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Weight Loss Made Practical » Exercise » Bosu Bird Dogs: How To, Muscles Worked,…

Bosu Bird Dogs: How To, Muscles Worked,…

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

Bosu bird dogs are a variation of the bird dog exercise where you do the exercise with a Bosu Ball in a variety of ways. A Bosu Ball can be described as the top of a stability ball attached to a flat surface.

The main benefit of using a Bosu Ball instead of the floor is that your core muscles will have to work harder and that you are training balance and coordination a bit more. In short, using a Bosu Ball makes the bird dog slightly more effective.

Something to keep in mind is that the bird dog is still a relatively static core exercise aimed more towards individuals with weak backs. If you are not in this category more dynamic core exercises may offer more results faster.

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

How to do a Bosu bird dog

For Bosu bird dogs you need a good Bosu Ball, a floor to put the ball on, and enough room to do the exercise. Once you have these things, to do a Bosu bird dog take the following steps:

  1. Put the Bosu Ball with the flat side on the ground.
  2. Sit on the Bosu Ball on your hands and your knees with your arms slightly less than stretched. Look down to the ground throughout the exercise so your neck is in a straight line with your body.
  3. Slowly move one foot away from your body until your stretched leg is in a straight line with the rest of your body. At the same time raise the arm of the opposite side until it is in a straight line with your body. So if you choose your right leg, raise your left arm at the same time. Keep your hips and shoulders horizontal throughout the movement.
  4. Return to starting position in a controlled motion.
  5. Repeat the same movement with the arm and leg on the other sides.
How to do a Bosu bird dog

Keep your movements slow and controlled to make your muscles really work hard. The main point of the Bosu bird dog is using your core muscles to keep your hips and shoulders horizontal.

If the full version above is currently too hard you have a few other options too. First of all, you can start with the regular bird dog exercise on a flat floor.

Once you can do these you can do the same exercise but with only one hand or one knee on the Bosu Ball. After that, you can give two hands or two knees a try.

If you keep practicing these, the full version should become possible after a while.

On the other hand, Bosu bird dogs can also become too easy. At this point, you can do movements like Bosu bird dog crunches, Bosu bird dogs with weights, or other core exercises.

Bosu bird dogs muscles worked

All variations of Bosu bird dogs mainly work your oblique, ab, lower back, and erector spinae muscles. Additionally, your shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings have to work to a certain extent to raise your arms and legs.

By adding a Bosu Ball you mainly work the mentioned core muscles to a larger extent.

The way you build muscle in places like your core 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 like Bosu bird dogs and gradually increasing this resistance 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 bird dogs is that they engage your core muscles in a relatively static way. Exercises that engage your core muscles in a more dynamic way are typically more effective for muscle growth and strength progress.

Benefits of Bosu bird dogs

Bosu bird dogs may not be the best exercise to build muscle mass for everyone 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 bird dogs are a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your core muscles.
  2. Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu bird dogs 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 bird dogs 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 bird dogs can help you with this to some extent
  5. Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu bird dogs can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
  6. Slows down aging: Bosu bird dogs 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 bird dogs 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 bird dogs, 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 bird dogs can be hard on body parts like your back, elbows, hips, shoulders, wrists, 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 bird dogs 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 bird dogs are not (yet) for you.

That being said, Bosu bird dogs are typically an exercise for individuals with back issues who want to train their core. This is because this exercise allows you to work your core without moving your spine a lot.

Bosu bird dog alternatives

While Bosu bird dogs 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 bird dog alternatives include:

  • (Bosu) (side) Planks
  • Dead bug exercise
  • Plank variations
  • Bridge exercise
  • Pallof presses
  • Crunches (if you have no back issues)
  • Side bends (if you have no back issues)

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 a lot from adding Bosu bird dogs with the right technique to their routine. That being said, this core exercise is more aimed towards individuals with back challenges.

If you are not in this category of people, more dynamic core exercises, potentially with extra weights, will generally be more effective for muscle growth and strength progress.

Additionally, remember that doing Bosu bird dogs can be hard on body parts like your back, elbows, hips, shoulders, wrists, 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 bird dogs.

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 bird dogs 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 bird dogs 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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