A BOSU ball is a half-ball with a flat side and a rounded side. You utilize both sides of the BOSU ball to perform low-impact exercise and improve balance. Beginners may find the rounded side easier to use because it is more stable than balancing on the flat side. Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program if you have been sedentary or have a health condition.
Warm Up and Stretch
Begin your BOSU workout by walking in place on the rounded side of the ball. This will also help you improve your balance on the ball. Spend three to five minutes walking. Stretch your major muscle groups for five to 10 minutes. Possible stretches could include shoulder and neck rolls, toe raises, hamstring and thigh stretches, Cobras, standing and reclining twists and arm reaches. You can stretch with or without the BOSU.
Reclining Core Exercises
You can perform various core exercises using the curved side of the BOSU. Recline on the BOSU to perform abdominal curls and reverse curls. Your hips should rest near the edge of the BOSU just above the floor level. You can lean across the BOSU with your waist and hips on the ball to work your obliques in side-lying leg lifts or planks. Place your feet flat on the top of the BOSU to perform a bridge or a plank. When these exercises become easy, try them with the flat side of the BOSU up.
Prone Core Exercises
You can perform pushups in various ways with a BOSU ball. For example, place your knees on the ball and raise your feet as you push up from the floor. You could also perform the push up by placing your hands on the rounded side of the BOSU or on the flat side handles. You can push up with your toes on the floor or place your toes on a second BOSU ball to increase the intensity. To perform the mountain climber, place the BOSU with the flat side up and your hands on the handles as you lift your knees toward your core.
Work your quads and glutes by performing squats on the BOSU. Start with the rounded side up and graduate to the flat side up. Advanced students can perform jump squats using the rounded side of the ball. If you are just beginning with the BOSU, stand behind or beside the BOSU and take a step up onto the rounded side of the ball and then off the ball. Add hand-held weights or ankle weights to make the exercise more challenging before trying it with the flat side up.
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.