There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing Bosu Ball mountain climbers, what will the effects be?
Bosu Ball mountain climbers are a variation of mountain climbers where you do the exercise with either your hands or feet on the Bosu Ball. Typically with your hands on the flat part of the Bosu Ball.
You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of an exercise ball attached to a flat surface.
This makes it so compared to regular mountain climbers you engage your oblique muscles slightly more and focus more on balance and coordination with the Bosu Ball version.
Bosu Ball mountain climbers are mainly an exercise to train your cardiovascular health, balance, and coordination but you will also engage more additional muscles compared to classic cardio exercises like running or cycling.
Whether you should add Bosu Ball mountain climbers or alternatives to your routine ultimately depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.
How to do a Bosu Ball mountain climber
There are different ways to do Bosu Ball mountain climbers. The walkthrough below puts a good Bosu Ball with the round part on the ground with your hands on the flat surface.
To do a Bosu Ball mountain climber take the following steps:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Return that leg to the position in step 2.
- Repeat the same movement with your other leg.
You may have to get used to the mountain climber movement before you can do it at higher speeds. You can start at a very slow speed and build up from there. Make sure you keep your back more or less straight throughout the exercise.
Another option when it comes to Bosu Ball placement is on the flat side with your hands or feet on the round part. This will be less challenging when it comes to balance and core and more challenging for wrists or ankles.
Besides that you can make Bosu Ball mountain climbers more challenging is simply doing the exercise faster. This will allow you to train your cardiovascular system and muscles harder in a shorter amount of time.
Do make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the movement before trying this out.
Additionally, you can wear ankle weights or a weighted vest to challenge both your cardiovascular system and muscles more.
Bosu Ball mountain climbers muscles worked
With any exercise you will almost always make a variety of different muscles work, especially with a compound exercise like Bosu Ball mountain climbers. Even so, there are a few muscles that will have to work the hardest for moving and keeping your body in position.
Some of the muscles worked with mountain climbers and the Bosu Ball variation include: hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, core, quadriceps, triceps, and shoulders.
Compared to regular mountain climbers, the Bosu Ball version focuses slightly more on your oblique muscles.
Exercise beginners may be able to build some muscle with Bosu Ball mountain climbers. However, this exercise will likely stop being challenging enough soon to see a lot of muscle growth and strength progress.
Any progress is a nice addition but if you are serious about building muscle you likely want to turn to resistance training exercises.
One way to see slightly more muscle gain faster with Bosu Ball mountain climbers while at the same time engaging your cardiovascular system more is wearing extra resistance.
Wearing ankle weights will engage your hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps more. Wearing a weighted vest close to your hips will engage your abs and obliques more.
Bosu Ball mountain climber benefits
This exercise will likely not be the fastest way to your fitness goals but Bosu Ball mountain climbers can still offer you valuable benefits.
While adding the Bosu Ball does change a few things, most of these are similar to regular mountain climber benefits. Some of the most important ones include:
- Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu Ball mountain climbers likely requires more energy than your regular daily activities. Extra muscle mass also helps with burning more calories. Both of these aspects can help with, but are no guarantee for, weight loss.
- Stronger muscles: While the standard version of Bosu Ball mountain climbers is mainly a cardiovascular, balance, and coordination exercise, they can also help resistance training beginners strengthen muscles to a certain extent.
- Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball mountain climbers promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
- Balance and coordination: Balance and coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bosu Ball mountain climbers can help you with this, more than the regular version.
- Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu Ball mountain climbers can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
- Slows down aging: Bosu Ball mountain climbers 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 some workouts are better for some of these benefits than Bosu Ball mountain climbers, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one activity to your routine.
The main thing to keep in mind is that Bosu Ball mountain climbers can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, hips, lower back, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are sensitive or weak in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any wrist or back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing Bosu Ball mountain climbers into 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 mountain climbers are not (yet) for you.
Bosu Ball mountain climbers alternatives
While Bosu Ball mountain climbers 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 mountain climbers alternatives include:
- Other mountain climber variations
- (Bosu Ball) High knees
- Balance board exercises
- Bosu Ball toe taps
- Power skips
- Ab wheel roll-outs
Which one of these options is the best depends on things like your personal situation, training goals, the equipment you have available, etc.
Many people will benefit from adding Bosu Ball mountain climbers with the right technique to their routine. That being said, for both cardiovascular and muscular training other exercise options may be more optimal.
Bosu Ball mountain climbers can be a great exercise choice as a warmup, balance, or coordination training exercise with a relatively high focus on cardiovascular training.
Something you need to remember is that doing Bosu Ball mountain climbers can be hard on body parts like your ankles, knees, hips, lower back, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are sensitive in these areas you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any wrist or back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more Bosu Ball mountain climbers.
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 mountain climbers is a workout you love, you can consider implementing this exercise anyway. If not, mountain climber alternatives and other exercises can offer more benefits.
If you do decide to implement more Bosu Ball mountain climbers make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.