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9 Bosu Ball Pros And Cons

The Bosu Ball is a popular piece of fitness equipment but like any of these, there are both pros and cons. Find out if the Bosu Ball is right for you.

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 in a variety of Bosu Ball exercises to train many fitness components.

To decide whether the Bosu Ball is worth it to you and/or what type of training you will use it for, it is helpful to consider both the upsides and the downsides.

Bosu Ball pros

First of all, there are a variety of helpful Bosu Ball benefits.

1. Can improve balance and coordination

Some people don’t realize it but balance and coordination are fitness skills that can be improved. You can do this by doing movements that are challenging (but not too challenging) in these areas.

As you get more skilled, you can make the exercises more and more challenging to see even more progress. This is where a good Bosu Ball can benefit your training.

By using the uneven surface of the Bosu Ball, you are able to make movements more challenging compared to their regular floor versions.

Besides the theory principles, there are also studies that imply a Bosu Ball can help improve balance.

One study with 28 participants measured that two types of Bosu Ball workout programs with 12 training sessions divided over 4 weeks led to a significant improvement in measures of balance (1).

Similar studies, sometimes in combination with other balance equipment, tend to measure similar findings (2). Additionally, other fitness equipment options with similar principles tend to improve balance and coordination too (3, 4).

Balance and coordination are important and beneficial in many areas ranging from extreme sports to something as simple as walking (up the stairs). Being good at these skills can help you avoid accidents.

2. Helps you work certain muscles better

Bosu Balls can help you work certain muscles better and/or more in certain exercises. The exact muscles the Bosu Ball works will vary from exercise to exercise but there are some general principles that apply.

Adding a Bosu Ball to an exercise typically works your core muscles, ankle muscles, and thigh muscles slightly more compared to doing the same exercise with the same resistance on a flat surface.

However, that does not always mean the Bosu Ball is better for growing and strengthening these muscles. For example, to grow and strengthen thigh muscles you generally need heavy weights. This does not combine well with the Bosu Ball.

That being said, the Bosu Ball is generally helpful for muscle growth and strengthening in certain core exercises (like crunches) and ankle exercises.

3. Can help prevent injury

The next pro is that Bosu Balls can help you avoid or reduce your risk of injuries in a few ways. First of all, by strengthening the muscles in your ankles and core (5).

Additionally, Bosu Ball exercises can improve proprioception. In simple words, this comes down to accurately sensing where your body parts are.

Improving this skill can help you avoid misplacing body parts and in turn avoid injuries.

Lastly, better balance and coordination help you avoid falling down. Both in your daily life and more active sports falling down can cause injuries.

One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to overdo it with how much you challenge yourself during Bosu Ball exercises. This can do the opposite and cause injuries.

4. Can improve workout consistency

Most people know that working out can offer many benefits but the energy-conservation urge is often too strong to do the exercise. One way to reduce how often this happens is by increasing how much you enjoy your workouts.

Many people really love their Bosu Ball workouts and find them much easier to actually do compared to things like running, cycling, and/or lifting weights.

The workout that does not get done does not offer any benefits so depending on your personal preference this can be an important pro of the Bosu Ball.

5. Can improve cognitive performance

This next pro has not been studied specifically in Bosu Balls but there are studies that suggest that balance training and thus certain Bosu Ball exercises can help improve cognitive function (6, 7).

The improvement in cognitive function can even happen in absence of improving cardiovascular fitness (8). That means it could be possible that balance training improves cognitive performance in a different way than cardiovascular workouts.

In turn, you could get extra cognitive performance benefits from adding both types of training to your workout routine.

That being said, the main thing to keep in mind is that Bosu Ball balance exercises could improve academic performance, job performance, and much more.

Bosu Ball cons

While the Bosu Ball can be helpful, it is also important to keep in mind that it is not perfect. There are some downsides to this piece of fitness equipment too.

6. Can interfere with other fitness components

Doing balance exercises besides a good strength training and cardiovascular training routine can offer extra benefits.

However, combining multiple fitness components in one exercise or workout could reduce how much progress you make.

One of the best examples of this is the squat exercise. This movement is typically done with very heavy weights to be able to grow and strengthen the already strong muscles in your legs.

You can also do squats on the Bosu Ball but you can’t do these with the same weight as the floor version because of balance problems.

Adding a Bosu Ball to regular resistance training exercises like squats would reduce the amount of muscle growth and strength progress.

7. Bosu Balls cost a lot

The next con of Bosu Balls is relatively straightforward. These pieces of fitness equipment require a relatively high investment.

Bosu Balls can still be worth it for many people but at the same time, this high price tag does make Bosu Balls not an option or at least not a priority for many other individuals.

Something to keep in mind if you are on a tighter budget is that there are many other brands that offer half ball balance trainers at a lower price.

These are typically not of the same quality but could be more worth it than the Bosu brand options.

8. Other alternatives may be better

Half ball balance trainers like the Bosu Ball can offer many benefits but they are not the only type of fitness equipment with these effects.

There are plenty of Bosu Ball alternatives like an exercise ball, balance discs, balance boards, etc. that can offer somewhat similar workouts in certain areas.

Something that is still relatively unique to the Bosu Ball is how versatile it is. However, if you have a specific goal like improving balance, something like a balance board could offer more training potential at a lower price.

9. May be too challenging for some people

One of the benefits of Bosu Ball workouts, more specifically the balance ones, is that they can be really challenging. Even so, for some individuals this level of difficulty can be a downside.

For individuals with balance abilities that are currently not that great, the Bosu Ball may be too hard. In that case, something easier like a balance pad or simply bodyweight balance exercises on a flat floor could be a better way to start.

In theory, the exercises on the Bosu Ball could also become too easy. However, when it comes to Bosu Ball balance exercises there is almost always a way available to make the movement harder. Possibly by using certain Bosu Ball accessories.


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.