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Bosu is the brand behind a few popular models of half-ball balance trainers. In this article, we review one of their other products, the Bosu Ballast Ball.
The Bosu Ballast Ball can be described as an exercise ball, a big soft elastic ball, but with extra ballast material inside. This modification changes a few things in a way that can be both beneficial and disadvantageous depending on the situation.
Bosu Ballast Ball review in short
The main points of the Bosu Ballast Ball are to make the ball heavier and prevent it from moving around compared to a regular exercise ball.
Depending on what exercise you choose this can make the movement more or less challenging.
For some people easier can mean better since it helps them work up to the challenging versions. For others, easier means less training progress per minute. Below you can find more specific guidelines.
In any case, the Bosu Ballast Ball does offer a slightly different take on standard exercise balls. Even though it is slightly pricier it can be a good choice.
- Extra ballast can help you work up to harder exercises or make exercise harder
- Hand pump included
- Can hold up to 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Does not roll away when you put it somewhere
- Pricier than regular exercise balls
- In some cases, choosing the Bosu Ballast Ball over a standard exercise ball can slow down progress.
Training with the Bosu Ballast Ball
The extra ballast inside the ball makes it harder for the ball to move. In some types of exercises, this makes the movement harder. In others, it does the opposite. Both of these can be helpful for some individuals and slow down progress for others.
When it comes to balance and coordination exercises, using a Bosu Ballast Ball is generally easier than a regular exercise ball. For individuals at a relatively low skill level when it comes to these things, this can be helpful for working up to more challenging exercises.
If you are already experienced with balance and coordination, using a Bosu Ballast Ball will slow down your progress compared to using a regular exercise ball.
In exercises like a hamstring curl where you need to move the ball with your muscles, a Bosu Ballast Ball makes the exercise harder than a regular exercise ball.
In other exercises like an exercise ball plank where the goal is to keep the exercise ball in place with your muscles, the model with extra ballast is the easier version.
Again beginners can benefit from an easier step-up to harder exercises. Again more experienced individuals will see faster progress from the more challenging options.
Lastly, another way to use exercise balls is as a chair to increase movement throughout the day. The Bosu Ballast Ball makes this easier which is generally the opposite of what you want. A regular exercise ball will be better for being more active throughout the day.
How long does the Bosu Ballast Ball last?
The Bosu Ballast Ball from this review is around 4 years old. It is not used that often in the rehabilitation area it is currently in due to the specific type of people that have a need for it in this area.
This is definitely not as much as a commercial gym where a Bosu Ballast Ball could be used 8 hours a day up to 5 days a week or more.
However, during the use of this particular Bosu Ballast Ball, it only had to be inflated only once. No re-inflations were needed so far.
Bosu Ballast Ball vs alternatives
There are many quality exercise balls that can be used in a similar way as the Bosu Ballast Ball. While the exercise ball brands can vary a lot, there are some commonalities between our top exercise ball picks that can be compared to the Bosu Ballast model.
The first thing that stands out is the difference between the weight capacities. One example, the Trideer Extra Thick Exercise Ball claims a weight capacity of 2200 lbs. This is quite a lot bigger than the 300 lbs of the Bosu Ballast Ball.
Something else is the available sizes. The Bosu Ballast Ball comes in two main sizes, 45 cm and 65 cm. Again, the off-brand has an impressive 5 different sizes. For individuals taller or smaller than average these extra options may be the better choice.
While the weight capacity of the Bosu Ballast Ball is lower, it does have a sturdier feel to it compared to the regular exercise balls I have encountered. This may just be my personal impression and not say anything about the actual capabilities of both types of exercise balls.
Next, the Bosu Ballast Ball is generally more expensive. At the time of writing the Bosu models can be up to 2 or 3 times more expensive.
Lastly, in terms of the effect on training, the previous section goes more in depth. Both the Bosu Ballast Ball and regular off-brand exercise balls can be better depending on the situation.
Is the Bosu Ballast Ball worth it?
If the Bosu Ballast Ball aligns with your training goals it can definitely be worth it. It is more expensive than regular exercise balls but not by a crazy amount.
For example, if you want to get into balance and coordination training but your skill level is currently low, the Bosu Ballast Ball can be a safer way to get started than a regular exercise ball which can be relatively challenging.
If you are already relatively experienced with balance and coordination, you can likely go straight to regular exercise balls to see more progress and save yourself a few dollars.
Bosu Ballast Balls can make certain exercises like an exercise ball hamstring curl more challenging. However, there are also cheaper fitness equipment options like resistance bands that can also offer challenging training for similar body parts.