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Bosu Ball Back Extensions: How To,…

There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing Bosu Ball back extensions, what will the effects be?

You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface. There are many Bosu Ball exercises for a wide variety of muscles. One of these is the Bosu Ball back extension.

These are called back extensions but in reality, they will be more of a Bosu superman exercise due to the relatively small range of motion.

In any case, Bosu ball back extensions can help resistance training beginners strengthen their lower back muscles and to a tiny extent glute and hamstring muscles.

One downside of Bosu Ball back extensions is that they become too easy relatively soon. To keep seeing muscle growth and strength progress you would have to add weights but this is not that convenient in the Bosu Ball variation.

This makes it so Bosu Ball back extensions are typically not that great for individuals who have a somewhat strong lower back. Additionally, there are just many more effective exercise alternatives available.

If you want a bigger range of motion, the ability to hold extra weights, and in turn a more effective workout, you can also give exercise ball back extensions a try or even better, the same exercise on a back extension machine.

Whether you should add Bosu Ball back extensions or alternatives to your routine depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.

How to do a Bosu Ball back extension

As the name implies, you will need a good Bosu Ball to do this exercise. Once you have that, to do a Bosu Ball back extension take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat surface on the ground. Lie down on your stomach on the Bosu Ball with your arms and legs stretched and in one line with your body. Ideally, you want your hips on the top part of the Bosu Ball but you can adjust a bit for balance and comfort. Let your shoulders and legs hang down for now.
  2. Slowly raise your shoulders until your body is in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Keep your neck in lign with your upper body.
  3. Lower your body back into starting position in a controlled motion.
How to do a Bosu Ball back extension

Keep your movements slow and controlled to make your muscles really work hard and avoid bad technique.

Especially if you have any back issues you want to make sure you keep your back straight and not raise your upper body farther than a straight line with your legs.

In theory, you could hold extra weights to make the exercise more challenging. In practice, there won’t really be any room for extra weights during Bosu Ball back extensions. Additionally, this may throw off your balance.

Bosu Ball back extension muscles worked

Bosu Ball back extensions will mainly work your lower back and erector spinae muscles. Additionally, your glute and hamstring muscles may have to work to a small extent.

As mentioned before, this movement resembles the superman exercise more. By adding a Bosu Ball you slightly increase the range of motion of your lower back muscles. This is generally helpful for strengthening.

In regular back extensions the focus will be a lot more on the glute and hamstring muscles because your feet are anchored and you have more room to move.

The way you build muscle in places like your lower back is by engaging these muscles so that they get damaged enough. This may sound counterintuitive but this damaging makes it so your body repairs these muscles, and adds a bit more to be better prepared to exert similar efforts in the future.

If you stick to exercises with the same weight, as your muscles become stronger this same effort may not damage your muscles enough to promote extra muscle growth.

That is why you would need to add weight to the Bosu Ball back extension. Unfortunately there is not much room for this. In turn, that makes this exercise more aimed towards lower back training beginners.

Depending on your personal situation, workout plan, and training goals, Bosu Ball back extensions may be a good or bad addition.

Bosu Ball back extension benefits

Bosu Ball back extensions are likely not the fastest way towards your fitness goals but they can still offer you some of the following helpful benefits:

  1. Stronger muscles: Bosu Ball back extensions are a type of resistance training that can help resistance training beginners strengthen their lower back muscles.
  2. Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu Ball back extensions likely requires more energy than your regular daily activities. Extra muscle mass also helps with burning more calories. Both of these aspects can help with, but are no guarantee for, weight loss. Keep in mind that there are better exercise choices if weight loss is your goal.
  3. Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball back extensions promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
  4. May reduce or prevent back pain: Core strengthening exercises like Bosu Ball back extensions can reduce or prevent back pain (1, 2). If you currently have back pain you do want to be careful and talk to an expert before implementing this exercise.
  5. Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu Ball back extensions can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
  6. Slows down aging: Bosu Ball back extensions won’t influence how many days have passed since you were born. However, exercise can slow down the progress of certain aging markers that are correlated with negative health effects.

While inevitably many workouts are better for some of these benefits than Bosu Ball back extensions, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one activity to your routine.

Potential risks

The main thing to keep in mind is that Bosu Ball back extensions can be hard on body parts like your back, hips, and neck even if you implement the right technique.

If you are weak or sensitive in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing Bosu Ball back extensions into your workout routine.

If you feel pain in any body parts it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, a less intense workout schedule, or it may be a sign that Bosu Ball back extensions are not (yet) for you.

Bosu Ball back extension alternatives

Bosu Ball back extensions can offer benefits to a small extent but there are also alternatives available for training similar muscles that are often more effective. Some of these Bosu Ball back extension alternatives include:

  • Good morning
  • (Romanian) Deadlift
  • (Bosu Ball) Bird dog
  • (Bosu Ball) Hip thrusts
  • (Bosu Ball) Reverse planks

Which one of these options is the best depends on things like your personal situation, training goals, the equipment you have available, etc.

Conclusion

Resistance training beginners can benefit from adding Bosu Ball back extensions with the right technique to their routine.

That being said, there are many alternatives that can offer more benefits faster. Especially individuals with somewhat strong lower back muscles will need to do these other exercises to see a lot of progress.

You also need to remember is that Bosu Ball back extensions can be hard on body parts like your back, hips, and neck, even if you implement the right technique.

If you are sensitive or weak in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more Bosu Ball back extensions.

Also keep in mind that consistency is an important factor for any workout plan. The more you love the exercise you do the easier it becomes to do it consistently.

If doing Bosu Ball back extensions is a workout you love, you can consider implementing them anyway. If not, there are many back extension alternatives and exercises that can offer more benefits.

If you do decide to implement more Bosu Ball back extensions make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.

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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.

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