The bosu ball, useful or nonsense?

What is a bosu ball?

A bosu ball is a half ball with a hard flat bottom. It was invented in the late 1990s by David Weck with the aim of reducing lower back pain. The ball can be used on either the convex or flat side with the aim of challenging the user's stability and, as a result, reducing back pain. exercises harder and more effective. In the beginning the ball was used extensively by physiotherapists in rehabilitation of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the ankle with good effects as a result.

The popularity of the ball increased dramatically when personal trainers started using the bosu ball as training material for clients and the idea arose that just about any exercise would be more effective because of it, with an endless library of exercises as a result. Is the bosu ball really as great as we think, or is this all not so bad?

The real value of the bosu ball

The majority of people who work out in the gym have a goal of becoming stronger, losing weight or becoming more muscular. To ensure that muscles will grow and become stronger it is conditional to gradually increase the load. We call this principle progressive overload. But standing on a bosu ball makes the exercise heavier, right?

Performing an exercise on a bosu ball makes the exercise harder to perform, but does not automatically lead to an effective workout. When standing on an unstable surface such as a bosu ball, it is not possible to train as hard as on a stable surface. This means that you end up shifting less weight and making less progress in increasing muscle strength and mass in the long run.

Besides the fact that you can use less weight when exercising on the bosu ball, the quality of your exercises can also be reduced significantly on an unstable surface. If you have to pay more attention to staying stable during your exercises, you can also lose weight. exercisethe risk of compensation increases. The quality of movement will be reduced and the risk of sustaining an injury will be greater than usual.

If the bosu ball is not the best way to improve my muscle strength, then surely it is the best way to improve stability? The answer is unfortunately no. That is, if your goal is to become better at a specific sport or activity. This is because the body requires specificity in training. In this training principle, we assume that you will only become better at what you train. So if you stand balancing on a bosu ball for hours, you will become an expert in moving on a similar surface. However, this will not ensure that you have more stability when running after a ball on an artificial turf pitch. The fact that physiotherapists achieve good results when using the bosu ball is more due to the fact that people who visit a physiotherapist with knee and/or ankle problems generally already have reduced load capacity/stability. And therefore do not need much to become stronger. Especially in the first period after an injury.

Then surely the bosu ball will be useful for creating strong abdominal muscles, right? It has been found that using a bosu ball when performing some abdominal exercises provides a slightly greater activation than on a stable surface. Nevertheless, doing compound exercises as the squat and deadlift is still considered a more efficient way to train the core. Also, training the abs directly with a stable / fixed surface is more effective because you can move more weight.


A bosu ball is not as useful as social media makes it seem. If you want to go for real results in the field of muscle strength and/or muscle mass, make sure you use a solid surface and a progressive overload. What is it a top for then? You can sit on it between your sets in the gym!

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