 10, 2019

Why wobble on a stability ball when you can improve your core strength and balance with the BOSU ball? David Weck invented the BOSU ball in 1999, and it looks like a stability ball cut in half. This design helps to add the X-factor that’s missing in your workout routine and gives amazing results in just three weeks’ time. Read on to know how the BOSU ball helps strengthen your core and the best 15 full body BOSU ball exercises and benefits. Swipe up!

What Is A BOSU Ball And How Does It Work?

BOSU (stands for BOth Sides Utilized) is a gym tool for building strength and stability.

It has a flat surface and a hemisphere. The hemisphere is half-filled with air, which provides enough instability that prompts the recruitment of all the core muscles. And the flat surface provides stability to do the exercises with maximum precision.

You can use both the flat surface and the hemisphere to strengthen the core and improve balance. Use it to do whole body exercises or just target specific problem areas. In fact, anyone can use it – beginners or pros. So, gear up and do some fun and effective exercises with the BOSU ball.

15 BOSU Ball Exercises To Rev Up Your Workout Routine

These 15 best BOSU ball exercises are going to change the way you look at exercise. But before you start exercising, you must warm up for at least 10 minutes. Here’s how you can do an effective warm-up.

Warm-up

  • Neck tilt – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Arm rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Wrist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Waist rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Side lunges – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Spot jogging – 2 mins
  • Jumping jacks – 1 set of 20 reps
  • Calf stretch – 1 set of 2 reps
  • Ankle rotation – 1 set 10 reps
  • March on the BOSU ball – 1 set of 25 reps (hold the back of a chair for balance)

Your muscles are prepped for the exercise now. Let’s get started!

BOSU Ball Lower Body Exercises

If you tend to accumulate fat on your lower body, these BOSU ball lower body exercises will help you.

1. Hip Raise

Target – Glutes, lower back, hamstrings, abs, and quads.

Difficulty Level – Beginner

How To Do
  1. Lie down on the floor. Flex your knees, and place your feet on the sides of the BOSU ball, as shown in the image. Place your arms by your side, palms flat on the floor, and look up at the ceiling. This is your starting position.
  2. Push your hips up toward the ceiling.
  3. Stop when your hips are in line with your thighs.
  4. Lower your hips but do not place them on the floor.
  5. Push your hips up again.
  6. Don’t tilt and drop your pelvis to either side.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 15 reps

Modification – Hip Raise On One Leg

To take this exercise to the advanced level, do the BOSU ball hip raises with one raised leg. Keep the knee of the raised leg slightly bent, push your hips up toward the ceiling, and lower the glutes. Do it with both legs raised.

2. Squat

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower back.

Difficulty Level – Intermediate

  1. Place your BOSU ball on its hemisphere, i.e., the flat surface should be up.
  2. To avoid falling down, place your right leg on one side of the BOSU ball. The BOSU ball will tilt to the right. Then, place your left foot on the other side of the flat surface and balance. Make sure you are stable. This is the starting position.
  3. Push your hips back and flex your knees, lower your body, and bring your hands up near your chest.
  4. Make sure your knees are not overshooting your toes.
  5. Get back up to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 12 reps

3. Jump Squats

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower back.

Difficulty Level – Intermediate

  1. Stand about a foot away from the BOSU ball. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, knees slightly bent, and chest out. The hemispherical surface of the BOSU ball should be up.
  2. Bend your knees slightly as a prep for jumping on the BOSU ball.
  3. Jump up and land on the hemispherical surface of the BOSU ball. Make sure you are in the squatting pose, your back is straight, and your knees are not overshooting your toes.
  4. Hold this pose for a moment and then get back up and jump back on the floor.
  5. As soon as your land on the floor, squat down.
  6. Repeat.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 15 reps

4. Lunge

Target – Quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Difficulty Level – Beginner

  1. Stand about a foot away from the BOSU ball. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, knees slightly bent, and chest out. The hemispherical surface of the BOSU ball should be up. This is the starting position.
  2. Place your right foot on top of the BOSU ball.
  3. Flex both the knees and lower your torso so that your thighs are perpendicular to your shins.
  4. Hold this pose for a moment and then step back again to the starting position.
  5. Step your right foot on top of the BOSU ball. Flex both the knees, lower your torso and lunge. Hold this pose for a moment and then step back again to the starting position.
  6. Do the same with your left leg on the BOSU ball.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

Modification – Side Lunges

These are similar to side lunges and BOSU ball lunges. Stand beside the BOSU ball and put your right foot on the dome. Make sure your feet are at least 2-3 feet apart. Now, lunge to the right, get up, and lift your right leg off the BOSU ball dome and place it close to your left leg. Again, place your right leg on the dome and lunge.

5. Hip Flexor Stretch

Target – Hip flexors, hamstrings, adductors, and glutes.

Difficulty Level – Beginner

  1. Place your right foot on the floor beside the BOSU ball. Place your left foot behind you. So, now, you are basically lunging.
  2. Place your elbows on the BOSU ball and push your core down so that you are in a deep lunge.
  3. Hold this pose for 10 seconds to feel the stretch in your inner thighs, groin, and glutes.
  4. Release the stretch and repeat with the left leg.

Sets And Reps – 1 set of 2 reps

These exercises will help you tone your lower body. Now, let’s talk about one of the most problematic areas – the core.

BOSU Ball Core Exercises

BOSU ball core strengthening and toning exercises help you get rid of the tummy pooch, love handles, and back fat and tone your shoulders, chest, and abs. Let’s get toning!

6. Crunch

Target – Upper abs, lower abs, and back.

Difficulty Level – Beginner

  1. Sit on top of a BOSU ball. Place your palms on the BOSU ball and slide your buttocks down so that your hips are near the rim of the flat surface, and your entire back is against the dome of the ball. Keep your knees flexed and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Make sure your upper back is NOT against the dome of the ball. Place your thumb on the back of your ears and support your head with the other fingers. Open up your arms, and keep your core engaged. This is the starting position.
  3. Inhale and crunch up by lifting your upper body. Exhale as you crunch up.
  4. Inhale and go back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 15 reps

7. Crunch Oblique

Target – Obliques, upper back, and abs.

Difficulty Level – Intermediate

  1. Lie on your right side against the surface of the dome. Make sure the sides of your hips are at the lower part of the dome and the side of your chest on top of the dome.
  2. Flex your right elbow and place your right forearm on the BOSU ball. Place your left fingers on the back of your head, and open your left arm. Fold your right leg a bit and support your lower body by placing the inner side of the left leg on the floor. This is the starting position.
  3. Exhale and crunch up.
  4. Inhale and crunch back down to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

8. Full Plank

Target – Abs, back, glutes, and shoulders.

Difficulty Level – Intermediate

  1. Flip over the BOSU ball, just like a turtle!
  2. Hold the BOSU ball at the edges as shown in the image.
  3. Extend your right leg behind you, flex your toes and place them on the floor.
  4. Extend your left leg behind you and support your body on the flexed toes of both the legs.
  5. Make sure your core is engaged, your spine is in line with your neck, and you are looking down.
  6. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold

9. Forearm Plank

Target – Abs, back, glutes, and shoulders.

Difficulty Level – Beginner

  1. Kneel down in front of the BOSU ball. Place your elbows on top of the dome and clasp your palms together.
  2. Engage your core and extend your right leg and then your left leg behind you. Make sure your spine is in line with your neck and head. Look down.
  3. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. Keep breathing slowly.
  4. Release the plank pose and take 10 seconds rest.
  5. Repeat.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold

10. Side Plank

Target – Abs, glutes, shoulders, and upper back.

Difficulty Level – Beginner

  1. Kneel down beside a BOSU ball such that it is on your left. Place your left palm on top of the dome and your right hand on your waist. Extend your right leg to the right. Keep your left leg folded.
  2. Extend your right hand straight up. Keep your core engaged and extend your left leg just behind your right leg so that your body is balanced and you don’t fall. Make sure your neck is in line with your spine.
  3. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  4. Do the same on the other side.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 30 seconds hold

11. Sit-Ups

Target – Upper abs, lower abs, and back.

Difficulty Level – Beginner

  1. Sit on the dome of the BOSU ball and slide down a little.
  2. Place your thumbs behind your ears, support your head on the other fingers, open up your arms, and lie down. This is the starting position.
  3. Engage your core and lift your upper body and come to a sitting position. Exhale as you do so.
  4. Inhale and go back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

These were BOSU ball exercises for your core. Now, let us talk about losing fat and toning up the upper body. Here are the exercises that you must do.

Upper Body

12. Tricep Dips

Target – Triceps, shoulders, and biceps.

Difficulty Level – Intermediate-Advanced

  1. Sit on the BOSU ball and place your hands on either side. Keep your knees flexed and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your buttocks and support your body on your palms and feet. Keep your core engaged, and shoulders rolled back. This is the starting position.
  3. Lower your buttocks, and just when they are about to touch the floor, push up and come back to the starting position. Make sure your elbows are pointing backward and not to your sides.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

13. Chest Press

Target – Pectorals, lats, and shoulders.

Difficulty Level – Intermediate

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the BOSU ball.
  2. Lie down on the dome, but make sure your upper back is not against the BOSU ball surface.
  3. Open your arms so that your palms are facing forward, and forearm is perpendicular to the upper arm. Look up at the ceiling and keep your core engaged. This is the starting position.
  4. Exhale and push the dumbbells up, extend your arms fully, and touch the heads of the dumbbells.
  5. Inhale and bring them back down.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

14. Push-ups

Target – Pectorals, deltoids, biceps, triceps, and core.

Difficulty Level – Advanced

  1. Flip the BOSu ball so that the flat surface is up.
  2. Place your palms on both sides of the BOSU ball and grip the sides to stabilize it.
  3. Extend your legs behind you and keep your spine in line with your neck.
  4. Engage your core, inhale, flex your elbows, and lower your body until your chest is about to touch the flat surface of the BOSU ball.
  5. Exhale and push your body up back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

15. One Arm Push-up

Target – Biceps, triceps, pectorals, lats, and deltoids.

Difficulty Level – Advanced

  1. Place your right palm on top of the dome and left palm on the floor. Extend your legs back and come to a plank position.
  2. Inhale, flex your elbows, and lower your body.
  3. Exhale and push your body up back to the starting position.
  4. Do the same with the other hand.

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 12 reps

These were the 15 best BOSU ball exercises that you can do to tone your entire body or concentrate on one of your problem areas. Add this equipment to your exercise routine and gain strength and stability. And then, you can step up to stability ball exercises.

BOSU ball exercises are the first step to take on the next fitness challenge. So, don’t be shy. Ask your trainer to help you. Buy a BOSU ball and start exercising at your home and see your physical fitness improve like never before. Take care!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the meaning of BOSU?

BOSU means both sides utilized, meaning you can use both the dome side and the flat surface to do various types of exercises.

How many pounds is a BOSU ball?

BOSU ball weights can range from 4 lbs to 350 lbs.

Which BOSU model should I buy?

Buy a retail or pro model depending on how much you are going to use it. Talk to your trainer to know the best option.

How can a BOSU ball improve my core training exercises?

BOSU ball adds instability to your core training. This instability helps recruit small muscle fibers of the core and makes the exercise more effective.

How to use a BOSU ball to maintain my body balance?

Practice standing up on the dome of the BOSU ball and doing small jogging motions to start building balance. You can take help of your trainer, a wall, or a chair and stand on the flat surface. The more you practice, the better you will get at maintaining your body balance.

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.

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