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15 Bosu Ball Exercises To Work Your Body

At first, the Bosu Ball may look a bit unusual but you can actually use it to do many exercises. Doing these offers a variety of benefits.

You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface. Adding this piece of equipment to an exercise often leads to more focus on improving balance and engaging core muscles more.

While this is a great benefit when you want to train these things more, also keep in mind that it can distract you from training your muscles optimally.

Bosu Balls can be fun and beneficial but to grow and strengthen certain muscles, other exercises are more effective. That being said, below you can find a variety of Bosu Ball exercises for a variety of fitness goals.

Make sure you can do these in a safe way, especially the ones with a focus on balance. Talk to an expert when you are in doubt about whether you can do an exercise safely.

1. Squats

To do a Bosu Ball squat take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the rounded part on the ground on a steady surface. Stand in front of it.
  2. Put one foot on the Bosu Ball.
  3. Put your second foot on the Bosu Ball and move your feet to about shoulder width apart.
  4. 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 your hips to be at or lower than your knee height. You will likely have to bend forward for balance.
  5. Push yourself up again into starting position by stretching your legs.

There are two main ways to do a Bosu Ball squat. You also put the flat part of the Bosu Ball on the ground. This will be less challenging when it comes to balance and engage your ankle muscles more.

This is still a Bosu Ball leg exercise to a certain extent but Bosu Ball squats are typically more of a balance than muscle strength exercise. This is because adding extra weights is challenging.

How to do a Bosu Ball squat

2. Pushups

To do a Bosu Ball pushup take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the round side on the ground, sit in front of the Bosu Ball, and put your hands at about shoulder width on the flat side.
  2. Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line from your heels to the top of your head. Keep your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Slowly fold your arms at your elbows until your face is close to the Bosu Ball. Your upper arms should be at an angle of about 45 degrees or less to your sides.
  4. Stretch your arms again until you are back in the position of step 3.

Bosu Ball pushups mainly work your chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles and your core muscles to some extent.

By using a good Bosu Ball instead of doing the exercise on the floor you work your core muscles and coordination just a bit more.

How to do an Bosu Ball pushup

3. 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.

By increasing the range of motion of your ab muscles, Bosu Ball crunches work your abs more than the floor version (1).

If you are more advanced when it comes to Bosu Ball core exercises you can hold some type of weight to make the movement more challenging. In turn, this can lead to more and faster muscle growth and strength progress.

How to do a Bosu Ball crunch

4. Plank

To do a Bosu Ball plank take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the rounded part on the ground on a steady surface. Sit on your knees in front of it.
  2. Put your slightly less than stretched arms on the flat surface of the Bosu Ball.
  3. Move your feet back until your legs are stretched and your upper arms at about a 90-degree angle to the ground. Keep your hands right below your shoulders and your back straight.
  4. Hold this position of an extended period of time.

Similar to many of the other exercises, there are different ways to do a Bosu Ball plank. The walkthrough above puts the Bosu Ball with the round part on the ground with your hands on the flat surface.

You can also put the ball under your feet. Both versions will engage your oblique muscles more than the regular version.

How to do a Bosu Ball plank

5. Burpees

To do a Bosu Ball burpee take the following steps:

  1. Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Hold the Bosu Ball on the sides with the round part pointing away from you.
  2. Squat down, preferably with your hips as low as your knees, and place the Bosu Ball on the ground.
  3. Kick back your feet so that you stand in a plank position. Make sure you keep your back straight and your shoulders above your hands.
  4. Slowly fold your arms at your elbows until your face is close to the surface of the Bosu Ball. Your upper arms should be at an angle of about 45 degrees or less to your sides. Another way to put it is if someone is looking down at you from above your arms should make an arrow, not a T.
  5. Stretch your arms again until you are back in the position of step 3.
  6. Kick your feet forward so that you are back in the position of step 2.
  7. Push yourself up with the help of your legs at an intensity where you jump in the air. Make sure you keep your back straight.
  8. Land with your legs at least slightly stretched to absorb the shock of landing.

To put it more simply, Bosu Ball burpees are a sequence of a squat, plank jump, pushup, and squat jump. For resistance training beginners, certain parts of this exercise can be strength training.

For individuals more experienced with resistance training, burpees will be more of a Bosu Ball cardio exercise.

How to do a Bosu Ball burpee

6. Standing on one leg

The next exercise simply involves standing on one side of the Bosu Ball on one leg. You want to start with the flat part on the ground and try with the round part on the ground when you are more advanced.

Keep in mind that both versions can already be challenging. If your balance is not that great, you want to start with standing on the Bosu Ball with two legs.

When it comes to Bosu Ball balance exercises you can get creative to make the standard versions more challenging.

You can move body parts like your legs and/or use fitness equipment like medicine balls to improve your balance and coordination even more.

How to stand on a Bosu Ball with one leg

7. Lunges

For Bosu Ball lunges you generally put the Bosu Ball with the flat surface on the ground. After that, you can put the Bosu Ball under either your front or back foot.

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 are an actual Bosu Ball leg exercise in the sense that using a Bosu Ball can benefit muscle growth on top of the extra balance and ankle training.

By putting your front foot on the ball, your leg muscles can go through a larger range of motion. By putting your back foot on the Bosu Ball, more of your body weight rests on your front leg.

To make the exercise even more challenging you can do weighted lunges by holding some type of weight or wearing a compact weighted vest.

How to do a Bosu Ball lunge

8. Sit-ups

To do a Bosu Ball sit-up take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground on a steady surface.
  2. Sit 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. You can put your feet on the ground for stability.
  3. Curl up your body until your chest is close to your knees. Start with your shoulders and as you get closer to your knees more and more of your upper body gets off the Bosu Ball. Make sure your abs and not the momentum of your arms power the movement.
  4. Slowly curl down your body again. Your lower back goes first and gradually more and more of your upper body touches the Bosu Ball again until you are back in the position of step 2.

At first, Bosu Ball sit-ups may sound the same as crunches but you sit slightly higher and your upper body goes through a larger range of motion.

This exercise still works your ab muscles a lot but compared to crunches you also work your oblique and hip flexor muscles more.

How to do a Bosu Ball sit-up

9. Mountain climbers

To do a Bosu Ball mountain climber take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the round part on the ground and sit in front of it on your knees with your hands on the sides of the flat surface.
  2. Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels. This means that your knees will be off the ground and that you are resting on your hands and feet. Keep your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Move the knee of one leg forward to your chest as far as you comfortably can. Keep your body straight from the heel of the stretched leg to your head throughout the movement.
  4. Return that leg to the position in step 2.
  5. Repeat the same movement with your other leg.

Bosu Ball mountain climbers are mostly a cardiovascular exercise but by using the Bosu Ball, you work your oblique muscles more. Additionally, you still work your hip flexors, abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps to some extent.

How to do a Bosu Ball mountain climber

10. Glute bridges

To do a Bosu Ball glute bridge take the following steps:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Slowly lower your body again.

Elevating your feet during the bridge exercise with a Bosu Ball influences a few things.

First of all, your glutes and hamstrings have to go through a slightly larger range of motion. This is generally helpful for muscle growth and strengthening.

Secondly, because of the somewhat unstable surface, Bosu Ball glute bridges work your core muscles more.

How to do a Bosu Ball glute bridge

11. Bird dog

To do a Bosu ball bird dog take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat side on the ground.
  2. Sit on the Bosu Ball on your hands and your knees with your arms slightly less than stretched. Look down to the ground throughout the exercise so your neck is in a straight line with your body.
  3. Slowly move one foot away from your body until your stretched leg is in a straight line with the rest of your body. At the same time raise the arm of the opposite side until it is in a straight line with your body. So if you choose your right leg, raise your left arm at the same time. Keep your hips and shoulders horizontal throughout the movement.
  4. Return to starting position in a controlled motion.
  5. Repeat the same movement with the arm and leg on the other sides.

In the bird dog exercise you engage your core muscles to keep your hips and shoulders horizontally. By doing this movement on a Bosu Ball it becomes harder for these muscles to do so.

If the full Bosu Ball bird dog is currently too challenging for you, you can start with either only your hands or only your knees on the ball and the other body parts on the ground.

How to do a Bosu bird dog

12. Plank jacks

To do a Bosu Ball plank jack take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the round part on the ground and sit in front of it on your knees with your hands on the sides of the flat surface.
  2. Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels. This means that your knees will be off the ground and that you are resting on your hands and feet. Keep your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Make a little outward jump with your feet. Keep your body as straight as possible throughout the exercise. Try to avoid lowering your hips too much, especially when landing.
  4. Jump back in the position of step 2.
  5. Keep jumping in and out for a certain amount of repetitions or time.

For most people plank jacks are mostly a cardiovascular exercise that works their core, inner thighs, and outer thighs to a certain extent. By adding a Bosu Ball you work your oblique muscles just a bit more.

How to do Bosu Ball plank jacks

13. V-ups

To do a Bosu Ball V-up take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
  2. Lie down on the Bosu Ball with the top part of the ball under your lower back with your legs stretched and right next to each other on the ground. You can hold your arms against your chest if you are relatively new to ab training, stretched above your head if you are more experienced.
  3. Keep your legs slightly less than stretched while you move them up slowly. At the same time curl up your upper body starting with your shoulders and continuing with the rest of your back until your upper body makes a V-shape with your legs. Make sure you use your abs and not the momentum of your arms to power the movement.
  4. Slowly lower your legs and upper body again. If you will do more repetitions you can keep your feet hovering just above the ground. If you are done you can lower your legs to the ground.

By using a Bosu Ball in V-ups your core muscles can go through a larger range of motion. This is generally helpful for muscle growth and strength progress. Additionally, you train your balance a bit more.

One thing to keep in mind with this Bosu Ball exercise is that some people find the starting position uncomfortable or even painful on their spine. If that is the case you likely want to skip this exercise (for now).

How to do a Bosu Ball v-up

14. 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.

While this movement is a Bosu Ball calf exercise to some extent, to train these muscles you typically have to use a lot of extra weight. This is not really an option with the balance requirements of the Bosu Ball version.

In practice, Bosu Ball calf raises will be more of a balance and ankle exercise.

How to do a Bosu standing calf raise

15. 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 Bosu Ball Russian twists are not for everyone.

If you are able to do this exercise successfully, it can help you train core muscles like your abs and obliques. Even more so by adding the Bosu Ball.

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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