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Weight Loss Made Practical » Exercise » 5 Bosu Ball Exercises With Weights

5 Bosu Ball Exercises With Weights

One of the benefits of Bosu Balls is that you combine them with other fitness equipment. More specifically, there are plenty of exercises you can do with weights.

You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface. There are two main reasons why you would want to combine weights with this piece of fitness equipment.

The first reason is to challenge your balance and coordination more. This can be a great use of the Bosu Ball. You simply do the regular Bosu Ball exercises but while holding something like a dumbbell or two.

Secondly, you could be interested in Bosu Ball exercises with weights to grow and strengthen muscles. In general, the Bosu Ball is not that great for this goal.

Heavy weights are typically not a great combination with an unstable surface. You definitely don’t want to do your squat or deadlift one repetition maximum weight on a Bosu Ball.

Even exercises with lighter weights on the Bosu Ball like bicep curls are generally not recommended since this distracts you from working the targetted muscles to the desired extent.

That being said, there are still a few exercises with weights where the Bosu Ball can actually benefit muscle growth and strength progress. One thing to keep in mind with these exercises is that Bosu Balls have weight limits.

1. Crunches

To do a Bosu Ball crunch take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground on a steady surface. Sit in front of it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Lower your head and shoulders until you are back in the position of step 2.

One of the areas where Bosu Balls positively stand out is core training. Increasing the range of motion of these muscles in exercises like crunches generally benefits muscle growth and strength progress.

Individuals more experienced with core resistance training can even hold weights against their chest while doing Bosu Ball crunches for even more progress potential.

How to do a Bosu Ball crunch

2. Chest presses

To do a Bosu Ball chest press with two dumbbells take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground. Sit right in front of it with a dumbbell by each side.
  2. Lift the towards your chest and lean back on the Bosu Ball in one movement. You want your upper back to rest on the top of the dome. Hold the dumbbells at about shoulder width and at about chest height.
  3. Move your upper arms to an angle of about 45 degrees or less to your sides. Point your forearms straight upward. Plant your feet on the ground in a way that you are balanced.
  4. Slowly stretch your arms until they are slightly less than fully stretched and point upward vertically.
  5. Lower your hands back to the position of step 3 in a controlled motion. Make sure you remember the 45-degree or smaller angle of your upper arms in relation to your sides.

Bosu Balls still have a weight limit but generally resistance training beginners, and to some extent intermediates, can do chest presses on a good Bosu Ball with enough weight for muscle growth.

The gym version of this exercise is called the bench press but if you don’t lift too heavy you can also do this movement on a Bosu Ball.

By doing chest presses on the Bosu Ball instead of the ground your muscles can go through a larger range of motion and the exercise becomes more comfortable.

Bosu Ball chest presses mainly work your chest, tricep, and shoulder muscles. If you only want to focus on your chest muscles you could also do the chest fly exercise on the Bosu Ball.

How to do a Bosu chest press

3. Hip thrusts

To do a Bosu Ball hip thrust with a dumbbell take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground on a steady surface. Sit in front of it with your back towards the ball.
  2. Lie down on the Bosu Ball with your upper back on the highest position. Put your feet flat on the ground at a distance where your lower legs are vertical in the next step. Pick up the dumbbell, place it on your hips, and hold it there.
  3. Slowly move up your hips in a controlled motion until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Keep your neck and head in line with your upper body.
  4. Lower your hips again in a controlled motion until you are back in the position of step 2.

Make sure you don’t raise your hips too much. Going further than a straight line can be uncomfortable for your back. You can also use other weights for this Bosu Ball glute exercise.

One thing to keep in mind is that in terms of strength training, the Bosu Ball version of hip thrusts is more of an exercise for resistance training beginners.

This is because the glute, hamstring, and lower back muscles that are worked during hip thrusts are really strong and thus need a lot of weight to train. For intermediates and stronger individuals, often too much for the Bosu Ball limit.

How to do a Bosu Ball hip thrust

4. 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.

Lunges with extra weights are not ideal to do on the Bosu Ball but at the same time, it can offer some benefits. The main one is that elevating your front foot allows your leg muscles to go through a larger range of motion.

The downside of using a Bosu Ball for lunges is that it makes the movement harder in terms of balance. This can be especially troublesome when using extra weights and distract you from the resistance training aspect.

Another option is putting the Bosu Ball under your back foot to do more of a Bulgarian split squat to put more of your body weight on the front leg. However, to do this a sturdy chair is typically more effective.

How to do a Bosu Ball lunge

5. Russian twists

To do a Bosu Ball Russian twist take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
  2. Sit down on the top of the Bosu Ball with your legs bent at the knees and your feet hovering above the ground. Make sure your spine is straight and at about a 45-degree angle with the ground throughout the exercise.
  3. Slightly twist your upper body to one side and then the other in a controlled motion.
  4. Return to starting position.

Make sure you don’t twist too far and keep your back straight to avoid any injuries. Even with the right technique Russian twists are not for everyone.

If you are able to do this exercise successfully, Russian twists are another good Bosu Ball core exercise. You can easily add weights to the exercise by holding something like a dumbbell in your hands.

In turn, this can lead to faster and more muscle growth and strengthening during Bosu Ball Russian twists as long as you don’t overdo it.

How to do a Bosu Ball Russian twist
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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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