Core Strength and Balance: 15 Best BOSU Ball Exercises

January 09, 2023 9 min read

Core Strength and Balance: 15 Best BOSU Ball Exercises

The BOSU ball was invented by David Weck in 1999, reflecting a cut in half stability ball. So why wobble around on a stability ball when a BOSU can help to improve your balance and core strength? The design of the BOSU adds what has been missing in your workout routine and thus will help you achieve great results in as little as three weeks’ time. 

 


What is so effective about the design?


BOSU stands for BOth Sides Utilized and is a gym tool which is used for building stability and strength. It consists of a hemisphere and a flat surface; the hemisphere is half-filled with air and this creates enough instability to prompt the engagement of all the core muscles. Whilst, the flat surface allows for enough stability to perform the exercises with maximum precision and effectiveness. 


Both the hemisphere and the flat surface can be used to improve balance and strengthen the core. The BOSU can be used to complete either whole body exercises or to target specific areas. Furthermore, the BOSU can be used by both beginners and pros. So add this piece of equipment to your exercise routine to gain strength and stability to then step up to stability ball exercises. 


Lower Body Exercises using the BOSU ball


These exercises will help you if you accumulate fat on your lower body:

1. Hip raise – This exercise targets the lower back, abs, glutes, quads and hamstrings 


Difficulty level – Beginner 


How to do:

  • Lie on the floor, flex your knees and place your feet on the sides of the BOSU then place your arms by your sides with the palms of your hands flat on the floor, look up at the ceiling. This is the starting position.
  • Push your hips to the ceiling 
  • When your hips are in line with your thighs, stop
  • Then begin to lower your hips but do not place them on the floor 
  • Repeat the movement for 2 sets of 15 reps 

You can advance this exercise by performing the hip raise with one raised leg by keeping the knee of the raised leg slightly bent, then push your hips to the ceiling again and lower the glutes. Do this for both legs. 

 

2. Squat – this exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and quads


Difficulty level – Intermediate 


How to do:

  • Place the BOSU ball on the floor so the flat surface is facing the ceiling 
  • Place your right leg on one side of the BOSU, this will make the BOSU tilt to the right, then place your left leg on the other side and balance. When you are stable, this will be your starting position
  • Push your hips back and flex your knees as you lower your body and bring your hands to your chest 
  • Make sure that your knees do not go beyond your toes 
  • Return to the starting position and complete the movement for 2 sets of 12 reps 


3. Jump squats – this exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and quads

Difficulty level – Intermediate 


How to do:

  • Stand roughly a foot away from the BOSU, with your feet shoulder-width apart, an engaged core, slightly bent knees and your chest out. The flat surface of the BOSU should be on the floor so the hemisphere faces up
  • As you prep to jump onto the BOSU, bend your knees slightly 
  • Jump and land on the hemispherical surface of the BOSU in a squatting pose with your back straight and make sure your knees are not over our toes 
  • Hold this position for a moment, then get back up and jump to the floor 
  • When you land on the floor, squat down again 
  • Repeat this for 3 sets of 15 reps 

4. Lunge – this exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, quads and calves 

Difficulty level – Beginner 


How to do:

  • Stand roughly a foot away from the BOSU, with your feet shoulder-width apart, an engaged core, slightly bent knees and your chest out. The flat surface of the BOSU should be on the floor so the hemisphere faces up, this will be your starting position 
  • Place your right foot onto the BOSU
  • Flex both knees, lowering your torso so that the thighs are perpendicular to the shins 
  • Hold this for a moment and then step back into your starting position 
  • Repeat this for the left leg on the BOSU and complete 3 sets of 12 reps

This exercise can be advanced by performing side lunges. Stand next to the BOSU and place your right foot on the hemisphere, making sure that your feet are at least 2-3 feet apart. Then lunge to the right, get up and lift the right leg from the BOSU, placing it close to the left leg. Repeat this by placing the right leg on the hemisphere once more and lunging. 

 

5. Hip Flexor Stretch – this exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, adductors and hip flexors 


Difficulty level – Beginner 


How to do:

  • Put the right foot on the floor next to the BOSU and then place the left foot behind you, so you are basically in the lunging position 
  • Put your elbows on the BOSU, pushing down the core so that you now in a deep lunge 
  • Hold this for 10 seconds in order to feel the stretch through your inner thighs, glutes and groin
  • Release and then repeat the stretch with your left leg 
  • Perform 1 set of 2 reps

 Also find this video to give you more leg exercises and some visual guidance:-


Core Exercises using the BOSU


BOSU core strengthening and toning exercises can help you to combat problematic areas around your core such as love handles, lower belly and back fat as well as toning your abs, chest and shoulders

6. Crunch – this exercise targets the lower abs, upper abs and back 


Difficulty level – Beginner 


How to do: 

  • Sit on top of the BOSU, placing your arms on the BOSU and slide your buttocks down so that your hips end up near the rim of the flat surface with your back against the dome of the ball. Your knees should be kept flexed with your feet flat on the floor 
  • Your upper back should not be against the dome of the BOSU. Support your head with your fingers whilst your thumbs are on the back of your ears. Keep your core engaged and open up your arms. This will be your starting position
  • Crunch by lifting your upper body as you inhale and then exhale as you crunch up
  • Inhale and return to your starting position 
  • Repeat this for 3 sets of 15 reps 
7. Crunch oblique – this exercise targets the abs, upper back and obliques 

Difficulty level -Intermediate 


How to do:


  • Against the surface of the hemisphere dome, lie on your right side, ensuring that the sides of your hips are at the lower part of the BOSU and the side of your chest is at the top
  • Flex your right elbow so that you can position the right forearm on the BOSU. Then place the left fingers onto the back of your head. Open the left arm. Fold your right leg a little bit and to support your lower body, you should place the inner side of your left leg onto the ground to create your starting position 
  • Exhale and crunch up at the same time
  • And then inhale as you crunch back to your starting position 
  • Repeat this for 3 sets of 12 reps 

8. Full plank – this exercise targets abs, glutes, back and shoulders

Difficulty level – Intermediate 


How to do:

  • Place the hemispherical face of the BOSU onto the ground so the flat surface is facing up 
  • Place your hands onto the edges of either side of the BOSU 
  • Extend your right leg behind you, flexing your toes so that they are now placed on the floor 
  • Do the same with your left leg
  • Support your body on the flexed toes of both legs 
  • Your spine should be level with your neck, with your core engaged and you should be looking down 
  • Hold and retain this for between 30 and 60 seconds 
  • Perform 3 sets of 30 to 60 second holds 

 

9. Forearm plank – this exercise also targets the abs, glutes, back and shoulders 


    Difficulty level – Beginner 


    How to do:

    • Kneeling in front of the BOSU, place your elbows on tops of the hemisphere, clasping your hands together 
    • Engage your core and then first extend your right leg behind you, followed by your left leg. Your spine should be level with your neck and head in line and then look down.
    • Breathe slowly as you hold this pose for between 30 and 60 seconds.
    • Release this pose to rest for 10 seconds and then repeat for 3 sets of 30 to 60 second holds.

    10. Side plank - this exercise targets the abs, glutes, shoulders and upper back 

      Difficulty level – Beginner 


      How to do:

      • Kneel down so that the BOSU is on your left-hand side, then place the left palm on top of the hemisphere with your right hand on your waist. Extend your right leg out to the right with your left leg remaining folded
      • Extend your right hand straight towards the ceiling. To balance your body, engage your core; this will make sure you don’t fall as you then extend your left leg out just behind your right leg. Make sure to keep your neck in line with the spine.
      • Hold this position for 30 seconds and then repeat this for the other side 
      • Complete 3 sets of 30 second holds 

      11. Sit-Ups – this exercise targets the lower abs, upper abs and back 

        Difficulty – Beginner 


        How to do:

        • Sit on the hemisphere dome of the BOSU, sliding down a little 
        • Support your head with your other fingers whilst your thumbs are on the back of your ears. Then open your arms up and lie down to create your starting position 
        • Lift your upper body by engaging your core to come to a sitting position. As you do this, you should exhale 
        • Inhale as you return back to the starting position 
        • Repeat this movement to complete 3 sets of 12 reps 

         

        Also find this video to give you more core exercises and some visual guidance:-

         


        Fat Loss and Toning Upper Body with the BOSU


        12. Tricep dips – this exercise targets the shoulders, biceps and triceps 

          Difficulty level – Intermediate to Advanced 


          How to do:

          • Sit on the hemisphere dome of the BOSU with your hands either side of you, keeping your feet flat on the floor and your knees flexed
          • Lift your buttocks. Your palms and feet should support your body. Your shoulders should be kept rolled back with your core engaged to create your starting position. 
          • Then lower your buttocks; just when they are about to touch the floor, push back up to the starting position. Your elbows should be pointing backward throughout the exercise and not to the sides.
          • Perform this movement for 3 sets of 12 reps 

          13. Chest press – this exercise targets, the shoulders, pectorals and lats 

          Difficulty level – Intermediate 


          How to do:

          • Sit on the BOSU, holding a dumbbell in each hand 
          • Making sure that your upper back is not against the BOSU surface, lie down on the hemisphere dome 
          • So that your palms are facing forward with your forearm is perpendicular to the upper arm, open your arms and then as you keep your core engaged, look at the ceiling. This is now your starting position 
          • Push the dumbbells up and exhale as you fully extend your arms and touch the heads of the dumbbells
          • Bring them back down as you inhale 
          • Repeat this for 3 sets of 12 reps 

          14. Push – ups – this exercise targets the pectorals, triceps, biceps, deltoids and core 

            Difficulty level – Advanced 


            How to do: 

            • Place your palms on both sides of the BOSU (the flat side should be facing toward the ceiling) grip the sides in order to stabilize the BOSU 
            • Keep your spine in line with your neck as you extend your legs behind
            • Inhale and engage your core as you flex your elbows and lower yo8r body until your chest is about to reach the BOSU’s flat surface 
            • Push your body back to the starting position as you exhale 
            • Complete 3 sets of 12 reps 

            15.One arm push – up – this exercise targets the pectorals, triceps, biceps, deltoids and lats 

              Difficulty level – Advanced 


              How to do:

              • Place your right hand on top of the hemisphere dome with your left palm on the floor, then extend your legs back so you come to the plank position 
              • Flex your elbows as you inhale and lower your body 
              • Then push your body back up, exhaling, to return back to the starting position 
              • Repeat this with your other hand and complete 3 sets of 12 reps 


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