Bosu Ball workouts can offer benefits for many people. There are even a variety of Bosu Ball exercises that are suited for seniors.
You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface. One of the nice things about the collection of Bosu Ball exercises is that there are options for both advanced individuals and beginners, including seniors.
Seniors can use the Bosu Ball by doing beginner-friendly exercises that benefit balance, coordination, ankle strength, and muscle strength in other body parts.
The main focus of the exercises below will be to help seniors improve balance and coordination. Some of these examples can also grow and strengthen muscles to a certain extent but for these goals there are often better options.
Always give the priority to safety. If needed you can hold a sturdy object for balance or ask a sturdy person to assist you. Additionally, you can start with the easy exercises and if these go well, (safely) build up from there.
1. Partial lunges
For the first exercise you put a good Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground. After that, stand upright in front of the Bosu Ball.
To do the actual exercise you shift your weight forward and put one foot on the side of the Bosu Ball dome. Next, you push yourself back into starting position.
The closer you stand to the Bosu Ball the easier these partial lunges become. Additionally, you can put your feet farther apart horizontally speaking to make balancing yourself easier.
Standing farther away from the Bosu Ball makes the exercise harder for your balance and leg muscles.
2. Standing on two legs
The next Bosu Ball for seniors simply involves standing on the round part of the round part with your two legs. This is a relatively beginner-friendly way to train balance and ankle strength.
Initially, you likely want to do this exercise next to a sturdy object or with a partner to balance you if needed.
Once regular standing on the Bosu Ball becomes too easy, you can consider implementing extra arm or leg movements to work your balance even more.
3. Glute bridges
To do a Bosu Ball glute bridge take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground. If you have something like a yoga mat put it in front of the ball.
- Lie on your back on the floor or other soft surface right in front of the Bosu Ball. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width on the ball. If you want to, hold any weights on your body at the hip level. If not put your arms at your sides for balance.
- Move up your hips in a controlled motion until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Make sure your arms are only used for balance, not for pushing yourself up.
- Slowly lower your body again.
Bosu Ball glute bridges are more of muscle strength and endurance exercise instead of balance and coordination training. This movement works your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.
By using a Bosu Ball instead of doing glute bridges on the floor your muscles go through a larger range of motion. This is generally helpful for building, preserving, and strengthening the muscles you work.
Additionally, due to the somewhat unstable surface you work your core muscles a bit more.
4. Calf raises
Many seniors will likely need some assistance or a sturdy object to do the next exercise. Once you have one of these, to do a Bosu Ball calf raise take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
- Stand up straight with the front of your feet on the highest part of the Bosu Ball.
- Slowly raise your heels as far as comfortable.
- Lower your heels back to the Bosu Ball in a controlled motion.
You can also do Bosu Ball calf raises with one foot on the ground and the other on the ball. This is more beginner-friendly when it comes to balance.
From the name you could think that this movement is mostly an exercise for strengthening calf muscles. Bosu Ball calf raises do engage these muscles to some extent but this movement will mostly be challenging for your balance and ankles.
5. Toe raises
The next exercise starts similar to calf raises but instead of raising your heels, you raise the front part of your feet. Again, potentially with a partner or sturdy object if needed.
Toe raises are a combination of a Bosu Ball ankle exercise and balance exercise. Additionally, you can do the same exercise with one foot on the ground.
6. Supermans/back extensions
This next exercise is often called the Bosu Ball back extension but due to the height of the Bosu Ball, the movement resembles the floor superman exercise more. To do this exercise with a Bosu Ball take the following steps:
- 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.
- 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.
- Lower your body back into starting position in a controlled motion.
Bosu Ball back extensions/supermans are a Bosu Ball back exercise with a focus on your lower back and erector spinae muscles.
The Bosu Ball allows your muscles to go through a slightly larger range of motions. Additionally, the dome is typically more comfortable than the floor.
To do a Bosu Ball step-up take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground. Stand upright in front of the ball facing toward it.
- Raise one foot and put it on the Bosu Ball. Make sure your sole is entirely on the surface but a bit on the side so you can stand in a balanced way in the next steps.
- Raise your body by exerting pressure with the leg of the foot that is on the Bosu Ball. Make sure the upper leg is doing most, preferably all, of the lifting.
- Put your second foot next to the other one.
- Step down with the first foot.
- Step down with the second foot.
- Do a repetition with the other foot first.
Step-ups are a bit more challenging than some of the other Bosu Ball exercises but many seniors should still be able to do it. Potentially after practicing balance with some of the other movements first and/or balance assistance.
On the other hand, it is also possible to make Bosu Ball step-ups harder. To work the leg muscles involved more you can hold weights like dumbbells.
It is also possible to make the exercise more challenging in terms of balance and coordination. You can do this by adding arm and leg movements like the sideways movements in jumping jacks or something like a knee raise.
To do a Bosu Ball crunch take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground on a steady surface. Sit in front of it.
- Lie down on the Bosu Ball so that it is positioned against your lower back. Put your hands against your chest, the side of your head, or stretch your arms.
- Raise your head and shoulders as much as possible while keeping your lower back on the Bosu Ball. Make sure you don’t use your arms but your ab muscles to do this movement.
- Lower your head and shoulders until you are back in the position of step 2.
Bosu Ball crunches focus on growing, preserving, and strengthening ab and oblique muscles. A strong core is important for basically everyone, including seniors.
Additionally, the Bosu version can be more comfortable than doing crunches on the floor.
To work the muscles involved in Bosu Ball crunches even more you can hold some type of weight against your chest.