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Bosu Ball Vs Stability Ball: Which One Is For You?

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Bosu Balls and stability balls are two pieces of balance training equipment. How do they compare in functionality and which one is the best?

The stability ball, also known as Swiss, exercise, and yoga ball, is basically a big rubber ball used to do a variety of exercises. You can describe the Bosu Ball as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.

In general, Bosu Balls are better than the stability ball for balance training beginners (but also good for advanced individuals), individuals who are interested in standing balance exercises, ankle exercises, at-home cardio exercises, and people who have a big budget.

On the other hand, stability balls are better than the Bosu Ball for individuals who are on a budget and really want to focus on horizontal balance exercises and core muscle workouts.

As you can see, the Bosu Ball is definitely more versatile but at the same time, it also costs a lot more than the stability ball.

Which one is ultimately the best for you depends on things like your training goals, budget, storage room, personal preferences, etc. This article will also go over these differences in more detail.

Most important differences

Bosu Balls and stability balls have in common that they both train balance and coordination. However, even in this common area, the two pieces of equipment are different. On top of that, there are many important differences too.

FeatureBosu BallStability Ball
Vertical Balance TrainingGreatTiny Amount
Horizontal Balance TrainingDecentGreat
Core TrainingGoodGreat
Ankle ExercisesGreatNo
Leg ExercisesDecentTiny Amount
Cardio TrainingYesNot Really
VersatilityGreatDecent
Storage & PortabilityGoodRather Inconvenient
Skill LevelBeginner To
Advanced
Intermediate To
Advanced
Price$$$$$
Check Current PricesCheck Current Prices
Most important differences Bosu Ball vs stability ball

Balance training

Both the Bosu Ball and stability ball are typical examples of balance exercise equipment. Something to keep in mind is that they do have a slightly different focus.

The Bosu Ball is made for both standing balance exercises and horizontal balance exercises in a horizontal plank position. That being said, the focus of the Bosu Ball is definitely on standing exercises.

You can still train balance in a horizontal position with a good Bosu Ball to a certain level but more advanced individuals may not find this a bit too easy.

On the other hand, the stability ball is made to be really challenging in these horizontal balance positions. However, when it comes to standing balance exercises, the yoga ball offers basically no options.

Additionally, the stability ball may be too challenging for balance training beginners.

Core muscle training

Another important area for both of these equipment options is core muscle training. Both a Bosu Ball and a good exercise ball are typically beneficial for this.

For example, both balls can help you increase the range of motion your ab muscles have to go through during the crunch exercise. This is generally helpful for muscle growth and strength progress.

That being said, crunches are not the only core exercise and your ab muscles are not your only core muscles.

There are still a few Bosu Ball core exercises that focus on both abs and obliques. However, in general, the stability ball does offer more options and core exercises that are just a bit more challenging than the Bosu Ball options.

Ankle exercises

The next difference between Bosu Balls and Swiss balls is relatively straightforward. Because you can stand on the Bosu Ball, this piece of equipment offers the possibility to train ankle muscles.

On the other hand, there is not really a (safe) way to stand on a stability ball.

Bosu Ball ankle exercises can be helpful for both strengthening to prevent injuries and rehabilitation after any ankle injuries. This can be a nice benefit for certain people.

Leg exercises

When it comes to the number of leg exercises and their effectiveness, the Bosu Ball again takes the lead. You can do compound leg exercises, glutes isolation exercises, calf isolation exercises, etc.

Stability balls do a bit better when it comes to legs compared to ankles. You can do exercise ball exercises like a hamstring rollout or elevated bridge. This is definitely not on the same level as Bosu Balls but it is a welcome addition.

One thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to doing leg exercises with extra weights for muscle growth and strength, the floor is often a better option than both the Bosu Ball and exercise ball.

Two exceptions include weighted Bosu Ball hip thrusts and Bosu Ball glute bridges.

Cardio training

The next difference is another simple one. You can do exercises like mountain climbers, burpees, side shuffles, etc. with a Bosu Ball. With a stability ball, you do not really have any good options when it comes to cardio exercises.

These cardio exercises can be more fun with the Bosu Ball but at the same time, you have to remember that the regular floor versions also offer many benefits. You don’t need any equipment for these.

Versatility

You may be interested in whether a Bosu Ball or stability ball can help you improve the most fitness components with the most exercise options.

In that case, the difference is relatively clear. The Bosu Ball is more versatile than a stability ball.

Storage and portability

A piece of fitness equipment can be the ultimate choice for you but if you are not able to store it, it may not be a great investment after all.

Additionally, you may want to take your Bosu Ball or stability ball to the park or anywhere else.

For these goals, Bosu Balls tend to be better since they are more compact and can’t roll away. In theory, you could deflate your stability ball and reinflate it at your destination but this is a bit inconvenient for short trips.

Skill level

While not in the exact same areas, both the Bosu Ball and stability can be challenging enough for advanced individuals in certain exercises. The difference lies more at the other end of the spectrum.

For individuals who are new to balance training, the stability ball can be a bit too challenging as a starting point. This is a big downside because if you currently can’t use the equipment, you won’t improve.

On the other hand, a Bosu Ball can be relatively beginner-friendly when you put it with the flat side on the ground. From this position on, you can make the exercises more and more challenging if needed.

Price

For many people a big downside of the Bosu Balls is that they cost a lot compared to other fitness equipment like the stability ball.

Even if you are not on a very tight budget, you may be able to buy one exercise ball and a few dumbbells for the price of one Bosu Ball.

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.

Additionally, certain Bosu Ball alternatives like the Swiss ball could offer the exercise benefits you are looking for but at a lower price.

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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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