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5 Bosu Ball Calf Exercises

The Bosu Ball is a versatile piece of fitness equipment. While it is not ideal for this goal, there are a few calf exercises you can use the Bosu Ball for.

You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface. In the collection of Bosu Ball exercises you can find a few movements that work your calf muscles to an extent.

However, if you are serious about growing and strengthening your calf muscles, the Bosu Ball is generally not ideal. The main reason for this is that most people need a lot of extra weight to train these muscles.

This is generally not a great combination with the extra balance requirements of the uneven surface. On top of that, Bosu Balls have weight limits that may not be high enough.

That being said, a Bosu Ball does allow you to increase your calf muscle range of motion. If you are new to calf resistance training you may be able to grow and strengthen these muscles with a Bosu Ball to some extent.

Something that will be useful is a sturdy object or partner to hold so that you have to focus less on balance.

1. Regular calf raises

To do a Bosu Ball calf raise take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
  2. Stand up straight with the front of your feet on the highest part of the Bosu Ball.
  3. Slowly raise your heels as far as comfortable.
  4. Lower your heels back to the Bosu Ball in a controlled motion.

If you do regular Bosu Ball calf raises without any balance support it is more of an ankle and balance exercise.

To really focus on training your calf muscles as much as possible you would hold something for balance and train one leg at a time. This last method makes it so more of your body weight rests on one side.

Additionally, you can wear a good weighted vest to make the exercise more challenging as long as you don’t go over the weight limit of the Bosu Balls.

How to do a Bosu standing calf raise

2. Seated calf raises

For the next Bosu Ball calf exercise you need something sturdy to sit on, extra weights, and of course a good Bosu Ball. Once you have these, to do a Bosu seated calf raise take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat side on the ground in front of the sturdy object to sit on.
  2. Sit on the object with the front part of your feet on the top part of the Bosu Ball and your upper legs and feet pointing forward. If you want to use any extra weights place them on your upper legs as close to your knees as possible without hurting yourself.
  3. Raise your heels with the help of your calf muscles as far as you safely can.
  4. Lower your heels as far as you comfortably can in a controlled motion.
  5. Return to the position of step 2.

There are different muscles in your calves. Doing standing calf raises mainly engages your gastrocnemius (the upper calves). Doing seated calf raises mainly engages your soleus (lower and deeper calves).

By using a Bosu Ball as an elevation your calf muscles are able to go through a larger range of motion. This is generally helpful for muscle growth and strengthening.

One downside of using a Bosu Ball for this purpose instead of something more sturdy is that the Bosu Ball has a weight limit that may be too low.

Additionally, something more angular could allow you to go through an even larger range of motion.

How to do a Bosu seated calf raise

3. Inward calf raises

To do an inward Bosu Ball calf raise take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
  2. Stand up straight with the front of your feet on the highest part of the Bosu Ball. Point your feet inward at about 45-degree angle.
  3. Slowly raise your heels as far as comfortable.
  4. Lower your heels back to the Bosu Ball in a controlled motion.

The upper calve muscle, the gastrocnemius, has an inner and outer part. By pointing your feet inward, the Bosu Ball calf raises focus more on the outer muscle head (outer part) of the calf muscle (1).

Besides that, the benefits and downsides are similar to regular Bosu Ball calf raises.

4. Outward calf raises

To do an outward Bosu Ball calf raise take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
  2. Stand up straight with the front of your feet on the highest part of the Bosu Ball. Point your feet outward at about 45-degree angle.
  3. Slowly raise your heels as far as comfortable.
  4. Lower your heels back to the Bosu Ball in a controlled motion.

Similar to inward Bosu Ball calf raises, outward calf raises are done to focus on a slightly different part of the upper calf muscles. In this outward variation you focus more on the inner calf muscle heads.

5. Lunges

To do a Bosu Ball lunge with your front foot on the ball take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground on a steady surface. Stand in front of it.
  2. Put one foot on the middle of the rounded part of the Bosu Ball. Put your other foot at a distance where you can achieve the desired angles in the next step. Horizontally speaking you want your feet to be about shoulder width apart or slightly wider for balance.
  3. Slowly lower your hips by bending your knees. How far depends on different factors like knee health but at your lowest point you ideally want both your front knee and your front thigh to your body at about 90-degree angles. You can use your arms for balance if needed.
  4. Push yourself up again into starting position by stretching your legs. Your front leg will likely carry most of the weight.

A lunge is definitely more of a compound Bosu Ball leg exercise that only works your calf muscles a relatively small amount.

Bosu Ball lunges focus a lot more on the quadricep, glute, and hamstring muscles with some additional ankle and balance training.

That being said, if you hold extra weights and/or wear a weighted vest, resistance training beginners could get a small amount of calf muscle growth and strengthening with this exercise.

How to do a Bosu Ball lunge
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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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