Take your workout to a new level with a BOSU ball! You’ll not only get an intense core workout, but also improve your balance and coordination to boot. Here’s how to exercise with a BOSU ball…
The BOSU ball, also known as a dome balance trainer, is a great training tool, which you can add to a range of exercises to challenge your core stability, balance and range of motion.
But what exactly is it? To look at, it’s a squishy dome – a fit ball cut in half, if you like. To use it, there are a couple of options: you can either have the unstable side (the green side) on the ground and perform your exercise either standing on or leaning against the flat black side, or you can use the other side and stand on the dome. It’s very versatile.
Check out our guide on how to use gym balls
If you’re wondering how to use this funny-looking dome, we’ve rounded up some of the best BOSU ball exercises. The beauty of this bit of kit is that you can do almost any exercise with it to add another level of intensity – think, harder squats, press-ups, planks and lunges. By performing all types of exercises with it, you’ll add an extra element of instability to your workout, which will require that you engage more of the small muscles in your core to help you control your body and stay balanced.
To get started, simply stand on the BOSU (try both sides) to get a feel for it. Yes, you’ll feel wobbly but, with time, you’ll start to feel more stable. Next, try out the moves below.
3 best BOSU ball exercises
BOSU spiderman crunch
This is an intense BOSU ball core exercise that will work your upper body, especially your shoulders and upper back. Plus, it will work your obliques (side abs), too.
Focus area: Abs, upper back, shoulders, core
How to do spiderman crunches:
- Place the green side of the BOSU on the floor and then grip the sides of the black platform.
- Extend your legs out behind you to get into a high plank position, making sure your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your heels (A).
- Engage your core, your glutes and your quads, then slowly draw your right knee to your right elbow, focusing on squeezing your obliques (B).
- Extend your right leg back out to the starting position and then draw your left knee to your left elbow.
Beginners: 2 x 8 reps
Intermediates: 3 x 10 reps
Advanced: 3 x 12 reps
BOSU ball side squat
By placing your foot on the BOSU ball in this exercise, you’ll not only get into a deeper squat but you’ll also work the stabilising muscles in your knees and ankles, whilst getting the heart rate up.
Focus area: Inner thighs, quads, glutes and core
How to do a BOSU side squat:
- Start standing next to the dome (round side facing up) with feet together and hands on hips (A).
- Step your left leg out until your left foot lands on the centre of the BOSU ball.
- With hands still on hips, lower slowly down into a squat (B). Reverse the movement to return to the start. That’s one rep.
Beginners: 3x 8 reps on each leg
Intermediates: 2 x 15 reps on each leg
Advanced: 3 x 15 reps on each leg
BOSU ball sit-up
Not only will you get an extra range of movement as you curl your back over the natural shape of the BOSU ball for a classic sit-up, but you’ll get a nice back stretch, too.
Focus area: Six-pack abs, side abs, transverse abs, hip flexors
How to do sit-ups on a BOSU ball:
- Start in a seated position with your feet flat on the floor, and your tailbone and lower back resting on the round side of the BOSU ball.
- Curl your upper body towards your knees, with hands behind head, elbows wide (A).
- Lean back over the dome by arching your upper body over the surface of the ball, until your shoulder blades touch it (B). Next, engage yours abs to return to the start, then repeat.
Beginners: 2 x 12 reps
Intermediates: 3 x 13 reps
Advanced: 3 x 20 reps
Model & words: Lucy Miller | Photography: Eddie Macdonald | Clothing: Tala Skinluxe High Waisted leggings, £54; Pokita Mint Leopard Crop Top, £38, Pokita Headbands, £11, Pokita sport socks, £15; Lacoste Active 4851 sneakers, £120; Balance Trainer with Resistance Bands, £49.99