Getting better in certain fitness components does not have to be complicated. Find out whether just standing on a Bosu Ball can do anything.
Two of the main benefits of standing on a Bosu Ball include improving balance and improving muscle endurance around your ankles.
Similar to other types of exercises you want to adjust the difficulty of standing on a Bosu Ball to your current skill level.
For balance training beginners, that means standing on the round part of the Bosu Ball with a sturdy object for support.
More experienced individuals want to add a variety of arm and leg movements and/or stand on one leg. Possibly together with implementing other equipment options like a medicine ball.
When it comes to ankle training, you mostly adjust the movements you do while standing on the Bosu Ball and how much extra resistance you use.
If you have any other fitness goals than the two above, you likely want to turn to different types of workouts.
How to stand on a Bosu Ball
How you should stand on a Bosu Ball is relatively straightforward.
You simply put a good Bosu Ball on the ground, step on it with one foot, add the other foot, and balance yourself. Additionally, you want to keep your knees slightly bent.
If standing on the Bosu Ball is currently too challenging for you, you can hold a wall, hold another sturdy object, or ask a training partner for help.
Something to keep in mind is that standing on the flat side (upside down) of the Bosu Ball is typically harder when it comes to balance and coordination.
On the other hand, standing on the round part of the Bosu Ball is typically more challenging for your ankle muscles.
If standing on two legs on the flat part of the Bosu Ball is too easy for you, you can also make this more challenging to keep seeing training progress.
The first way to do this is still standing on the Bosu Ball but on one leg.
Next, you can do a variety of Bosu Ball balance exercises where you implement a variety of arm and leg movements.
You can also combine a variety of Bosu Ball accessories with standing on the ball. For example, you can try throwing exercises with a medicine ball (possibly with a partner) while standing on the uneven surface.
How long should you stand on a Bosu ball?
Workouts are not only about what you do. Details like how many repetitions or how long you do exercises often influence your results a lot.
Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is not really any specific research about the perfect duration for balance workouts like standing on a Bosu Ball.
That means the question becomes more how long you want to spend time on balance training.
For some people, this will mean standing on a Bosu Ball for 5 minutes without doing anything else.
Others may decide to do 20-minute sessions with a lot of extra movements that make standing on the Bosu Ball more challenging.
Muscles worked standing on a Bosu Ball
Standing on a Bosu Ball is typically not that hard on most muscles but you do “work” a few.
These include your ankle muscles, quadriceps (front thighs), glutes (butt), hamstrings (back thighs), hip adductors (inner thighs), hip abductors (outer thighs), calves, and core muscles.
That being said, you need to know that actually growing these muscles will typically require more pressure.
The main results you can expect from standing on a Bosu Ball are better endurance in the muscles around your ankles and potentially to some extent better endurance in your core muscles.
If you are serious about training one or more of these muscle groups (besides the ones around your ankles), you want to turn to actual resistance training exercises.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you can also overdo it with the Bosu Ball.
One way to do this is by choosing exercises that are too challenging when it comes to balance for your current skill level.
This can lead to you falling down and the injury risks that come with that.
Secondly, the unstable surface can also be the cause of ankle injuries if you overdo it.
In both cases, the message is that you want to challenge yourself with the Bosu Ball but not too much. What this means in terms of what exercises to do with what weights will vary from individual to individual.
Bosu Ball alternatives
Standing on a Bosu Ball offers its benefits but it is not the only way to get these positive effects.
Some Bosu Ball alternatives with similar training goals include:
- Balance boards
- Balance pads
- Exercise ball
- Balance discs
- Free weights and a flat floor
Details like your skill level, training goals, and what equipment you have available (or are willing to invest in) will influence what Bosu Ball alternatives you prefer.
Is standing on a Bosu ball good exercise?
Just standing on a Bosu Ball can be a good exercise to improve balance and ankle muscle endurance for workout beginners.
Over time, you want to add extra movements and/or equipment options to keep things challenging and see more results.
Something else to note is that you want to choose other Bosu Ball exercises if you have other training goals than the things above.
Many people can benefit from standing on a Bosu Ball and adjusting the movements to their skill levels and training goals.
When you start standing on a Bosu Ball and doing extra movements you want to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard either.
It can be smart to start with easy movements and slowly build up from there. Some people also want to talk to an expert to see what exercises fit their personal situation.
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Which way do you stand on a BOSU ball?
To focus more on ankle muscle endurance training you would stand on the round part of a Bosu Ball. If you want to train your balance more, you would stand on the flat side.