10 Beginner BOSU Balance Trainer Exercises

If you want to add both intensity and a little more fun to your workouts, incorporating The BOSU Balance Trainer is a great choice. With one side flat and the other a flexible dome, kind of like half of an exercise ball, allows you to work on multiple aspects of fitness and exercise.

In fact, the BOSU is known for helping you focus on balance, stability, and core strength while working on other things like cardio endurance and strength.

You can use the dome side for everything from cardio moves to strength training exercises, and use the platform side for core work.

If you've never used a BOSU, it's important to take some time to get to know it. The following exercises offer some basic, beginner moves on the BT to help you get used to the surface.  You'll find standing moves, lower body exercises , and core exercises

Tips and Tricks for Using Your BOSU 

  • It's normal for your feet to get tired and ache. If that happens, take a break and walk around on the floor to work it off.
  • Add a contact point if you feel too unstable -- a wall, a chair or a bar can help you keep your balance.
  • Take away a contact point if the exercises are too easy.
  • Always keep your body in proper alignment during each exercise. It's normal to shift to keep your balance, but make sure you don't slump. 
  • Be prepared to step off a few times as you get used to these exercises. It's a great idea to hold onto a chair or wall the first time you try these exercises.
  • Take your time.  It takes a while to get used to standing on such an unstable surface. You'll never really catch your balance, so try going with it instead of fighting it.

1
Heel Digs on the BOSU

This move lets you get used to the dome side of the Balance Trainer, so it's the easiest one to start with.

For this move, stand in front of the BOSU and place the right heel on the dome.

Return to start and repeat with the left foot, moving as quickly as you can and allowing the heel to bounce off the dome.

To make it harder, add a jump and switch the feet in the air.

Repeat for about 30-60 seconds.

2
Push Step on the BOSU

From the Heel Digs, stand a few feet away from the BOSU, making sure it won't slide (you can put it on a mat if you have one).

Step forward with the right foot right into the bull's eye of the dome. Push back to start and repeat on the left side.

As you get used to the exercise, move more quickly or make it harder by bending into a lunge. You can even add a hop as you push off the dome.

Repeat for 30-60 seconds. 

3
Basic Stance on the BOSU

For this one, you might want to have a chair or wall to hold onto as you get used to the movement.

Step both feet onto the dome, placing them on either side of the bull's eye.

By simply standing, you'll feel your feet moving and your torso contracting in order to find your balance.

Add difficulty by letting go of the chair, raising the arms overhead or closing your eyes.         

4
Compressions on the BOSU

From Basic Stance, shift weight from foot to foot using arms for balance.

Keep the shoulders and hips straight and feel how your ankles move to keep you on the BOSU. If you need to, take a break and step off if your feet hurt.

To make it more difficult, march or run on top.

Repeat for 30-60 seconds, then step off the dome and march in place to rest your feet.  

5
Squats on the BOSU

Stand on the dome with feet slightly forward of center.

Bend your knees and squat, as though you're sitting back in a chair.

Keep your back straight and your torso up and extend your arms out to help your balance.

Lower as far as comfortable and push up.

You may need to put your feet in different positions to find one where you can maintain your balance as you squat. This one is harder than it looks.

If you want more intensity, hold weights or a medicine ball.

Repeat for 8-16 reps. 

6
Hip Extension on the BOSU

Get on all fours with the knees on the dome, hands on the floor. The knees should be under the hips, the hands directly under the shoulders.

Contract the abs and lift the left leg up to hip level, keeping the knee bent, and press the heel towards the ceiling.

Lower and repeat for 8-16 reps before switching sides.

Make it easier by keeping the toes of the bottom foot on the floor for balance.

7
Basic Crunch

People abs on BOSU
Getty Images/Eliza Snow

Sit on the dome with the hips towards the bottom of the dome, knees bent.

With hands behind the head or across the chest, roll back until you feel a stretch in the abs.

Then contract the abs and curl up.

Repeat for 8-16 reps.

You may need to shift your position to find a spot that works for you. 

8
Dead Bug

Sit with your hips a little forward of the bull's eye and lie back, drawing the knees in towards the chest and keeping the hands on the dome for support.

Take your hands away and see if you're balanced. If not, shift until you find a position you can hold without tipping. This will probably take longer than you think.

Take the arms and knees up, arms straight and the knees bent to 90-degree angles. 

Balance here for 20-30 seconds or, to add intensity, lower the opposite arm and leg towards the floor, return to start and repeat on the other side for 8-12 reps.

9
Ball Tilt

Now you're going to use the flat side of the BOSU to work your core.

Flip the BOSU over and grab on to the handles on either side. Shift into a plank position, either on the knees (easier) or the toes). 

Keeping the body in a straight line and without bending the arms, tilt the BOSU forward and back, repeating 8-12 times.

You can also rock it in a circle going forward, right, back, left to add difficulty.

10
V-sit

Sit in the center or slightly forward on the dome with the hands on either side for support. You can also take the arms behind you on the floor, which may offer more stability.

Lift the legs with the knees bent and balance, keeping the torso straight, the shoulders relaxed and the abs engaged.

Hold for 20-30 seconds and add difficult by taking the hands away, straightening the legs or adding a lower leg crunch. 

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