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Bosu Ball Plank: How To Do, Benefits,…

There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing a Bosu Ball plank, what will the effects be?

Bosu Ball planks are a variation of the high plank where you do the exercise with either your hands or feet on the Bosu Ball. You can describe a Bosu Ball as the top of an exercise ball attached to a flat surface.

Bosu Ball planks are slightly harder than regular planks for certain muscles like your obliques and you train your balance more. If these are your goals, an exercise ball plank can be even more effective.

Bosu Ball planks are typically done to grow and strengthen core muscles like your abs and obliques. For other fitness goals, there are many better exercise options. And even for this goal, variations and exercises that engage these muscles in a more dynamic way may be more effective.

If you are more experienced with core training, you may need to add weights to Bosu Ball planks or do the more dynamic variations to keep seeing muscle growth and strength progress.

Whether you should add Bosu Ball planks or alternatives to your routine depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.

How to do a Bosu Ball plank

There are different ways to do a Bosu Ball plank. The walkthrough below puts a good 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.

For both of these placements putting the round part on the ground is generally more helpful for training core muscles. 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 for an extended period of time.

The main attention point when doing a Bosu Ball plank is keeping your body straight. Do not lower your hips too much but don’t raise them too much either. Keep your head in line with your body so looking downward but don’t lower your head too much, keep your neck straight.

You can also do the typical plank variations like plank leg raises, plank toe taps, etc. on the Bosu Ball. Besides that, you can also do a forearm plank if your wrists hurt.

The main way to make Bosu Ball planks harder is by wearing a weighted vest.

How to do a Bosu Ball plank

Muscles worked with Bosu Ball planks

With any exercise you will almost always make a variety of different muscles work, especially with a compound core exercise like Bosu Ball planks. Even so, there are a few muscles that will have to work the hardest for moving and keeping your body in position.

Bosu Ball planks are mainly a core muscle (abs and obliques) exercise. Besides that muscles like glutes, erector spinae, quadriceps, shoulder, back, and tricep muscles may have to work a small amount too.

Bosu Ball planks are slightly better than floor planks for training your oblique muscles. They engage ab muscles to a similar extent. An even more challenging Bosu Ball alternative for this is an exercise ball.

The way you build muscle in places like your core 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 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 core muscle gain.

One downside of Bosu Ball planks is that it is hard to make the bodyweight version more challenging. You can wear a weighted vest but even then, for individuals more advanced with core training, Bosu Ball planks may be too easy to get a lot of results.

Depending on your personal situation, workout plan, and training goals, Bosu Ball planks may be a good or bad addition.

Benefits of Bosu Ball planks

Some people question how useful this exercise can be but adding Bosu Ball planks to your routine can offer you some helpful benefits. Some of the most important ones include:

  1. Stronger muscles: Bosu Ball planks are a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your core muscles.
  2. Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball planks promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
  3. May reduce or prevent back pain: Core strengthening exercises like Bosu Ball planks can reduce or prevent back pain (1, 2). If you currently have back pain you do want to be careful and talk to an expert before implementing this exercise.
  4. Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu Ball planks 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. Keep in mind that there are better exercise choices if weight loss is your goal.
  5. Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu Ball planks can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
  6. Slows down aging: Bosu Ball planks 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.
  7. Balance and coordination: Balance and coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bosu Ball planks can help you with this.

While inevitably many workouts are better for some of these benefits than Bosu Ball planks, 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.

Potential risks

The main thing to keep in mind is that Bosu Ball planks can be hard on body parts like your back, wrists, elbows, hips, shoulders, back, and neck, 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 back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing Bosu Ball planks 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 planks are not (yet) for you.

Bosu Ball plank alternatives

While Bosu Ball planks can be a good addition to your workout routine, there are also some alternatives available for training your core muscles. Some of these Bosu Ball plank alternatives include:

  • Exercise ball planks
  • (Bosu Ball) Crunches
  • (Bosu Ball) Sit-ups
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Ab wheel exercises
  • Leg raises on the captain’s chair
  • Compound core exercises

Which one of these options is the best depends on things like your personal situation, training goals, the equipment you have available, etc.

Conclusion

Many people will benefit from adding Bosu Ball planks with the right technique to their routine. You may need to switch to more challenging alternatives soon to keep seeing a lot of muscle growth and strength progress.

If you are more advanced when it comes to core training, Bosu Ball planks may be too easy for you.

For goals besides strengthening your abs and obliques and making them stand out more, there are many better exercise options. An alternative like exercise ball planks will also engage your core muscles more.

You also need to remember is that Bosu Ball planks can be hard on body parts like your back, wrists, elbows, hips, shoulders, back, and neck, 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 back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more Bosu Ball planks.

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 planks is a workout you love, great.

If not, plank alternatives and other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.

If you do decide to implement more Bosu Ball planks make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.

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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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