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10 Good Uses for a Bosu Ball

How about those Patriots, eh?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why people should train with heavy weights. I’ve always wanted to compile a list of reasons, just to say I did/so that I could memorize all the reasons in case an argument ever arose. I might still do that. Anyway, I just wanted to share this quick article with you before it moves to the second page (aka the pit of the internet) of Tony’s blog:

Tony had a great presentation about this at the fall seminar a few weeks ago and I feel like it’s something that should be read by everyone.

As one of the self-proclaimed most innovative products the fitness industry has ever seen, the Bosu ball has certainly caught on in commercial gyms around the country. There are gyms without squat racks before there are gyms without Bosu balls. There are entire classes and workshops dedicated to showing people how to use the Bosu ball in their everyday workouts. Here are ten ways that you can use a Bosu ball in your next workout routine.

[Disclaimer: this post is meant to be funny and not an all-encompassing look at Bosu ball training.]

10. Pretending you’re surfing

To be honest, I’ve never seen anybody do this. Truthfully, a small segment of the population may derive benefit simply by standing on either side of the Bosu ball, the flat side probably being more challenging. As humans age, spatial awareness and joint stability both decrease, making balance more difficult. Again, this is a small segment of the population and probably even a smaller segment of personal training clientele.

9. You and a friend each holding one in front of your stomach and pretending that you’re sumo wrestlers

Haven’t seen anybody do this either, but I assume it’s been done somewhere.

8. Impressing the cardio bunny next to you by doing your box jumps onto the flat side

This doesn’t work. She isn’t looking at you. She doesn’t care how many tricep pushdowns you did today. In her mind, she’s only criticizing your squat form. Actually, no, that isn’t even happening. She’s probably only thinking that guys like you are the reason she doesn’t come to the gym.

Sweating due to your manliness

7. Stretching the calves

Or you could just do it against a wall or from an elevated surface. Or you can pay $109.99 + shipping to stretch your calves on a fancy Bosu ball. Whatever floats your boat.

By the way, do you think the guy that coined that phrase was building a boat and wasn’t sure what to make it out of?

Like, “Should we make this boat of concrete or wood?” And then his friend is like, “Whatever floats your boat, man.”

6. Measuring your broad jump distance in Bosu ball units

If you can broad jump over 6.619 Bosu balls, you might want to think about going out for football next fall. Because that’s the NFL combine record.

I think they measure this in Bosu ball units.

5. Planks

The Bosu ball can actually be a valuable tool when trying to increase the difficulty of your planks. Try putting your forearms across either side of the Bosu or extend your arms as you hold onto the flat side. Or you can perform a plank with your forearms on a stability ball and your feet on the flat surface of the Bosu. This is actually difficult.

4. Giving people bruises on their shins after you drop the damn thing and it bounces erratically


3. Partner-resisted sled pulls

There will be an article about this eventually.

2. Pushups

Pushups are already a great core exercise and doing pushups on the Bosu are a challenging exercise, in terms of both shoulder and core stability. Like any other pushup progression, try elevating the feet or adding weight if this exercise becomes too easy. However, these aren’t conducive to max reps and I like to throw them in near the end of a workout for higher reps to give the shoulders and core a challenge.


1. Glute-ham raises/Nordic hamstring curls

Ah, yes. The glute-ham raise.  Perhaps the single greatest posterior chain accessory exercise. To perform a Bosu GHR, place the Bosu, flat side down, a little further than calf’s length away from a wall. Plant the bottoms of your feet against the wall and place your knees on the edge of the Bosu. Pull the Bosu toward your knees so that they are dug into it. Now, push against the wall with your feet and squeeze the ball together with your knees. Squeezing the knees is important for two reasons: 1. It will keep the Bosu from sliding away and 2. It transfers a greater load onto the hamstrings and glutes, since the adductor group will be activated the entire time.

Although some of this list was satirical, there are definitely ways to utilize this new fitness toy beyond some of the idiotic ways that you can find deep in the internet (or in your own gym). It provides a unique instability and can make hard-to-progress exercises challenging. That being said, don’t ever squat on a Bosu ball. It makes you look like a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.

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