The BOSU ball’s primary function is to improve balance and core stability. However, it’s also a pretty nifty way to enhance your strength training workouts. By lifting weights on a BOSU ball you can get all the benefits of the weight training and also boost your balance and work your core muscles at the same time.
In this article I will be discussing six of the top strength training exercises you can perform on a BOSU ball. One key thing to remember is that a BOSU ball is a lot less stable than a bench or the floor, so you will not be able to lift as much weight. If this is your first time using a BOSU ball, I would recommend selecting weights that are at least one band lighter than what you normally lift for these exercises.
1) BOSU Dumbbell Chest Presses
Dumbbell chest presses are a fantastic exercise that build strength in both sides of your chest equally. By adding the unstable surface of the BOSU ball you get to engage your legs and core muscles too.
To perform BOSU dumbbell chest presses, grab a BOSU ball (dome side up) and a pair of dumbbells. Sit on the BOSU ball and put the dumbbells on the floor next to your knees. Then lift the dumbbells off the floor, curl them towards your chest and slowly slide down the BOSU ball until your bum is on the ground, your upper back is on the BOSU ball and your knees are bent. Once you are in this position, push your bum off the ground and slowly press the dumbbells towards the ceiling until your arms are fully extended. Once your arms are fully extended slowly bend your elbows and return the dumbbells to their starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions depending on your goals.
2) BOSU Standing Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
Standing overhead dumbbell tricep extensions are one of the most effective exercises for isolating your triceps. Performing them on a BOSU ball brings in your legs and core too as you focus on balancing as well as lifting the weight.
To perform BOSU standing overhead dumbbell tricep extensions, grab a BOSU ball (dome side up) and a pair of dumbbells. Stand on the BOSU ball and hold the dumbbells in each hand above your head. Then bend your elbows whilst keeping the top of your arms straight above your head and lower the dumbbells behind your head. Once your elbows reach a 45 degree angle, extend your elbows and raise the dumbbells back above your head to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions depending on your goals.
3) BOSU One Armed Dumbbell Rows
One armed dumbbell rows are an excellent way to build muscle in your back. Adding a BOSU ball to the mix makes the exercise extra tough as you have to balance with one hand whilst lifting the dumbbell with the other.To perform BOSU one armed dumbbell rows, grab a BOSU ball (dome side up for beginners, platform side up for the more advanced) and a single dumbbell, then place them next to each other on the floor. Place one arm on the BOSU ball and one arm on the dumbbell, straighten your legs out behind you and assume the press up position. Once you have your balance, slowly pull the dumbbell off the floor towards your chest. Once the dumbbell touches your chest, slowly lower the dumbbell until it is just above the ground. Repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions depending on your goals.
4) BOSU Standing Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Standing bicep curls are a brilliant way to isolate the biceps. Doing them on a BOSU ball gives your legs and core muscles a work out too as you have to lift the weights and maintain your balance.
To perform BOSU standing bicep curls, grab a BOSU ball (dome side up) and two dumbbells. Stand on the BOSU ball, hold the dumbbells by your side and get your balance. Once you have your balance, slowly curl the right dumbbell towards your chest and then when your arm right arm is fully curled, slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm and do 8 to 12 repetitions with each arm depending on your goals.
5) BOSU Dumbbell Squats
Standing dumbbell squats are one of the best ways to build big, strong legs. Using the BOSU ball gives you an even better leg workout because you have to lift and balance at the same time.
To perform BOSU standing dumbbell squats, grab a BOSU ball (dome side up) and two dumbbells. Stand on the BOSU ball, hold the dumbbells by your side and find your balance. Once you have your balance, slowly bend your knees whilst making sure you keep the arches of your feet pressed into the BOSU ball and your upper body straight. Keep lowering yourself down until your butt is parallel with your knees and then slowly raise yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions depending on your goals.
6) BOSU Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
Standing dumbbell shoulder presses are a great way to target all areas of your shoulder. Using the BOSU ball turns the exercise into more of a full body workout by also targeting your legs and core.
To perform BOSU standing dumbbell shoulder presses, grab a BOSU ball (dome side up) and two dumbbells. Stand on the BOSU ball, get your balance and then slowly lift the dumbbells up onto your shoulders, making sure your palms are facing forward. Once the dumbbells are in position, slowly press them above your head and straighten your arms, making sure that you do not lock your elbows. Then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 repetitions depending on your fitness goals.
Strength training with a BOSU ball is a great way to keep your routine fresh. Even if you don’t incorporate it every week, you should make the effort to include the BOSU ball in your workouts from time to time. Doing this will give your strength training a unique twist and ensure that your balance and core muscles remain strong.