The BOSU ball (www.bosu.com) is a very versatile piece of equipment. The BOSU ball is a half ball shaped apparatus that can be used to increase the balance challenge of an exercise, thus increasing the intensity.

Using the BOSU ball is an excellent way to take your workout up to the next level while enhancing your stabilization.

The BOSU ball is also a unique way to challenge your internal balance mechanisms and joint support, while improving your strength and endurance.  Today, I’ve designed three different workouts using this distinctive piece of equipment.  First, we’ll discuss some tips for use.

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bosu-bosu ball workouts_1

Safety

Safety should be a concern for any exerciser using a new piece of equipment.  Using the BOSU ball is no different.

Despite what you may see many exercisers (and trainers) do during their workouts, the BOSU trainer is meant to be stood on only on the ball side.  BOSU recommends NOT standing on the flat side of the ball.

Before attempting any exercise, you should look at the risk vs. reward.  In other words, there are inherent risks associated with exercise, but do the rewards of completing the exercise at your current level of fitness and expertise outweigh the current risks?

If not, you should consider NOT doing that exercise and selecting a safer exercise.  The same is true for the BOSU trainer.  Be sure you use this apparatus and any fitness equipment properly to decrease your personal risk of injury.

Form

The idea here is to keep your stabilizing muscles under tension for as long as possible.  I value the quality of repetitions more than quantity during each and every exercise.

When you are completing any exercise, be sure your form is perfect each repetition.  This includes keeping your core tightened and drawn in (imagine a drawstring that is pulling your belly button in toward your spine at all times), shoulders pulled down and back and head and neck positioned neutrally.

Keeping your body stabilized will help you to create a better foundation on which to build your strength and endurance.

Intensity

Two of today’s workouts are meant to be time-based.  For a beginner, simply shorten the duration of the work period.  As you advance in your fitness, lengthen the period of time you spend completing the exercises and/or minimize your rest periods in between exercises.

I hope you enjoy these effective workouts using the BOSU ball. The BOSU ball workout can be a fun way to rev-up your routine, regardless of whether you are new to exercise, have been exercising for a while, or have been exercising for years.  Be sure you to keep your form perfect and intensity high for best results!

Three challenging BOSU Ball Workouts

Workout #1

Sets: 2-3

Reps: Work Interval for 20-60 seconds.  Use a 1:2 work to rest ratio to begin (if you work for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds). As you progress, decrease the rest ratio to a 1:1 and/or increase your work ratio.

Exercise Muscle (Prime Mover) Notes/Instructions
BOSU Jumping Jacks Total Body Hold the BOSU ball in your hands and complete a jumping jack exercise, raising the BOSU overhead and back down for the arm movement, while your legs go out and in.
BOSU plank Core, shoulders Place the BOSU trainer flat side up, place your hands on the edges of the BOSU ball with elbows extended and hold the plank position, concentrating on keeping your back flat and core tight.
BOSU Mountain Climbers Core, total body Keeping the same starting position as the plank, but bring one leg in toward your elbow at a time (moving as quickly as you can while maintaining form).
BOSU Hip Bridge Hips, glutes, hamstrings Place the BOSU trainer on the floor, flat side down.  Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the BOSU.  Slowly lift your hips toward the ceiling and lower back down.  Repeat.
BOSU Push up to Plank Chest, shoulders, triceps Place BOSU trainer on the floor, flat side down.  Get into a plank position on your elbows on the BOSU ball.  Then push up using your right arm to a strait arm position followed by your left.  Then lower down to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
BOSU One Arm Supported Bent Over Row Back, Biceps Place the BOSU Trainer on the floor.  Place the right leg in the middle of the BOSU trainer and find your balance.  Place your right hand just above your knee for stability.  With a dumbbell or kettlebell in left hand, perform a row (imagine like you are starting a lawn mower) and repeat on the other side.
BOSU Squats Legs Stand on the BOSU (flat side down) with feet hip width apart.  Slowly lower your body down, keeping weight throughout the foot to maintain balance.  Then push back up to a standing position.

Workout #2

Sets: 2-3

Reps: Work Interval for 20-60 seconds.  Use a 1:2 work to rest ratio to begin (if you work for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds). As you progress, decrease the rest ratio to a 1:1 and/or increase your work ratio.

Exercise Muscle (Prime Mover) Notes/Instructions
BOSU Up and Overs Total Body Place the BOSU trainer flat on the floor, flat side down.  Start with your right foot on the middle of the apparatus, then quickly move over the BOSU ball and switch feet so the left foot is on the top of the ball.  Continue to quickly hop over the BOSU ball switching sides.
BOSU Lunge Legs Place the BOSU trainer flat on the floor, flat side down.  Stand behind the BOSU ball and step forward with one foot, placing your foot on the middle of the BOSU ball.  Move your body down into a lunge position and step back.  Switch legs and repeat.
BOSU Push ups Chest, shoulders, core Flip the BOSU over so the flat side faces up.  Place your hands on either side of the ball and extend your legs to the back (the same as the starting position of the plank).  Slowly lower your body down toward the ball and push up.  Repeat. *Note: You can regress this exercise by placing your knees on the ground.
BOSU Plank Twist Core, shoulders Keeping the BOSU ball flat side up, begin in the same position as you are when starting the push up or plank exercise (legs and elbows extended). Slowly bring your right leg across and under your body, bringing it toward your left elbow.  Hold for 1 second, and return to starting position.  Repeat on the other side.
BOSU Mountain Climbers Total body (See instructions above in Workout #1)
BOSU Side lunges Legs Position the BOSU ball on the floor, flat side down.  Stand to the side of the BOSU and complete a side lunge onto the BOSU ball, ensuring your foot lands in the middle of the ball to maintain balance.
BOSU Rows Back, biceps Set the BOSU on the floor, flat side down near a cable machine or a pole with a resistance band.
Long Lever Crunch Core Keep the BOSU on the floor, flat side down. Lie back  the BOSU ball and keep your knees bent in front of you.  Extend both arms overhead, keeping the upper arm in line with your ears.  Complete a crunch, keeping arms extended.

 Workout #3

Sets: 2-3

Reps: 15-20 each; Complete in circuit fashion, minimizing rest in between each exercise.

Exercise Muscle (Prime Mover) Notes/Instructions
BOSU Lunges Legs See workout #1
BOSU Push ups Chest, shoulders See workout #2
BOSU One Arm Supported Dumbbell Row Back, biceps See workout #1
BOSU Burpees Total Body Place the BOSU ball flat side up on the ground.  Place hands (elbows extended) on the sides of the BOSU ball.  Straighten legs back into a plank position behind the ball. Then jump your legs forward tucking your knees underneath you.  Then stand on your feet and raise the BOSU overhead.
BOSU Plank Core See workout #1
BOSU Hip Bridge Core, Glutes, hamstrings See workout #1
BOSU Squats Legs See workout #1
BOSU Squat Thrusts Total Body This exercise is similar to the BOSU Burpee, however you do not have to stand after each rep.  To increase the intensity, place your feet on furniture sliders when performing this exercise.  Place the BOSU ball flat side up on the ground.  Place hands (elbows extended) on the sides of the BOSU ball.  Straighten legs back into a plank position behind the ball. Then jump your legs forward tucking your knees underneath you.
BOSU Horizontal Jumping Jacks Total Body Place the BOSU ball flat side up on the ground.  Place hands (elbows extended) on the sides of the BOSU ball.  Extend legs out behind.  Jump legs side to side and back to center repeatedly.

 I hope you enjoy these BOSU ball workouts!   Give them a try and let me know if you have any questions or notes about the workout by leaving comments below.  Until next time, stay fit and be well!

Intrigued? Love using balls in your workouts? Check this tough Swiss ball workout, and combine your training with the right diet plan.

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