A Bosu Ball is a piece of fitness equipment that can be used to move more. In turn, this can help you burn more calories.
There are currently no precise studies about this of workouts with the Bosu Ball. That being said, there are still ways to make rough estimations.
The first method is using the intensity estimation of exercise ball exercises and assuming Bosu Ball exercises will generally be slightly more intense and thus burn more calories.
In that case, the average individual can burn slightly more than 83 – 142+ calories per 30 minutes of doing Bosu Ball exercises in general.
Another method is taking the number of calories burned with the regular version of the exercise (or just standing) and assuming the Bosu Ball version tends to burn a bit more. This is because adding a Bosu Ball to exercises can increase your heart rate and breathing speed (1).
In that case, Bosu Ball crunches would burn slightly more than around 41 – 71+ calories per 15 minutes, Bosu Ball lunges more than around 56 – 97 calories per 15 minutes, and Bosu Ball mountain climbers more than around 118 – 203 calories per 15 minutes.
- Related: 7 Of The Best Bosu Ball Reviewed
Biggest influences on calories burned
A fact that many people find annoying is that the number of calories you burn while doing something like using a Bosu Ball is hard to predict and measure correctly.
This fact can make things like weight loss feel like a guessing game when you are trying to balance these numbers with the calories in food.
Even so, good estimations for the number of calories burned with a Bosu Ball can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate.
Some of the biggest factors that influence how many calories you burn while using a Bosu Ball include:
- Weight: To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more you weigh, the more energy your body needs to fuel its movements.
- Body composition: Body composition is how much of your body weight is made up of different tissue. Two people can weigh the same but for one individual most of the weight can come from fat while the second individual has a lot of muscle. The reason that is important is that the same weight of muscle requires more energy than that weight in fat.
- Exercise choice: If you’re looking at calories burned per minute of Bosu Ball exercises, this can vary a lot from exercise to exercise. Something like Bosu Ball mountain climbers will burn more calories than Bosu Ball crunches.
- Extra weights: In certain Bosu Ball exercises you can use extra weights to make the movement more challenging. This will require more energy from your body.
Estimations calories burned with Bosu Ball
To calculate calories burned during certain exercises you can use a formula with MET values. A MET value is an exercise-specific value to indicate how intense a specific type of workout is.
This number represents how many times more intense the activity is compared to sitting still.
You can use this in the following formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
There are currently no good MET estimations about Bosu Ball exercises. Due to the versatility of Bosu Balls, this will also depend a lot on the specific exercise. Bosu Ball crunches will burn fewer calories than Bosu mountain climbers.
That being said, there is a MET estimation for exercises done with a similar piece of fitness equipment called a stability ball (2.8) (2).
The first table below will show estimations for this MET. Since Bosu Balls generally allow more intense exercises these numbers will likely be slightly higher.
There is another way to estimate the number of calories burned with Bosu Balls. You can do this by taking the calorie-burning estimation of the regular exercise (for example squats) and assuming you will burn slightly more calories than that with the Bosu version.
One study compared the respiratory activity (breathing speed) and heart rate between balance exercises on a flat surface vs on a Bosu Ball. These were higher when using a Bosu Ball (1). This also implies the Bosu Ball versions will burn more calories.
Again keep in mind that the numbers below are estimations. This formula doesn’t take into account certain important factors that do influence the number of calories burned with a Bosu Ball.
Additionally, to put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contains about 87 calories (3).
Calories burned with Bosu Ball exercises
One of the most convenient ways to see how many calories you burned while doing Bosu Ball exercises is by looking at how much time you spent doing them.
The numbers below are the result of using the MET estimation for exercise ball exercises. Since Bosu Ball exercises tend to get more intense you likely burn slightly more calories than the numbers below.
Additionally, the exact numbers will of course vary from exercise to exercise.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||3 calories||41 calories||83 calories||124 calories||165 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||3 calories||51 calories||103 calories||154 calories||205 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||4 calories||61 calories||122 calories||184 calories||245 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||5 calories||71 calories||142 calories||213 calories||284 calories|
Calories burned with Bosu Ball exercises method 2
Another way to estimate how many calories certain Bosu Ball exercises burn is by looking at the estimation of the regular exercise and then assuming you are burning slightly more calories with the Bosu version.
One study measured that balance exercises done on a Bosu Ball increased heart rate and breathing more than the same version on a flat surface (1). You can assume this in turn also increase the number of calories burned a small amount.
Below you can find the estimations of calories burned when doing calisthenics (bodyweight) exercises at three different intensities and just standing for 30 minutes.
Light effort includes exercises like crunches and sit-ups, moderate effort includes examples like pushups and lunges, and vigorous effort includes exercises like mountain climbers and jumping jacks.
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||83 calories||112 calories||236 calories||38 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||103 calories||139 calories||293 calories||48 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||122 calories||166 calories||350 calories||57 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||142 calories||193 calories||406 calories||66 calories|
How to burn more calories with a Bosu Ball
How many calories you burn with a Bosu Ball is certainly not something set in stone. There are a few ways you can increase this amount per time interval.
The challenge for most people is fitting in activities in their busy schedules. They want to burn as many calories in the least amount of time, which means burning more calories per minute of using a Bosu Ball.
If you do have more time, spending more time doing Bosu Ball exercises will generally burn more calories although at some point overtraining may cause the reverse.
A more obvious way to burn more calories with Bosu Balls is by choosing more intense exercises where you move your body faster and challenge your muscles more.
The second way to burn more calories while using a Bosu Ball is by making the weight your body has to move heavier.
You can do this by using extra weights as long as your Bosu Ball and body can deal with the extra weight. Your options for this vary a lot from exercise to exercise.
Another way to increase the weight your body has to move around is by building extra muscle mass with other workouts.
Can a BOSU ball help you lose weight?
Bosu Ball workouts can help you burn nice amounts of calories, especially the ones with more intense exercises. In combination with good habits in other lifestyle areas, this can then help you lose weight.
One pound of body fat is about 3500 calories (one kg +-8000 calories). How long it takes to see weight loss results from using a Bosu Ball will also depend on the number of calories in your diet.
One person might eat more than the other. This might make it so they need to exercise longer or more intensely to see the same weight loss results. You can even lose weight without exercising so there are many factors that influence it.
Adding 30 minutes of moderate effort Bosu Ball exercises a day could help you burn an extra 1390 calories in 10 days which is about 0.4 pounds of body fat. 30 days, 4170 calories (= +- 1.19 pounds of body fat), and so on…
Keep in mind that losing weight too fast can be suboptimal. In general, a 500 calorie deficit per day is considered to be a healthy weight loss rate.
Should you use a Bosu Ball to burn calories?
Doing Bosu Ball exercises can be a good workout and help you burn nice amounts of calories. Especially the more intense exercises.
That being said, there are also plenty of other activities that can help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
Whether you should choose Bosu Ball exercises as your main form of workout also depends on factors like personal preference.
One of the main benefits of Bosu Balls is that they can help you improve your balance and burn calories at the same time. For optimal calorie-burning results, other workout routines can be more effective.
If calorie burning is one of your main goals and you regularly use a Bosu Ball, implementing some exercises in your schedule specifically for building muscle can be helpful.
The extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories day in, day out, including during your Bosu Ball sessions.
Also keep in mind that the things you eat stay important no matter what movement routine you’re following. It’s hard to out-exercise a bad diet.