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Bosu Ball Pushups: How To, Variations,…

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

Bosu Ball pushups are a variation of regular bodyweight pushups where you do the exercise on a Bosu Ball. You can describe Bosu Balls as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.

This variation can help you engage core muscles like your obliques slightly more than regular pushups.

One downside is that the extra balancing that is typical in Bosu Ball exercises can pull your focus away from really training your chest, tricep, and shoulder muscles as much as possible.

Keep in mind that it is hard to make the bodyweight version of Bosu Ball pushups more challenging. If you are more experienced with chest and tricep training, there are likely better exercise choices for these muscles than Bosu Ball pushups.

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

How to do a Bosu Ball pushup

To do a Bosu Ball pushup take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the round side on the ground, sit in front of the Bosu Ball, and put your hands at about shoulder width on the flat side.
  2. Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line from your heels to the top of your head. Keep your shoulders above your hands.
  3. Slowly fold your arms at your elbows until your face is close to the Bosu Ball. Your upper arms should be at an angle of about 45 degrees or less to your sides.
  4. Stretch your arms again until you are back in the position of step 3.

Keep your movements slow and controlled to make your chest, tricep, shoulder, and core muscles really work hard and avoid bad technique. If you struggle with balance you can put your hands slightly farther apart from each other.

The main attention points for Bosu Ball pushups are keeping your back straight and the position of your upper arms.

You can also do the typical pushup variations like modified pushups, diamond pushups, tricep pushups, etc. on the Bosu Ball. Besides that, you could also do the pushups on the round part of the ball to train your wrists more.

The main way to make Bosu Ball pushups harder is by wearing a good weighted vest that does not get in the way.

How to do an Bosu Ball pushup

Bosu Ball pushups muscles worked

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

Bosu Ball pushups are mainly an exercise to work chest, tricep, and shoulder muscles. Your core muscles (abs and obliques) may have to work hard too to keep your body in position.

Besides that muscles like glutes, quadriceps, erector spinae, and back muscles may have to work a small amount too.

Compared to regular pushups, Bosu Ball pushups will engage muscles like your obliques slightly more to keep your body balanced.

The way you build muscle in places like your chest and triceps 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 pushups is that it is hard to make the bodyweight version more challenging. This means that for individuals more advanced with chest and tricep training, Bosu Ball pushups may be too easy to get a lot of results.

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

Bosu Ball pushups benefits

There are two main categories of benefits of Bosu Ball pushups. The first category is the benefits of Bosu Ball pushups over regular pushups. Some of these include:

  1. More muscle training: By doing a Bosu Ball pushup you make the exercise more challenging for muscles like your obliques.
  2. More balance training: Balance is a helpful skill that can be trained. Bosu Ball pushups are harder when it comes to this compared to regular pushups.

While adding a Bosu Ball to this exercise does influence a few important aspects, Bosu Ball pushups are still pushups. This means they also offer regular pushup benefits. Some of the most important ones include:

  1. Stronger muscles: Bosu Ball pushups are a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your chest, tricep, shoulder, and core muscles.
  2. Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu Ball pushups 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.
  3. Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball pushups promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
  4. Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu Ball pushups can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
  5. Slows down aging: Bosu Ball pushups 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 pushups, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one activity to your routine.

Potential risks

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

Bosu Ball pushup alternatives

While Bosu Ball pushups 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 pushup alternatives include:

  • Regular pushups
  • Bench presses
  • Balance board exercises
  • Exercise ball pushups
  • Isolation exercises for chest, triceps, and shoulders

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 pushups 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 chest and tricep training, Bosu Ball pushups may be too easy for you.

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

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 pushups is a workout you love, great. If not, other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.

If you do decide to implement more Bosu Ball pushups 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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