There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing Bosu knee tucks, what will the effects be?
Bosu knee tucks are an exercise where you lie down on a Bosu Ball, curl up your upper body, and move your knees towards your chest.
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.
One potential downside of Bosu knee tucks 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 knee tucks can uncomfortable for people with back issues.
Whether you should Bosu knee tucks or alternatives to your routine ultimately depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.
How to do a Bosu knee tuck
As the name implies, to do Bosu knee tucks you need a good Bosu Ball. Once you have that, to do a Bosu knee tuck take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground. Sit on the round part of the Bosu Ball with your butt and “lie” down with your legs stretched and right next to each other on the ground. Your body is basically in a somwhat horizontal line. Hold your arms against your chest or next to you for balance.
- Slowly move your knees and hips towards your chest as far as comfortable. At the same crunch up your upper body starting with your shoulders as far as comfortable.
- Return to starting position in a controlled motion.
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 knee tucks, also known as tuck 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 knee tucks harder for your muscles you can hold a weight against your chest and/or wear ankle weights.
Bosu knee tucks muscles worked
Bosu knee tucks 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 knee tucks on a sturdy surface, you work your oblique muscles slightly more to balance your body. 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 knee tucks to work core muscles.
Next, you can generally use less extra weight because of the balance challenge during Bosu knee tucks.
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 knee tucks.
You can still use weights and possibly build core muscle with Bosu Ball knee tucks but there are more effective exercises for this specific goal.
Depending on your personal situation, workout plan, and training goals, Bosu Ball knee tucks may be a good or bad addition.
Benefits of Bosu knee tucks
Bosu knee tucks 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:
- Stronger muscles: Bosu knee tucks are a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your core and hip flexor muscles.
- Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu knee tucks 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.
- Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball knee tucks promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
- Balance & coordination: Balance & coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bosu knee tucks can help you with this to some extent
- Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu knee tucks can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
- Slows down aging: Bosu knee tucks 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.
- May reduce or prevent back pain: Core strengthening exercises like Bosu knee tucks 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 knee tucks, it is amazing that you can get so many important benefits from adding one activity to your routine.
The main thing to keep in mind is that Bosu knee tucks can be hard on body parts like your 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 back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing Bosu knee tucks 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 knee tucks are not (yet) for you.
Bosu Ball knee tuck alternatives
While Bosu knee tucks 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 knee tuck alternatives include:
- (Bosu Ball) Crunches
- (Bosu Ball) V-ups
- Double crunches
- (Bosu Ball) Bird dogs
- (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.
Many people can benefit from adding Bosu knee tucks 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 knee tucks to achieve this goal.
That being said, for optimal core muscle growth and strengthening there are better exercises than Bosu knee tucks.
Additionally, remember that doing Bosu knee tucks can be hard on body parts like your 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 back pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more Bosu knee tucks.
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 knee tucks 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 knee tucks make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.