Have you heard of the BOSU ball? If not, I’m sure you’ve seen it, and just not known what it was called! Turns out, this little semicircle is a lot more versatile than you’d think, and there are SO many BOSU ball balance exercises and strength exercises!
In case you need a refresher on what a BOSU ball looks like, photo below:
One of the reasons I…as a PiYo sifu…really like this device is, it works out your core and gets you flexible, just like PiYo! So if you SOMEHOW ever get tired of PiYo 😉 , I want to tell you all about the BOSU ball balance exercises that are going to change how you work out at home! You’ll be “on the ball”!
These are arguably the most popular BOSU ball exercise. You can lunge by planting your foot in the middle of the ball, and then bending the knees till both your legs form 90 degree angles, and your back knee is touching the ground.
OR, you can PICK UP the ball, and do the same lunge forward while holding the ball. Then, as you lower, TWIST yourself and your ball to the same side as your knee that’s forward. As you lift and straighten, return the ball to your front.
And when you lunge, be sure not to let those knees go past those toes!!
2. Modified Squats
Now, when I say “modified,” I mean harder, not easier. 😉 Doing squats is probably my favorite of the BOSU ball balance exercises, because you end up working your core and your legs at the same time! For this, put the ball FACE DOWN on the ground with the flat side up (you know what’s coming, don’t you?).
Just like in our first lunge, you’re going to want to put your foot square (or circle) in the center, and then think about keeping your hips and butt BACK as you slowly lower to the ground…and try to keep your balance! Not too easy, right, especially as you lift back up and try to stay rooted!
Again, I know you’re distracted, but don’t forget that the knees cannot go past the toes!
3. Balancing on Knees/Shins
This one’s a little easier as far as BOSU ball balance exercises go. All you’ve gotta do is turn that ball back circle side up. Then, get on your knees, and have the whole length of both shins resting on the ball. So basically, you’re just on your knees with the ball underneath.
And NOW, you can choose whether to keep things easier by simply continuing to balance this way (works the core!) or up the ante by a LOT, and lift up those shins so only the knees remain! Harder, right?
4. Just Plain Ol’ Balancin’!
So let’s go back to basics one last time — so, what’s the first move that occurs to you when you see a BOSU ball? Probably just standing on it and testing out its bounciness, right? (We’re all just big kids!)
Well, it turns out that that’s a great starter exercise, just standing evenly on the ball (feet about six inches apart), with your arms out for balance. Don’t overthink it! Just stand, and be surprised by how difficult (and-core-crunching!) it actually is to hold steady.
5. The Mountain Climber…Argh!
NOW for one of the most difficult exercises! Don’t be discouraged if doing this (at least, for more than a few seconds) just isn’t working out for you. The Mountain Climber is originally a boot camp exercise that you may have done before.
Basically, you get down on your hands and knees (plank position) and switch QUICKLY from pulling your right knee, then your left knee, into your chest (Alternate! Alternate! Alternate!).
If that exercise somehow doesn’t work your core enough, try it while placing your hands on either side of an upside down BOSU ball…trying to hold it steady the whole time! Yeahhh…
I wanted to show a variety of different exercises here, both easy and hard, using the same piece of equipment!
And that’s because want to help you no matter what your fitness level is! I know that a lot of fitness trainers only tend to cater to those who are already super far into their journey, and that just doesn’t make sense to me…But you can start with PiYo, or you can start with BOSU ball balance exercises, or you can start with walks and move up to jogs.
There are just SO many exercises that can be done without overextending yourself before you’re ready, or putting stress on your joints. And I totally believe that this magical semi-circle is one of the best and simplest exercises tools out there!