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16 Best Bosu Ball Exercises

There are tons of bosu ball exercises that you can do with this handy piece of equipment. You can perform a full body workout with a bosu ball, from strenuous core exercises to even chest exercises. 

The possibilities are endless, that's why we have created this list of the most effective exercises with a bosu ball, each of which is accompanied with helpful video guidance. All it will take is some space and a bosu ball to complete a great workout head to toe.

Before we get started however, do you think you have what it takes to work in the fitness sector? If so, check out our level 3 personal training course here to get industry ready. Or, if you’re looking for further advancements or even a starting point, be sure to download our course prospectus to view all of the fitness courses on offer here at OriGym.

Don’t forget, you can download your FREE 16-week home strength training programme below!

#1 Bosu Ball Plank to Tap Out 

Bosu ball exercises like this one can be performed just about anywhere. As you can see in our how-to video, you can take your bosu ball out into the sunny weather and get a great workout on the grass!

Set Up 

Find a space where you are able to jump and make some noise. If you’re trying this at home in apartments and have neighbours underneath you, you may want to head outdoors or go to the gym! 

Starting Position 

Start by lowering down into an elbow plank position. Your bosu ball should be at your feet, then lift your feet one at a time onto the bosu ball. Your back should be straight and core tight.

Execution

  • Ensure your feet are together and you’re in the correct starting position with your back straight and core engaged.
  • Next, push off of the bosu ball from your feet and jump so that your feet are now either side of the ball,
  • Jump straight back onto the ball into the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended reps and sets.

Muscles Worked

Rectus abdominis, adductors, deltoids, hip flexors and calves.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes

Bending the knees: This is a key mistake made with Bosu ball abs exercises that demands such a high level of energy. Beacuse of the amount of energy needed, it's easy to fatigue relatively quickly, which could in turn mean your knees start to drop to the ground and bend. If you do feel this happening, you should reduce the suggested reps and sets, in other words don’t sacrifice technique for more reps.

Letting the head drop: Similar to the previous point, letting your head drop is typically a sign of fatigue and bosu ball core exercises such as this require stability and strength. Therefore, if you begin to feel your head dropping, or your back arching in, it's time for a rest!

If you’re using the bosu ball for ab exercises, we have a helpful guide on the best ab stretches here to help you recover.

#2 Bosu Ball Chest Press

If you’re searching for Bosu ball chest exercises, then you’re in luck! This exercise flaunts the sheer versatility of a Bosu ball and how it can be utilised for a full body workout. You will need limited space so it is a great workout to practice at home.

Set Up 

Set up this exercise with two dumbbells that you feel comfortable chest pressing. In order to reach hypertrophy level of training, you should be comfortable enough to lift weights more than than 8 reps but limited to 12.

Starting Position 

You should begin with your back firmy on the Bosu ball, shuffle until it feels comfortable and you feel stabilised. Your feet should be planted into the ground. Once you are in this starting position, pick up the two dumbbells with an overhand grip.

Execution

  • From the starting position, push your dumbbells up vertically.
  • Keep tension and avoid locking your arms.
  • Slowly come back down with your elbows out to either side of you.
  • Then, push the dumbbells back up and repeat.

Muscles Worked

Pectorals and triceps.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes

  • Pushing from the toes: Any tension that stabilises the body, and this goes for many Bosu ball balance exercises, should be coming from the heels. This is much more efficient in balancing and should help to keep you focusing on your weight lifting rather than stability.
  • Lifting too heavy: Bosu ball chest exercises require weights, typically dumbbells which are being pushed over the head. This of course is acquired with a particular level of risk as lifting too heavy could increase the chances of dropping the weights. Given the placement of the dumbbells during this exercise, this makes for a dangerous drop.

#3 Bosu Ball Plank Leg Lift  

Arguably one of the more advanced Bosu ball exercises, this exercise offers a serious core workout. It is a great option for people who struggle with a straight armed plank as you can use your forearms for an easier approach. 

Set Up 

Set up with your Bosu ball in front of you. It's a good idea to do this exercise in some studio space or even outside. The surface needs to be flat and sturdy as you will be putting your weight on the ball.

Starting Position 

In a plank position on your elbows, rest on the Bosu ball so your toes are on the ground you have a straight back. Your forearms should be flat on the ball and your core engaged.

Execution

  • From the starting position, raise one leg in the air vertically keeping both legs extended.
  • Bring the leg down and raise the opposite, keeping your core tight.
  • Repeat the process.

Muscles Worked

Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and deltoids.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes

  • Raising the back: When the core begins to fatigue, it's easy to make a V shape with your body and raise the back. Though you may feel as though you’re still working, you’re ultimately wasting energy by performing an exercise with minimal return due to bad technique.

#4 Bosu Ball Ab Roll Back

Many bosu ball core exercises are perfect with the assistance of a medicine ball, and this exercise is no exception. This definitely is an advanced level exercise but you could do this without the extra weight as an easier alternative. If you’re looking for a medicine ball, pick from the best medicine balls here.

Set Up 

Ensure you have room around you and lie back onto the Bosu ball. You will also need a medicine ball to intensify this workout.

Starting Position 

With your back firmly on the Bosu ball, place your feet on the floor. There should be enough space between your legs to stabilise yourself on the ball. Next, move into a sit up position, grasp the medicine ball and lie back.

Execution

  • You should have the medicine ball in your hands extended away from your head, with a slight bend in the elbow.
  • Next, use your core to crunch forward.
  • Tucking your chin in, move the ball until it is just above your knees, keeping your arms extended all the while.
  • Reach back and move the ball until your arms are extended behind you and you have returned to the starting position
  • Repeat.

Muscles Worked

Rectus abdominis and obliques.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes

Lifting the lower back off of the Bosu ball: Lifting the back off of the Bosu ball can change this exercise slightly. This should be performed in a crunching motion rather than a full sit up, only your shoulders should come off of the Bosu ball.

#5 Bosu Ball Scissor Plank

Another one of the great Bosu ball exercises is a further variation of the plank. The Bosu ball scissor plank is a great core workout, the perfect exercise to finish off your HIIT workout and really push yourself.

Set Up 

To set up this exercise all you will need is you and your Bosu ball. You will want a flat surface too, as there will be a level of balance required.

Starting Position 

Start by finding your balance with the Bosu ball dome side up and place your forearms onto the ball. When you have struck a balance, lift onto your toes so you’re in a plank position with your feet together and legs in line with your body.

Execution

  • From the starting position, jump your feet out to a wide stance, a slight bend in your knees will help with power.
  • Jump your feet back together.
  • Repeat the movement for the recommended time length.

Muscles Worked

Rectus abdominis, adductors, glutes, deltoids, hip flexors and the calves. 

Duration: Repeat the movement for 30 seconds.

Common Mistakes

  • Allowing the back to dip: This is one of the great Bosu ball leg exercises that requires stamina. However, this means that when you begin to fatigue, it is easy to let your back dip as your core becomes tired. Remember to keep your core engaged and tight and once you feel the dip, take a break.

If it is ab exercises you’re looking for, you’ll find our article on kettlebell ab exercises helpful!

#6 Bosu Reverse Bicep Curl 

This is among the great Bosu ball exercises for balance as it requires strength, coordination and practice! Though you might not get it straight away, keep trying until you become stronger. 

Set Up 

For this exercise you’re going to want a good amount of space, you should try to practice this in gym studio space so you have plenty of room incase of failure or needing to drop the barbell. You also need a Bosu ball and of course a barbell to set up for this exercise.

Starting Position 

This is certainly one of the Bosu ball exercises that requires a lot of balance. 

  • You should find a flat surface to put the Bosu ball down on, then pick up your barbell with a pronated (overhand) grip. 
  • Once you have your weight, carefully step onto the Bosu ball side and find your balance. 

Execution

  • Once you have found your balance in the starting position, curl the barbell by bending at the elbows.
  • Lift the barbell until it is in line with your shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in and the arms near the body.
  • Reverse the curl movement and lower keeping tension in the arms.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

Muscles Worked

Forearms, biceps and quadriceps.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes 

Lifting too heavy: Due to the balance required for this exercise, it is vital that you are responsible with your weight. Lifting too heavy could result in injury by you falling off of the ball, the loss of balance could potentially put you in harm's way so work your way up slowly. 

For more bicep exercises, read our article where we listed 23 best bicep exercises for strength here.

#7 Bosu Ball Side Plank

Amongst the best Bosu ball exercises, this exercise is another brilliant variation of the plank. This is a side plank so it is working more than just your core, even recruiting your glutes to power some of the movement. 

Set Up

Set up this exercise with a Bosu ball and a flat surface. You should have the Bosu ball so that it is ball side up.

Starting Position 

Start this exercise lying side on with your forearm on the Bosu ball and lift your feet so they’re stacked on top of each other. Your other arm should sit comfortably on the outside of your body.

Execution

  • The starting position is how you should spend the duration of this exercise.
  • Ensure that your legs are in line with your torso and  your core is engaged.
  • Your forearm should be flat on the Bosu ball.
  • Hold for the recommended duration.

Muscles Worked

Abdominals, obliques and glutes.

Duration: Hold for 30 seconds.

Common Mistakes

Dipping your hips: As you may begin to fatigue rather quickly if you’re new to this exercise, you might have to adjust the duration. If you do begin to tire and feel your hips dipping to the floor, take a break, refuel and go again!

#8 Bosu Ball Squat Press

If you’re looking for Bosu ball balance exercises that take serious strength, we recommend the Bosu ball squat press. This may require some practice to get used to, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t grasp it right away, you will get there.

Set Up 

For this exercise, you will need a Bosu ball and two dumbbells. Due to the fact that you’re balancing on the Bosu ball, you may need to drop your weight slightly as your stability will be affected.

Starting Position 

Begin with your Bosu ball on the ground, dome side down. Grab two dumbbells, one in each hand, then carefully step onto the Bosu ball. You want your feet to be shoulder width apart and flat to find your balance.

Execution

  • From the starting position, lift your dumbbells up so they are out to either side and your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • From this position, squat down.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the squat and then begin to push yourself back up.
  • When you rise back up to the starting position, press the dumbbells upwards.
  • Bring the arms back down to the starting position and repeat.

Muscles Worked

Quadriceps, glutes, deltoids, core, pectoralis major and triceps.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes

  • Lifting too heavy: If your dumbbells are too heavy during this exercise, it puts you at risk of losing your balance and falling off of the Bosu ball. To avoid this, ensure you are starting your weight small and grasping how you feel on the ball.

For another variation of the squat, read our guide on how to do a box squat now.

#9 Bosu Ball Knee Drives

If you’re looking for Bosu ball exercises that get the core working, you’ve found your match! The Bosu ball is perfect for a slower variation of what you may also know as mountain climbers, they’re perfect for a HIIT circuit or a workout finisher.

Set Up 

Set up this exercise with your Bosu ball on a flat surface, ball side down. Many Bosu balls have handles you can grasp on either side, or you can simply hold the sides of the Bosu ball on the flat surface if it stabilises you more. 

Starting Position 

Start with your hands grasping the sides of the ball, your body should be in a plank style position with a straight back and strong core.

Execution

  • From the starting position, simply drive your right knee into your chest slowly, keeping tension in the core.
  • Return the leg back straight.
  • Drive your left knee into your chest and again return the leg back straight.
  • Repeat this process for the recommended duration.

Muscles Worked

Abdominals and obliques.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Common Mistakes

Dropping the knees: When you begin to fatigue and the core becomes exhausted, you may feel like you want to drop your knees. Once you start to feel as though the power isn’t coming from your core, take a break and restore - don’t let your technique suffer.

#10 Bosu Ball Oblique Crunch

Next up on our list of only the best Bosu ball exercises is the oblique crunch. This is a great oblique crunch variation and is one of best exercises for defined obliques.

Set Up 

Set up this exercise with a flat surface, a Bosu ball and a mat to keep your feet comfortable. Your feet will be side-on, so it's a good idea to wear shoes that are comfortable for this positioning.

Starting Position 

Start this exercise by lying on your side on the Bosu ball. Your torso should be on the ball and your hips should be too. If you are lying on your left, your right leg should be kicked out in front and your left crossed underneath and behind you. You should then rest your hands on the back of your head. 

Execution

  • Once you feel comfortable in the starting position, bring the body up to crunch laterally. 
  • You should then return to the starting position before crunching again.
  • Repeat for the recommended sets and reps.

Muscles Worked

Obliques and abdominals.

Reps/Sets: 8 reps, 3 sets

Common Mistakes

Wrong placement on the Bosu ball: Bosu ball abs exercises only work when they’re done properly! Being too high up on the ball, i.e having your hips on the floor, means you won’t feel the full range of motion. The full range of motion of the crunch is what makes the exercise effective so ensure you watch the video to see where you should be placed.

#11 Bosu Ball Hip Raise On One Leg

If you’re looking to grow your glutes, or even activate them before a leg day, this is a great exercise that requires just you and a Bosu ball. Due to no extra equipment being necessary, this is a great exercise for any home workout. 

Set Up 

Set this exercise up with a flat surface, a mat beneath you and your Bosu ball. If you want to accelerate the intensity of this exercise, you could even try adding a resistance band into the mix.

Starting Position 

Start with your upper back and shoulder blades on the Bosu ball and your hands resting behind your head. Your hips and below should not be on the ball, one leg should be straight out making a V shape with the rest of your body, while the other is bent with your foot flat on the ground.

Execution

  • Once you have mastered the starting position and gotten comfortable on the area of the Bosu ball, you want to push up from your bent leg, allowing the heel of the foot to take the pressure, not the toes.
  • Drive the movement using your glutes and the supporting leg, you should feel your glutes taking the majority of the pressure.
  • Then, come back down and repeat on the same side for the recommended sets and reps.

Muscles Worked

Glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae and quadriceps.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets. 

Common Mistakes

Having the wrong placement on the ball: Your body being too high up on the ball can reduce the efficacy of this work out. The less room you have to drive up your hips, the less range of motion and thus muscle contraction you will be enduring. So, replicate the video to ensure you’re getting all of the benefits of this glute exercise.

For guides on some useful stretching exercises, head over to our articles below:

#12 Bosu Ball Hops

This is one of the perfect Bosu ball exercises for beginners as it is easy to do so long as you have a Bosu ball and some space. As you can see in our video, if you fancy working out outdoors on a summer's day, a flat patch of grass is a great surface to practice this exercise on.

Set Up 

Start with your Bosu ball dome side up and on a level surface. Be sure you have comfortable shoes that allow high intensity movement and balance, as this is a fast dynamic exercise.

Starting Position 

Exercises for the Bosu ball almost always require a level of balance and coordination, and this one is no different. You will need to stand with one foot on the ground and one foot on the Bosu ball.

Execution

  • From the starting position, push through the foot that is on the Bosu ball and hop to the side.
  • You should have switched positions so that you’re in the starting position but on the opposing side.
  • Once you have found momentum, push off from the other side and hop from side to side on the ball.
  • Repeat the action for the recommended duration.

Muscles Worked

Groin, quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, hip flexors, obliques and abs.

Duration: 30 seconds

Common Mistakes

Practicing on an uneven surface: Exercises on Bosu ball often require a flat surface to work off of, however this one does especially. You want the Bosu ball to be stable enough that it can take your weight jumping up and down. With the workout being fast paced, the risk of injury is increased.

This exercise is great to add into your circuit routine, read about the benefits of circuit training here.

#13 Bosu Ball Burpee

If you want the perfect balance of resistance training and HIIT training, this is among the Bosu ball abs exercises that can provide just that. 

Set Up 

To set this exercise up, you will need to grab a Bosu ball and find yourself a good amount of space. Before you begin, you may want to warm up with a few regular burpees to get the feel for the exercise.

Starting Position 

Hold the Bosu ball by the handles and lift it above your head. The ball side should be up in the air and your feet should be placed shoulder width apart.

Execution

  • From the starting position, squat down and simultaneously jump into the plank position.
  • This position should see you with the Bosu ball dome side down, holding the handles and your legs out straight on your toes.
  • From this position, jump your legs in towards your chest, still on your toes.
  • Then use the Bosu ball to push up back into the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Muscles Worked

Pectorals, deltoids, abdominals, quadriceps, triceps, glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings and calves.

Duration: 30 seconds. 

#14 Bosu Ball Front Lunge

Bosu ball exercises aren’t all for the core or upper body, there are plenty of exercises like this one that can be a great addition to your leg day. 

Set Up 

Set up this exercise with some room for movement and a Bosu ball. This is a great exercise to do at home or in some studio space at the gym.

Starting Position 

Begin this workout with the Bosu ball in front of you and lift one leg onto the Bosu ball, this leg should be bent at a 90 degree angle with your foot flat on the ball. 

Execution

  • From the starting position, kneel with your back leg to form a lunge.
  • Your knee should not touch the floor, however it should be just above. 
  • For comfort and balance, you can either clasp your hands together in front of you or put your hands on your hips.

Muscles Worked

Quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes

  • Bending the back: You should be keeping your back straight during this exercise, bending the back could be a catalyst for aches and pains and harm your technique. 

#15 Bosu Ball Hamstring Flexion

If you’re looking for an exercise that works the glutes with minimal equipment, this is the perfect movement to add into your leg day. 

Set Up 

Set up this exercise with just a Bosu ball and a mat. As you can see in our video, this is one of the exercises you can do on a Bosu ball outdoors, so why not get out in the sun and get a full workout from our list of exercises.

Starting Position 

The Bosu ball should be ball side down on the ground, then lie down so your back is on the ground and one foot is on the flat side of the Bosu ball. You should have this knee bent and the foot stable, and your opposing leg should be straight up in the air .Your arms should be flat out on the floor beside you.

Execution

  • From the starting position, push up using your foot on the Bosu ball and your glutes.
  • Drive your hips upwards, so your lower back lifts off of the floor and you have formed a bridge.
  • Return back down to the starting position and repeat the process.

Muscles Worked

Glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae and quadriceps.

Reps/Sets: 8-12 reps, 3 sets.

Common Mistakes

Arching the back: In order to perform this exercise correctly, it's important to avoid arching the back when lifting. Your hips should be in line with your back as arching your back will take the stress of the movement away from the muscles you are intending to work. Remember, the drive of the movement should come from the glutes more than anything.

Don't forget to stretch before and after your workout, for more useful information, read our article on the benefits of dynamic stretching.

#16 Bosu Ball Boat Pose

You might just recognise this exercise if you’re a yoga fanatic, however, this is one of our favourite core strengthening exercises with a Bosu ball, so we had to include it on our list. It takes coordination and core strength so definitely consider adding it into your ab routine!

Set Up 

This exercise is really simple to set up, all you need to do is place a Bosu ball on a comfortable surface. Due to this being a balancing exercise, it would be useful to have a mat underneath or at least a comfortable surface incase of any loss of balance. 

Starting Position 

Begin with the Bosu ball on the ground, then, sit onto the centre of the ball. 

Execution

  • Slowly lift your legs off the ground and so they have a slight bend in the knee and calves are parallel with one another.
  • Your upper body should be lifted up and arms out straight in front of you, your hands should be beside your knees.
  • Engage your core and allow your body to make a V shape. 
  • Hold this position for the recommended duration.

Muscles Worked

Rectus abdominis, hamstrings, vastus lateralis and obliques.

Duration: 20- 30 seconds.

Common Mistakes

Pointing the toes: During this exercise your toes should be flexed. This is predominantly a core workout so you want to avoid overstretching the legs and focus on keeping the tension on the trunk.

FAQs

What do I do if there is a puncture in my Bosu Ball?

Though if you take the correct precautions when using your Bosu ball you will avoid punctures, if you do spot a puncture, Bosu themselves have some tips that they recommend. 

They recommend a vinyl patch from an air mattress, a pool liner or even a mattress. These kinds of materials will be easy to grab at your local hardware store too. However, if you’re looking for an even better alternative to cure your Bosu Ball, there is a particular product.

This is a product called Air Stop which comes in a tube just like toothpaste. It is a reliable product that is often used to repair the likes of basketballs and footballs.

How should I store my Bosu Ball?

It is highly recommended that you store your Bosu Ball correctly in order for it to stay in optimal condition. 

You should store your Bosu Ball away from direct sunlight, moreover you should have it platform side down and dome side up. As well as this, if you work in a gym or have multiple Bosu Balls, they should be stacked either dome to dome, or platform to platform.

Before You Go…

Now that you have plenty of Bosu Ball exercises to keep you busy whatever workout day it is, you can get started onto a fitness journey that works for you.

Bosu Balls are a great exercise to improve your balance, coordination and strength - all of this from just one piece of handy equipment! 

If you want to get started on your journey to the fitness industry, why not check out our level 3 personal training course here? Or, if you’re looking for any other fitness advancements in the sector, download our free course prospectus now! 

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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