The Bosu Ball is a versatile piece of fitness equipment. One of the many things you can use it for is strengthening the muscles around your knees.
You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface. Among the many Bosu Ball exercises there are plenty of movements for your knees.
To strengthen your knees you basically want to work the muscles around them at the right intensity for your personal situation (1). Some of these muscles include the quadriceps, hamstrings, inner thighs, outer thighs, and glutes.
That means exercises like side lying leg abductions, side lying leg adductions, and chair leg extensions can also help even though these don’t require a Bosu Ball.
As you get stronger you can start doing these exercises with extra and more resistance as long as you don’t overdo it and can still keep your balance.
- Related: The Ultimate Guide To Bosu Balls
1. Standing on one leg
The first exercise is not that hard on the muscles around your knees but can be a challenging Bosu Ball balance exercise. If needed, you can hold a sturdy object like a wall for balance.
Before you can do this exercise and the other options you of course need a good Bosu Ball. Put it with the flat part on the ground, stand on it with slightly bent knees, and lift one foot up slightly. Repeat the same duration on your other leg.
This sounds and is straightforward but standing on the Bosu Ball on one leg is a beginner-friendly way to engage your quadriceps, inner thigh muscles, and outer thigh muscles in a relatively static way.
Standing on one leg on a Bosu Ball is a good first step to start strengthening the muscles around your knees. Individuals more experienced with knee exercises likely need something more challenging and dynamic.
2. VMO dips
To do a Bosu Ball VMO dip take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
- Stand straight up on the center of the Bosu Ball with both of feet on it.
- Move one foot forward so that it hovers in the air above the ground.
- Fold the knee of your support leg in a controlled motion until your heel of the foot in the air touches the floor or as far as comfortable.
- Slowly stretch your support leg again.
- Repeat the same number of repetitions with your other leg as the support leg.
The vastus medialis oblique (VMO) is one of your four quadriceps (front upper leg) muscles. If your knees hurt it is possible this particular muscle is not yet strong enough.
By doing Bosu VMO dips you can strengthen the VMO muscle and in turn your knees. Do keep in mind that you can still overdo it. Only lower your body to a point that is the right type of comfortable for you.
Additionally, you can again hold something for balance if needed.
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.
Most Bosu Ball knees exercises focus on the quadricep muscles. Glute bridges focus on the opposite side which means your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles.
By elevating your feet with the Bosu Ball your muscles go through a slightly larger range of motion compared to the floor glute bridge. This is generally helpful for growing and strengthening your muscles.
On top of that, you get a little extra core muscle engagement during Bosu Ball glute bridges due to the somewhat unstable surface.
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.
Bosu Ball step-ups work your quadricep, glute, hamstrings, calf, and ankle muscles. That means this movement can help you strengthen your knees. Additionally, you will get some balance and coordination training.
As you get more experienced and stronger you can consider doing Bosu Ball step-ups while holding extra weights. This can help you strengthen your knees even more as long as you don’t overdo it.
5. Side-to-side step-ups
To do Bosu Ball side-to-side step-ups take the following steps:
- Put a Bosu Ball with its flat side on the ground. Stand upright next to the ball with one shoulder towards it.
- Raise the foot closest to the Bosu Ball and put it on the farthest side of the ball. Make sure your sole is entirely on the surface of the round part.
- Raise your body by exerting pressure with the leg of the foot that is on the Bosu Ball.
- Put your second foot on the closest side of the Bosu Ball.
- Step down with the first foot on the ground on the opposite side of the starting position.
- Step down with the second foot.
- Repeat the same movement with the other leg first.
As the name implies this Bosu Ball knee exercise is the sideways version of regular step-ups. This leads to more ankle muscle, inner thigh muscle, outer thigh muscle, balance, and coordination training.
If you are new to Bosu ball workouts you likely first want to master the regular step-ups.
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:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground on a steady surface. Stand in front of it.
- 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.
- Slowly lower your hips by bending your knees. Ideally you want both your front knee and your front thigh to your body at about 90-degree angles. In practice, you only want to lower your hips as far as is comfortable to your knees. You can use your arms for balance if needed.
- Push yourself up again into starting position by stretching your legs. Your front leg will likely carry most of the weight.
Lunges on the Bosu Ball can help you strengthen your legs, strengthen your ankles, and improve your balance. Make sure to do the same number of repetitions with each foot on the Bosu Ball to keep these fitness skills symmetrical.
This is one of the more challenging Bosu Ball exercises on this list for your knees. You can start by lowering your hips only a small amount and if that goes well, go lower and lower as your knees get stronger.