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Bosu Ball Deadlifts: How To, Downsides,…

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

Bosu Ball deadlifts are a variation of the exercise with the same name where you do the exercise on a Bosu Ball. You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.

By using the Bosu Ball instead of a sturdy surface you change the focus from building muscle to improving balance.

This is because you are not able to deadlift heavy weights on the Bosu Ball due to balance and Bosu weight limits. To grow and strengthen the strong muscles that the deadlift targets this is typically needed.

Resistance training beginners may still be able to build some muscle with Bosu Ball deadlifts but if that is your main goal, you want to stick to the regular version.

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

How to do a Bosu Ball deadlift

As the name implies, to do Bosu Ball deadlifts you need a good Bosu Ball. Additionally, you can use light weights as long as you don’t go over the weight limits of the Bosu Balls.

Once you have that, to do a Bosu Ball deadlift take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground. Stand upright on the Bosu Ball with the weight(s) in your hands.
  2. Tilt your upper body forward and then fold your knees until your hands are at about shin height or as far as comfortable. When doing a deadlift it is very important to keep your back in a straight line during the exercise.
  3. Stretch your knees and tilt back your upper body at the same time until you stand up straight again.
How to do a Bosu Ball deadlift

The main attention point for Bosu Ball deadlifts is keeping your spine and upper back straight. To get used to the movement you can do deadlifts on a flat surface with very light weights.

To make Bosu Ball deadlifts harder for your balance you can also turn the Bosu Ball upside down and/or do the exercise on a single leg.

Another option is increasing the weights you use. This will train both your balance and muscles more.

Bosu Ball deadlifts muscles worked

Bosu Ball deadlifts mainly work your ankle, glute, hamstring, quadricep, lower back, upper back, calf muscles, trapezius, and grip muscles.

Compared to deadlifts on a sturdy surface, the Bosu Ball version focuses more on your ankle muscles and you engage your core muscles a tiny amount more due to the unstable surface.

That being said, Bosu Ball deadlifts are more of a balance exercise than a muscle-building exercise. Due to both the balance requirements and Bosu Ball weight limits, you can use a lot less weight than the sturdy floor version.

To build muscle in places like your legs and back you have to engage 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.

By being able to use less weight because of the Bosu Ball, it becomes harder to grow and strengthen your leg and back muscles with deadlifts.

You can still use weights and possibly build some leg and back muscle with Bosu Ball deadlifts but there are more effective exercises for this specific goal.

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

Bosu Ball deadlift benefits

Bosu Ball deadlifts may not be the best exercise to build muscle mass but adding this exercise to your routine can still offer you some helpful benefits. Some of the most important ones include:

  1. Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu Ball deadlifts 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.
  2. Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball deadlifts promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
  3. Balance & coordination: Balance & coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bosu Ball deadlifts can help you with this to some extent
  4. Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu Ball deadlifts can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
  5. Slows down aging: Bosu Ball deadlifts 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 deadlifts, 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 deadlifts can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, and back, 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 ankle or back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing Bosu Ball deadlifts in 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 deadlifts are not (yet) for you.

Bosu Ball deadlift alternatives

While Bosu Ball deadlifts can be a good addition to your workout routine, there are also some alternatives available for training similar aspects of your physical health. Some of these Bosu Ball deadlift alternatives include:

  • (Bosu Ball) Squats
  • Standing on the Bosu Ball on one leg
  • (Bosu Ball) step-ups
  • Regular deadlifts

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

Conclusion

Many people can benefit from adding Bosu Ball deadlifts with the right technique to their routine. Mostly to improve balance and ankle strength.

This exercise could help you grow and strengthen a few muscles but that is not really the goal of the exercise. For optimal leg and back muscle growth and strengthening there are better exercises than Bosu Ball deadlifts.

Additionally, remember that doing Bosu Ball deadlifts can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, and back, 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 ankle or back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more Bosu Ball deadlifts.

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 deadlifts is a workout you love, great. If not, other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.

If you do decide to implement more Bosu Ball deadlifts 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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