The best BOSU ball

Fitness Equipment

When the BOSU Balance Trainer was invented in 1999, BOSU stood for "both sides up." Over the years, the company has modified the phrase slightly. BOSU now stands for "both sides utilized."

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What does a BOSU ball do?

According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, balance training, “has been shown to improve not only balance but functional performance, as well.” This means that adding moderate amounts of instability to your exercises can enhance their effectiveness. One of the best ways to do that is with a BOSU ball.

BOSU has a variety of equipment available for the fitness enthusiast. Our favorite is the BOSU Balance Trainer. This simple dome-shaped, inflatable device effectively adds instability to your workout, which can increase its functional fitness impact by engaging more muscles. 

What to know before you buy a BOSU ball

What is a BOSU ball?

A BOSU ball is a fitness device, which looks like an exercise ball cut in half with one inflated side and the other flat that adds instability to your workout. The company has several products that achieve this result in different ways. The three main products are the BOSU Balance Trainer, BOSU Hydro Ball and the BOSU Ballast Ball.

BOSU Balance Trainer: This dome-shaped fitness tool is what BOSU is best known for. It provides a sturdy but unstable surface you can utilize in various exercises.

BOSU Hydro Ball: A BOSU Hydro Ball is a water-filled kettlebell that uses hydro-inertia to create unstable resistance.

BOSU Ballast Ball: This is the more common inflatable exercise ball you may find in gyms and yoga classes.

What are the benefits of instability training?

Besides engaging the core, which helps with posture, instability training can increase your overall sense of balance and your ability to perform everyday tasks. Additionally, it increases joint stability in areas such as the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders, which can help reduce the risk of injury and ligament problems in athletic individuals.

Are there any concerns regarding instability training?

Even though instability training has been proven to be beneficial, not everyone is a fan. Individuals who find flaws with instability training cite an increased risk for injury, lack of ability to perform explosive actions and a limited range of motion. However, it is essential to realize that instability training is most effective when incorporated in moderation into an exercise regimen. Balance is the key.

What to look for in a quality BOSU ball 

Appropriate weight capacity

BOSU products feature three distinct weight limits: 250 pounds, 300 pounds and 350 pounds. Be sure to get the product that is the best fit for your needs.

Textured surface

Some higher-end BOSU Balance Trainers feature a textured surface that allows for enhanced grip and positioning.

Included items

Besides the actual product, BOSU balls include several handy extras such as an owner’s manual, an air pump, a downloadable wall chart that features exercises and downloadable exercise videos.

Equipment bundles

If you are interested in more than one piece of equipment, consider purchasing a BOSU combo pack. Besides getting everything you need at once, these bundles typically offer a discounted price.

How much you can expect to spend on a BOSU ball

If you are looking for BOSU training accessories, smaller items will cost less than $50. However, for the actual equipment, such as a BOSU Balance Trainer, you will need to spend between $100-$180 depending on the model you choose.

BOSU ball FAQ

Can I stand on both sides of my BOSU Balance Trainer?

A. No. For safety reasons, the only time you can stand on your BOSU Balance Trainer is when the dome side is up. However, the company does offer instructional videos for using the platform side up when performing push-ups.

If I want a firmer base, can I just add more air to my BOSU Balance Trainer?

A. No. The care instructions are precise about how inflated a BOSU Balance Trainer can be. Overinflation can damage a BOSU Ball permanently.

What other care instructions are important?

A. Never expose your BOSU equipment to heat or direct sunlight. Leaving your BOSU equipment in your vehicle can void the warranty. Be sure to thoroughly read the “Care & Storage” section of your owner’s manual for more information. 

What’s the best BOSU ball to buy?

Top BOSU ball

BOSU Balance Trainer

BOSU Balance Trainer

What you need to know: This is the original dome-shaped Balance Trainer that is easy to use but a challenge to master.

What you’ll love: You can use this Balance Trainer to strengthen your core, step up your cardio or increase your flexibility and endurance. It has a maximum weight limit of 300 pounds and is available in a wide range of colors.

What you should consider: Rarely, a customer gets a Balance Trainer that begins losing air after minimal use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Top BOSU ball for the money

 BOSU Sport Balance Trainer

BOSU Sport Balance Trainer

What you need to know: This younger sibling to our top pick is smaller, lighter and more affordable.

What you’ll love: This smaller model offers all the training benefits of the larger size dome-shaped Balance Trainer, but it is specifically designed for children, petite adults and portability.

What you should consider: Be aware that this Balance Trainer is not the full-size model – it is 22 inches in diameter, not 26 inches.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Worth checking out

BOSU Ballast Ball

BOSU Ballast Ball

What you need to know: A high-quality balance ball that is best for individuals who are focused on core strength and stability training.

What you’ll love: Constructed from burst-resistant material that supports up to 300 pounds, you can incorporate this Ballast Ball into a wide variety of exercises. The ball is weighted for added stability.

What you should consider: The included air pump can be challenging to use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

 

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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