There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing Bosu plank jacks, what will the effects be?
Bosu plank jacks are a variation of the exercise with the same name where you use 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.
Similar to regular plank jacks, this exercise is mainly a cardio and coordination exercise with a relatively heavy focus on your core muscles.
By using a good Bosu Ball instead of the floor you engage your core, wrist, and/or ankle muscles just a bit more.
Something to keep in mind is that there are more effective exercises for improving these fitness components. Additionally, Bosu plank jacks may be hard on your back. Even when using the right technique.
That being said, Bosu plank jacks can be a fun way to improve your cardiovascular health at home, warm up, and improve coordination.
Whether you should add Bosu Ball plank jacks or alternatives to your routine ultimately depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.
How to do Bosu Ball plank jacks
As the name implies, you will need a Bosu Ball for this exercise. Once you have that, to do Bosu Ball plank jacks take the following steps:
- Put the Bosu Ball with the round part on the ground, put your hands on the flat surface at about shoulder width right below your shoulders, and sit on your knees.
- Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line from your heels to the top of your head. This means that your knees will be off the ground and that you are resting on your slightly less than stretched arms and feet.
- Make a little outward jump with your feet. Keep your body as straight as possible throughout the exercise. Especially try to avoid lowering your hips too much.
- Jump back in the position of step 2.
- Keep jumping in and out with your feet for a certain amount of repetitions or time.
The main attention point for Bosu plank jacks is not lowering your hips too much. Especially when you land after each jump. This could be painful for your lower back.
You can also put the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground to work your wrist muscles more. Another option is putting the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground under your feet. This will work your ankle muscles a tiny amount more.
Additionally, you can also lean on your elbows instead of your hands.
To be able to do this Bosu Ball cardio exercise at higher speeds you may need to get used to the movement of the exercise first.
If needed, you can start with stepping Bosu plank jacks with one foot at a time. After that, move on to little jumps and a faster pace when you are ready for it.
The first way to make Bosu plank jacks more challenging is simply doing the exercise faster. This will allow you to train your cardiovascular system and muscles harder in a shorter amount of time.
Additionally, you can wear a weighted vest or ankle weights to make Bosu plank jacks harder for your core muscles, leg muscles, and cardiovascular system.
Bosu Ball plank jacks muscles worked
With any exercise you will almost always make a variety of different muscles work, especially with a compound core exercise like Bosu plank jacks.
Even so, there are a few muscles that will have to work the hardest for moving and keeping your body in position.
Bosu Ball plank jacks engage a variety of muscles including abs, obliques, inner thighs, outer thighs, hip flexors, quadriceps, triceps, and shoulders. Of these, the ab muscles are typically worked the hardest.
By adding a Bosu Ball with the round part on the ground under your hands you work core muscles like your obliques a bit more.
Putting the Bosu Ball with the flat part on the ground under your hands will focus more on your wrist muscles. Lastly, putting the Bosu with the flat part on the ground under your feet will engage your ankle muscles a tiny amount more.
Exercise beginners may be able to build some muscle with Bosu plank jacks. However, this exercise will likely stop being challenging enough to see a lot of muscle growth and strength progress relatively soon.
Any progress is a nice addition but if you are serious about growing and strengthening muscles you likely want to turn to weighted resistance training exercises.
Bosu plank jacks benefits
This exercise will not help you build the most muscle but Bosu plank jacks can still offer you some helpful benefits. Some of the most important ones include:
- Can help with losing weight: Doing Bosu plank jacks 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.
- Stronger muscles: The standard version of Bosu plank jacks is mainly a cardiovascular and coordination exercise but it can also help resistance training beginners strengthen muscles to a certain extent.
- Improves mood: Exercise like Bosu Ball plank jacks promotes the release of substances that help you feel good.
- Balance and coordination: Balance and coordination are fitness skills that can be improved by challenging them. Bosu Ball plank jacks can help you with this.
- May reduce or prevent back pain: Core strengthening exercises like Bosu plank jacks 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.
- Improves sleep: Exercise like Bosu plank jacks can improve the quality and duration of your sleep which in turn offers many important benefits.
- Slows down aging: Bosu Ball plank jacks 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.
While inevitably many workouts are better for some of these benefits than Bosu plank jacks, 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 plank jacks can be hard on body parts like your back, elbows, wrists, shoulders, and hips, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are sensitive or weak in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any back or wrist pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing Bosu plank jacks into 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 plank jacks are not (yet) for you.
Bosu plank jack alternatives
While Bosu plank jacks 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 plank jack alternatives include:
- Other jumping jack variations
- High knees
- (Bosu Ball) Toe taps
- Butt kicks
- Power skips
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 will benefit from adding Bosu Ball plank jacks with the right technique to their routine. Mostly to improve cardiovascular health, to improve coordination, and to warm up.
That being said, there are also a variety of exercises that are more effective for training cardiovascular health. To really grow and strengthen your muscles you also want to turn to other exercises besides Bosu Ball plank jacks.
Another thing you need to remember is that doing Bosu plank jacks can be hard on body parts like your back, elbows, wrists, shoulders, and hips, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are sensitive in these areas you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. Especially if you have any back or wrist pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more Bosu plank jacks.
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 plank jacks 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 plank jacks make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.