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.


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.

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MAW_OH 4/26/2021
Thank you Report
ROCKRS 3/2/2021
thanks Report
KOHINOOR2 1/8/2021
Great! Thanks! Report
KATHYJO56 11/7/2020
I used one of these in PT. These are great exercises Report
CECELW 7/2/2020
WOW! The girl in the video makes this look so easy. I get down to start...i'm like...um...I did do several. However, i'm 61 years old. I haven't done some of those exercises in years Report
Versatile Report
Thank you Report
Nice! I would have to work up to some of those . Report
These look great but I don't have a bosu ball. Report
Thank you Report
thank you Report
Great info Report
great article I just bought a bosu ball Report
I never heard of a BOSU workout Report
I used one after my 2nd knee replacement. Report
Love the Bosu ball workout. Report
Thanks Report
Yep, combo crunches and dumbbell chest press . Report
Great ideas Report
Absolutely great Report
Great article! Report
Great ideas! Report
Looks like fun! Report
Thanks Report
I love using the Bosu ball. Especially like balancing on one foot on the ball. Great for core exercises. Report
Our workouts should be for the whole body and this gives us a little more incentive, SparkFriend,. Thanx Report
Interesting Report
You can find Bosu balls for less than $60. I just got one for around $55. Report
You can find Bosu balls for less than $60. I just got one for around $55. Report
There are numerous exercises one can do with no equipment needed. Why spend the money? Report
WHEW! That's a big workout. I would love to have a bosu Report
Works up a sweat Report
I don't have a Bosu ball yet. I would liked to get one now. Thanks Report
Oh, I like them! Report
I love these exercise ideas. I also love that they didn't use a person who is rail thin in the demo. Report
Thanks! Report
Interesting article, but my knees won't allow me to use a BOSU. I'll pass on this type of exercise equipment. Report
Overpriced kind of a ripoff in my opinion. Report
Squats on the BOSU work great. Really hard at first but really pay off! Report
Thank you so much for using a model who is built more like me! So motivational!!! Report
The pictures really help! Report
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
I want to try this piece of equipment Report
thank you Report
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
thank you feeling motivated to go top the gym finally Report
I've been curious about Bosu's so this was helpful and interesting. Thank you for explaining the name, too. Report