Bosu Ball workouts can offer many benefits. One of the claims is that the Bosu Ball can improve balance. Is that really the case?
Balance and coordination are fitness skills that can be trained by challenging your body in these areas. A no-equipment example of a way to do this is by standing on one leg.
By standing on an unstable surface like the Bosu Ball this becomes even more challenging. In turn, this can lead to more balance and coordination improvements compared to the same exercises done on the ground.
So in short, doing Bosu Ball balance exercises can definitely improve your balance and coordination. You can start with the easier exercises and build up from there as you get more skilled.
Bosu Ball studies about improving balance
Creating a theory about why something works is an important first step. After that, you want to see if this theory holds up in studies where you test it.
One study divided 28 participants into two types of Bosu balance workout groups. The first group did an error-based progression workout plan. The second group a repetition-based progression workout plan. Both workout plans had 12 sessions divided over 4 weeks.
The study did not find significant differences between the two groups but concluded that both types of Bosu Ball workout programs improved measures of balance (1).
Another study divided 96 soccer players who were 14 years old into a control group and an experimental group that did 8 weeks of Bosu Ball proprioceptive training. The experimental group did four 30 minute sessions each week.
Among other improvements, the study measured that the Bosu Ball workouts lead to better performance on certain balance tests (2).
Additionally, there are studies where balance workout programs with a Bosu Ball in combination with other balance exercise equipment options like a stability ball lead to improvements in balance (3, 4).
More studies with more individuals are always welcome but from these experiments in combination with the current principles of improving balance, you can assume that the Bosu Ball can very likely help with improving balance.
Other relevant studies about improving balance
Ideally, you would have hundreds of studies with many subjects about improving balance with the Bosu Ball. However, with such a relatively niche workout tool this is currently not the case.
In a situation like that, you can also look at studies done with similar pieces of fitness equipment. There are these things called balance boards (and a specific type called wobble boards) which are also unstable flat surfaces with a few studies.
One downside of these balance board studies is that they are often done with people who do not have the best balance to start with (stroke survivors, chronic ankle instability, elderly people). Studies with more average people would be helpful.
A balance board is not exactly the same as a Bosu Ball but they do work very similarly. The above studies again imply that a Bosu Ball is likely a tool that can help you improve your balance until there is evidence for the contrary.