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Bosu Ball V-ups: How To, Muscles Worked,…

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

Bosu Ball V-ups are a variation of the exercise with the same name where you sit on a Bosu Ball instead of the floor. You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.

By using the Bosu Ball instead of a sturdy surface the exercise focuses more on your core muscles and balance. The exercise still mainly focuses on core muscles like abs and obliques and your hip flexors.

Additionally, these muscles go through a larger range of motion. This is generally beneficial for muscle growth and strength progress.

One potential downside of Bosu Ball V-ups is that the balance requirement makes it harder to use extra weights. This can reduce the amount of muscle growth and strength progress you can achieve.

Something else to keep in mind is that Bosu Ball V-ups can uncomfortable for people with back issues.

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

How to do a Bosu Ball V-up

As the name implies, to do Bosu Ball V-ups you need a good Bosu Ball. Once you have that, to do a Bosu Ball V-up take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground.
  2. Lie down on the Bosu Ball with the top part of the ball under your lower back with your legs stretched and right next to each other on the ground. You can hold your arms against your chest if you are relatively new to ab training, stretched above your head if you are more experienced.
  3. Keep your legs slightly less than stretched while you move them up slowly. At the same time curl up your upper body starting with your shoulders and continuing with the rest of your back until your upper body makes a V-shape with your legs. Make sure you use your abs and not the momentum of your arms to power the movement.
  4. Slowly lower your legs and upper body again. If you will do more repetitions you can keep your feet hovering just above the ground. If you are done you can lower your legs to the ground.
How to do a Bosu Ball V-up

Keep your movements slow and controlled to make your muscles really work hard. If you have any neck issues keep your neck in line with your upper body throughout the exercise.

Before doing the Bosu version you want to master regular V-ups.

If you need a bit of balance support you could also put your hands on the Bosu Ball. However, keep in mind that this version also trains your balance less.

To make Bosu Ball V-ups harder for your muscles you can hold a weight against your chest and/or wear good ankle weights or clamp a weight between your legs.

Bosu Ball V-ups muscles worked

Bosu Ball V-ups mainly work your abs, obliques, and hip flexors. The more you move your hips towards your chest with your muscles instead of the momentum of your legs, the more you will work your ab muscles.

Compared to V-ups on a sturdy surface, you work your oblique muscles slightly more to balance your body. Additionally, your muscles can go through a larger range of motion which is generally beneficial for muscle growth.

There are also downsides to using the Bosu Ball. First of all, it becomes harder to mostly move your hips in a controlled motion. This will likely lead to more hip flexor muscle engagement.

That is not necessarily bad but most people do Bosu Ball V-ups to work core muscles.

Next, you can generally use less extra weight because of the balance challenge during Bosu Ball V-ups. To build muscle in places like your core you have to engage 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 being able to use less weight because of the Bosu Ball, it becomes harder to grow and strengthen your core muscles with V-ups.

You can still use weights and possibly build core muscle with Bosu Ball V-ups but there are more effective exercises for this specific goal.

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

Bosu Ball V-up benefits

Bosu Ball V-ups may not be the best exercise to build muscle mass but adding this exercise to your routine can still offer you some helpful benefits. Some of the most important ones include:

  1. Stronger muscles: Bosu Ball V-ups are a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your core and hip flexor muscles.
  2. Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu Ball V-ups 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.
  3. Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball V-ups promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
  4. Balance & coordination: Balance & coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bosu Ball V-ups can help you with this to some extent.
  5. Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu Ball V-ups can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
  6. Slows down aging: Bosu Ball V-ups 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. May reduce or prevent back pain: Core strengthening exercises like Bosu Ball V-ups 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.

While inevitably many workouts are better for some of these benefits than Bosu Ball V-ups, 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 V-ups can be hard on body parts like your back, hips, hip flexors, 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 V-ups 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 V-ups are not (yet) for you.

Bosu Ball V-up alternatives

While Bosu Ball V-ups 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 V-up alternatives include:

  • (Bosu Ball) Crunches
  • Double crunches
  • (Bosu Ball) Bird dogs
  • (Bosu Ball) knee tucks
  • (Bosu Ball) Russian twists
  • (Bosu Ball) planks

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 can benefit from adding Bosu Ball V-ups with the right technique to their routine. Mostly to improve balance while engaging their core muscles a nice amount.

This exercise could help you grow and strengthen your core muscles to some extent. You may need to hold extra weights during Bosu Ball V-ups to achieve this goal.

That being said, for optimal core muscle growth and strengthening there are better exercises than Bosu Ball V-ups.

Additionally, remember that doing Bosu Ball V-ups can be hard on body parts like your back, hips, hip flexors, 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 doing more Bosu Ball V-ups.

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 V-ups is a workout you love, great. If not, V-up alternatives and other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.

If you do decide to implement more Bosu Ball V-ups 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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