There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing Bosu Ball lunges, what will the effects be?
Bosu Ball lunges are a variation of regular lunges where you do the exercise with one foot on a Bosu Ball. You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.
Depending on what foot you place on the Bosu Ball you either, train balance and ankle strength more, or train your leg muscles slightly more compared to the floor version.
If you are only interested in building leg muscle, other lunge variations and leg exercises can also offer very similar benefits.
Whether you should Bosu Ball lunges or alternatives to your routine ultimately depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.
How to do a Bosu Ball lunge
For Bosu Ball lunges you generally put a good Bosu Ball with its flat surface on the ground. After that, you can put the Bosu Ball under your front or back foot. Putting it under your front foot will focus more on balance and ankle strength.
Putting the Bosu Ball under your back leg will benefit muscle growth a small amount. 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. 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.
- Push yourself up again into starting position by stretching your legs. Your front leg will likely carry most of the weight.
Make sure you do the same number of repetitions with each leg on the Bosu Ball to avoid any muscle imbalances.
When doing lunges you generally want your front knee to stay behind the toes of your front foot. If you keep your feet in the same position this is easy after an initial adjustment.
If the full Bosu Ball lunge is currently too hard for you, you can start by lowering your body only a small amount or with a less intensive Bosu Ball leg exercise like squats.
On the other hand, Bosu Ball lunges can also become too easy. If that is the case you can do weighted lunges to keep seeing muscle growth progress.
Lastly, you can also do the typical lunge variations like lateral lunges, reverse lunges, jump lunges, etc. on the Bosu Ball.
Muscles worked with Bosu Ball lunges
With any exercise you will almost always make a variety of different muscles work, especially with a compound leg exercise like Bosu Ball lunges. Even so, there are a few muscles that will have to work the hardest for moving and keeping your body in position.
Bosu Ball lunges mainly target your glutes, quadriceps, and calves. Your hamstring muscles may have to work to a certain extent. Besides that muscles like erector spinae, core, hip abductors, and hip adductors may have to work a small amount too.
The way you build muscle in places like your legs is by engaging these muscles so that they get damaged enough. This may sound counterintuitive but this damaging makes it so your body repairs these muscles, and adds a bit more to be better prepared to exert similar efforts in the future.
If you stick to exercises with the same weight, as your muscles become stronger this same effort may not damage your muscles enough to promote extra muscle growth.
By adding extra resistance to exercises like Bosu Ball lunges you are better able to damage the muscles in a shorter amount of time. If you don’t overdo it, give your body enough nutrients, and give your muscles enough rest this can in turn lead to faster and more leg muscle gain.
If muscle growth is your main goal and you don’t have weights available, you want to do Bosu Ball lunges with your back foot on the ball.
If you do have external weights available it may be smarter to do regular lunges on the floor. The extra balancing due to the Bosu Ball may prevent you from working out your legs as hard as possible.
Depending on your personal situation, workout plan, and training goals, Bosu Ball lunges may be a good or bad addition.
Benefits of Bosu Ball lunges
Some people question how useful this exercise can be but adding Bosu Ball lunges to your routine can offer you some amazing benefits. Some of the most important ones include:
- Stronger muscles: Bosu Ball lunges are a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your leg muscles.
- Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu Ball lunges likely requires more energy than your regular daily activities. Extra muscle mass also helps with burning more calories, especially a big muscle group like your legs. Both of these aspects can help with, but are no guarantee for, weight loss.
- Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball lunges promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
- Balance & coordination: Balance & coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bosu Ball lunges can help you with this even more than the regular version of the exercise.
- Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu Ball lunges can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
- Helps you avoid muscle asymmetries: By putting your whole weight on one leg at a time you reduce the risk of using one leg more than the other like in certain other exercises. This can help you avoid muscle asymmetries.
- May improve athletic performance: Bosu Ball lunges can help you strengthen your leg muscles and ankles. This can lead to an improvement in sports where you benefit from fast running.
- Slows down aging: Bosu Ball lunges won’t influence how many days have passed since you were born. However, exercise can slow down the progress of certain aging markers that are correlated with negative health effects.
While inevitably many workouts are better for some of these benefits than Bosu Ball lunges, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one activity to your routine. A Bosu Ball can offer other benefits too.
The main thing to keep in mind is that Bosu Ball lunges can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, hips, and back, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are weak or sensitive in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any knee pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing Bosu Ball lunges in your workout routine.
If you feel pain in any body parts it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, a less intense workout schedule, or it may be a sign that Bosu Ball lunges are not (yet) for you.
Bosu Ball lunge alternatives
While Bosu Ball lunges can be a good addition to your workout routine, there are also some alternatives available for training similar aspects of your physical health. Some of these Bosu Ball lunge alternatives include:
- Other lunge variations
- Balance board exercises
Which one of these options is the best depends on things like your personal situation, training goals, the equipment you have available, etc.
Most people will benefit a lot from adding Bosu Ball lunges with the right technique to their routine. They can be a great exercise option to strengthen and grow a variety of important leg muscles.
That being said, for growing your leg muscles you don’t necessarily need to use a Bosu Ball. The Bosu Ball does help with training your ankles and balance more. Depending on your goals and personal situation you can consider other lunge variations too.
Remember that doing Bosu Ball lunges can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, hips, and back, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are weak or sensitive in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any knee pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more Bosu Ball lunges.
Also keep in mind that consistency is an important factor for any workout plan. The more you love the exercise you do the easier it becomes to do it consistently. If doing Bosu Ball lunges is a workout you love, great.
If not, lunge alternatives and other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.
If you do decide to implement more Bosu Ball lunges make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.