8 Exercises for a Full-Body Bosu Workout

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you've never used a Bosu ball before, it may look a little strange at first—sort of like an exercise ball that's been cut in half, then mounted on a flat base. Maybe you've spotted them at the gym on your way to pick up the more familiar dumbbells and traditional stability balls. Odd appearance notwithstanding, Bosu balls are definitely worth exploring as an effective exercise tool.
 
"Bosu" stands for "both sides up" or "both sides utilized," which is a nod to the ball's double-sided design. Some exercises call for it to be placed with the ball side facing up, and for others the flat base is placed facing up. For those who struggle with using a traditional stability ball, the Bosu is a bit more manageable while still providing a balance and coordination challenge.
 
One of the biggest benefits of the Bosu it its versatility. You can use it in combination with free weights or barbells or use it alone when performing common exercises like lunges, push-ups, squats and stretches. However you decide to use the Bosu, its "wobbly" instability forces you to engage your muscles, making it a great way to get a full-body resistance workout.
 
Not sure where to start? Celebrity trainer and FORM Fitness gym owner Morit Summers provides some of her favorite Bosu exercises. (Also check out Coach Nicole's introduction video to using a Bosu ball!)

 

Bosu Ball Push-Ups

  • With the Bosu ball side down, place your palms on the flat surface in a plank position, legs extended behind you.
  • Lower your chest down and then push yourself back up while maintaining a strong core. Modify as needed by bringing your knees to the ground.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Benefits: Works the upper body (specifically chest and triceps) and core.





 
Bosu Ball Front/Back Lunge

  • With the Bosu flat side down, start in a split squat position, with one foot on the Bosu and one foot on the ground.
  • Step the foot that is on the Bosu forward into a front lunge.
  • Return the same foot back to the Bosu and repeat.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions on each side.
Benefits: Works all leg muscles, specifically the glutes.





 

Bosu Ball Burpee

  • With the Bosu ball side down, place your hands apart on either side of the Bosu and your feet just behind it. Jump your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your hands on the Bosu.  
  • From plank, jump back up into a squatted position, then lift the Bosu up above your head as you stand. To modify, keep the Bosu at waist height.
  • Bring the Bosu back down to the floor before jumping back into plank.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions. 
Benefits: Works just about all of the major muscle groups.





 

Bosu Ball Up & Overs

  • With the Bosu flat side down, stand with one foot on top of the ball.  
  • Hop off that foot into the air and land on the Bosu on the opposite foot. This can be done quickly or slowly, keeping your hips back and most of the weight in your glutes.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions. 
Benefits: Works the leg muscles while promoting speed and agility.





  

Plank Toe Taps

  • With the Bosu ball side down, place your feet on the flat surface of the Bosu and palms on the ground.
  • Alternating legs, lift and tap the floor with your foot, then return it to the Bosu.
  • Switch feet and tap with the other foot.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per side. 
Benefits: Works muscles in the core, arms and legs.





 

Wide Kneeling (Inner Thigh Squeeze) Shoulder Press

  • With the flat side of the Bosu down, place your shins on the round part of the Bosu ball, keeping them wide enough so that you have to squeeze your legs together to stay on.
  • You should feel your inner thighs working hard; you can adjust the width of your legs to make this easier or harder.
  • Do a shoulder press holding weights at your shoulders, pressing them straight up in the air and bringing them back down.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per side. 
Benefits: Works the adductor muscles (inner thighs), and the hamstrings and glutes, in addition to shoulder muscles.





 

Bosu Ball Crunches

  • Lay with the round part of the Bosu ball on the small of your lower back.  
  • Place your hands behind your head. Bend one leg with your foot on the floor and stick the other leg straight out in front of you.
  • Crunch in, pulling your ribs down into your belly while pulling the straight leg into your chest.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per side. 
Benefits: Works the core muscles.





Toe Taps

  • With the Bosu flat side down, place your hands on the ground in front of you.
  • Pull your knees up toward your chest one side at a time, while tapping the ball with alternating feet.
  • Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.
Benefits: Works leg muscles and hip flexors, while promoting speed and agility.



 
Have you ever used a Bosu ball? What is your favorite exercise?

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Comments

REDROBIN47 8/31/2019
These look great but I don't have a bosu ball. Report
AZROSEZ 8/31/2019
Thank you Report
NEPTUNE1939 8/31/2019
ty Report
AZMOMXTWO 8/31/2019
thank you Report
RCLYKE 8/31/2019
Great info Report
DMEYER4 8/31/2019
great article I just bought a bosu ball Report
LEANJEAN6 8/31/2019
I never heard of a BOSU workout Report
FERRETLOVER1 8/31/2019
I used one after my 2nd knee replacement. Report
JANIEWWJD 8/31/2019
Love the Bosu ball workout. Report
LIS193 8/31/2019
Thanks Report
MRPEABODY 8/9/2019
Yep, combo crunches and dumbbell chest press . Report
NANCYPAT1 3/14/2019
Great ideas Report
BONDMANUS2002 3/6/2019
Absolutely great Report
HOLLYM48 3/2/2019
Great article! Report
JANTHEBLONDE 3/2/2019
Great ideas! Report
KHALIA2 2/27/2019
Looks like fun! Report
MNABOY 2/18/2019
Thanks Report
SIXTIESSTRONG 2/13/2019
I love using the Bosu ball. Especially like balancing on one foot on the ball. Great for core exercises. Report
SUNSET09 2/13/2019
Our workouts should be for the whole body and this gives us a little more incentive, SparkFriend,. Thanx Report
BONDMANUS2002 2/6/2019
Interesting Report
NANCYPAT1 2/5/2019
Great Report
TOTFAIRY21700 1/27/2019
You can find Bosu balls for less than $60. I just got one for around $55. Report
TOTFAIRY21700 1/27/2019
You can find Bosu balls for less than $60. I just got one for around $55. Report
BULLHEADJOHN 1/24/2019
There are numerous exercises one can do with no equipment needed. Why spend the money? Report
CECELW 1/23/2019
WHEW! That's a big workout. I would love to have a bosu Report
BABY_GIRL69 1/20/2019
Works up a sweat Report
ARIELH5 1/19/2019
I don't have a Bosu ball yet. I would liked to get one now. Thanks Report
PATRICIA-CR 1/19/2019
Oh, I like them! Report
JIACOLO 1/19/2019
I love these exercise ideas. I also love that they didn't use a person who is rail thin in the demo. Report
_CYNDY55_ 1/19/2019
Thanks! Report
MSROZZIE 1/18/2019
Interesting article, but my knees won't allow me to use a BOSU. I'll pass on this type of exercise equipment. Report
CHRIS3874 1/18/2019
Overpriced kind of a ripoff in my opinion. Report
CECTARR 1/18/2019
Squats on the BOSU work great. Really hard at first but really pay off! Report
DINKER0798 1/18/2019
Thank you so much for using a model who is built more like me! So motivational!!! Report
LEANJEAN6 1/18/2019
The pictures really help! Report
PICKIE98 1/18/2019
I have been using a BOSU ball in my PT. IT is for balance, and it is not as easy to stand on as one might think! Report
ROBBIEY 1/18/2019
I want to try this piece of equipment Report
AZMOMXTWO 1/18/2019
thank you Report
HMBROWN1 1/18/2019
We use these at the boot camp often - even to stand on while doing arm or chest work with dumbbells. Great for the core - and all the way down to the ankles! Report
PINKGLOW9 1/18/2019
thank you feeling motivated to go top the gym finally Report
NEPTUNE1939 1/18/2019
ty Report
WINTERFLOWER 1/18/2019
I've been curious about Bosu's so this was helpful and interesting. Thank you for explaining the name, too. Report
FERRETLOVER1 1/18/2019
It's really hard to balance on one of these BOSU balls - I used one during physical therapy once after knee replacement and had a really hard time. Report
JANIEWWJD 1/18/2019
Great idea!!! Report
LIS193 1/18/2019
Thank you Report
AMYRCMK 1/18/2019
Thank you Report
KASEYCOFF 1/18/2019
Timely article! I'm working on strengthening and stabilizing an ankle after a broken bone, and the Bosu is helpful for that. (Also, thank you for noting how the name "Bosu" came about - I thought it was the inventor's name, lol.) Report
BERRY4 1/18/2019
Overall great exercise ideas. -- In the past, when I had gym access, I would use the BOSU to stand on (for balance) while doing various arm exercises. (lateral lift, front lift, triceps, & overhead push w/ weights) Report
PELESJEWEL 1/18/2019
This is spot on, good article! Report
MNABOY 1/17/2019
Thanks Report