Bosu Ball workouts can offer you impressive benefits for many muscles but what are some Bosu Ball exercises you can do for stronger leg muscles?
You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface. This piece of equipment can be used to train multiple fitness components including muscle strength and balance.
For leg exercises the Bosu Ball mostly adds a challenge when it comes to balance. This means that if your balance is currently not great but you want to build the most amount of leg muscle mass in the least amount of time you want to do some of these exercises without a Bosu Ball.
On the other hand in some cases, a good Bosu Ball does make the exercise more challenging for your leg muscles. In turn, this can lead to more and faster muscle gain.
Keep in mind that even though there are upsides, like any workouts there is some injury risk involved. Especially if you have weak ankles, knees, or hips you want to be careful when doing these exercises.
You may want to talk to your primary care provider before starting a new workout routine. Also always make sure the Bosu Ball is placed on a safe surface.
Lunges with a Bosu Ball are mainly to challenge your balance even more and to engage your ankles more. To do a lunge with a Bosu Ball take the following steps:
- The Bosu Ball is placed with its flat side on the ground about a big step away from you. Stand up straight facing toward the Bosu Ball with your feet at more or less shoulder width.
- Take a big step forward so that you get into a position where both of your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Your front foot should be flat on the round part of the Bosu Ball, your back foot should only touch the ground with the ball of the foot (front).
- Push yourself back up with your front leg into the position of step 1.
- Repeat with your other leg first.
To build the most leg muscle mass you want to do about 4 sets of 10-40 lunges depending on how advanced you are. Similar to many other leg exercises it is relatively easy to add external weights to lunges.
2. VMO dips
For this next exercise, you will stand on the round part of the Bosu Ball. Compared to VMO dips on a stepper, you will train your balance and ankles more. To do a VMO dip on a Bosu Ball take the following steps:
- Stand straight up on the round part of the Bosu Ball.
- Move one foot forward so that it hovers in the air.
- Fold the knee of your support leg in a controlled motion until your heel of the other foot touches the ground.
- 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 (upper leg) muscles. If your knee hurts when doing exercises like lunges and squats it is possible this particular muscle is not yet strong enough.
This is where VMO dips can help you strengthen the VMO muscle so that over time you can go to regular lunges and other effective leg exercises that require knee folding.
Squats are one of the, if not the most, popular leg exercises, and for a good reason. They are great for building leg muscle. You can do a squat while standing on the flat side to train balance more, similar to a balance board squat.
You can also do a squat while standing on the rounded side to make the exercise more challenging for your ankles. To do a squat on the flat side of the Bosu Ball take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the rounded part on the ground on a steady surface. Stand in front of it.
- Put one foot on the Bosu Ball.
- Put your second foot on the Bosu Ball and move your feet to about shoulder width apart.
- 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.
- Push yourself up again into starting position by stretching your legs.
One potential downside of Bosu Ball squats is that more experienced exercisers need external weights like dumbbells, a weighted vest, a barbell, etc. to make this exercise more challenging.
With a Bosu Ball exercise like lunges where your body weight rests on a single leg, this is less necessary.
4. Glute bridges
Glute bridges mainly engage your glute muscles but also your hamstrings and lower back to some extent. To do a glute bridge with the help of a Bosu Ball take the following steps:
- Lie with your back on the floor. Put your feet flat on the Bosu Ball and slightly wider than shoulder-width in a way that your lower legs are vertical to the ground. If you want to, hold any weights on your body at the hip level.
- Slowly move up your hips until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- Lower your body again in a controlled motion.
If you do not have anything to use as resistance you can also do glute bridges on one leg. In that case, don’t forget to do the same number of repetitions with your other leg.
You can also implement the Bosu Ball in glute bridges as an elevation of your upper body so your hips can go through a bigger range of motion.
5. Calf raises
In theory you can do calf raises on the flat side of the Bosu Ball too. Even so, if you have tried regular calf raises you will know that they are already challenging for your balance on the flat ground.
To do a standing calf raise take the following steps:
- Stand up straight on the round part of the Bosu Ball with your feet pointing forward and at about shoulder width apart. You want the front of your feet on the highest point of the round part.
- Raise your heels with the help of your calf muscles as far as you safely can.
- Slowly lower your heels as far as you safely can.
- Take a break at the bottom of the movement so that you use your calf muscles and not your tendons to move upward.
- Raise your body again into starting position in a controlled motion.
As the name implies, this exercise engages your calf muscles. You can easily make calf raises weighted by holding basically any object.
6. Bulgarian split squats
You can put the Bosu Ball on its round side too, but the other way around will be more helpful to focus on building leg muscles with Bulgarian split squats. To do a Bulgarian split squat with a Bosu Ball take the following steps:
- Stand in front of the Bosu Ball placed on its flat side with your back towards it. Keep about a leg distance between you and the Bosu Ball.
- Move one leg back and put the foot of this side on the Bosu Ball. The top of your foot should lean on the rounded surface.
- Slowly lower your hips by bending the knee of your stretched leg until your hip is at about the height of your knee of the previously stretched leg. Use your arms for balance if needed.
- Push yourself up again into the position of step 2.
- Repeat the same number of repetitions on the leg of the other side to keep your muscle distribution balanced.
The Bulgarian split squat looks similar to lunges but because one leg is raised, more weight rests on the other.
This makes that Bulgarian split squat a great challenging alternative to lunges if you do not have a lot of leg exercise equipment available.
7. Donkey kicks
You can give it a try but you will notice that doing donkey kicks on the flat side of the Bosu Ball is very challenging. To do a donkey kick take the following steps:
- Start with your face facing the floor with your hands on the front of the rounded part of the Bosu Ball, your arms stretched, and your knees on the back of the rounded part.
- Move one foot upward until the upper leg of this side is in 1 line with your body. Keep your knees at 90-degree angles throughout the movement.
- Lower this leg back into the position of step 1 in a controlled motion.
- Repeat with your other leg.
Donkey kicks are a leg exercise that is mainly focused on your glute (butt) and hamstring muscles. To make donkey kicks more challenging for these muscles you can use ankle weights, resistance bands, dumbbells, and a medicine ball.
For deadlifts you likely need free weights or resistance bands to make the exercise challenging enough. To do a deadlift on a Bosu Ball take the following steps:
- Stand up straight with your feet at more or less shoulder width on the round part of the Bosu Ball.
- Slightly fold your knees and tilt your upper body forward to grab a weight on the ground.
- Stretch your knees and tilt back your upper body at the same time until your upper body and legs are stretched in one straight line. When doing a deadlift it is very important to keep your back in a straight line during the exercise.
- Slowly move back into the position of step 2.
Good technique is important in any exercise to avoid injuries but especially so for deadlifts. Before trying to deadlift the heaviest weights it is smart to improve your technique first by starting with light or no weights at all.
Deadlifts are not ideal for the Bosu Ball. You can likely lift a lot less weight compared to just doing this compound leg exercise on the ground. If you want to train your balance and coordination you may want to do separate exercises instead.