How to Choose Between a BOSU or Stability Ball | Lifemoves

How to Choose Between a BOSU or Stability Ball

Last week I was asked by a client, “Should I get a BOSU or a Stability Ball for my home?” This was not an either/or to me as they both have their advantages and disadvantages. When choosing between the two, know what each is for and what their exercise/health history is. It is also important need to know what your long and short term exercise goals are before choosing between the two pieces of small home gym equipment.

I put together a short list of things to consider when choosing between a BOSU and a Stability Ball.
BOSU: Both Sides Up
Advantages
  • Versatility: As the name implies it can be used BOth Sides Up: dome side up or flat side.
  • It can be used for balance, strength, core and cardiovascular exercise.
  • It is easy to store.
  • You can stand on it.
  • You can sit on it.
  • It won’t roll away from you.
  • You can do advanced Plyometrics on it, landing softly while needing to maintain balance.
  • Outstanding tool for developing joint proprioceptors and joint stability in the upper and lower body.
Disadvantages
  • Requires more skill and instruction to use with variety.
  • Increased chances of injuring your ankles if you’re not careful with foot placement. Standing on the dome side places your feet in a similar position to what happens when people sprain their ankles. Also, calf strains can occur when stepping up down quickly and without being aware of foot placement.
  • Requires more balance skills and awareness to stand on the flat side.
  • Needs more room surrounding it in case you do fall off.
  • Costs more, though from Twist they come with a DVD and foot-pump.
  • Difficult to substitute BOSU as a weight lifting bench.
Stability Ball: Physio-Ball, Balance Ball
Advantages
  • Versatility: Strength, Seated Balance, Core, Kneeling Balance
  • More common piece of equipment. There is more to it than just core.
  • Light, easy to carry.
  • BOSU Balast Ball – has sand to keep it from moving while adding resistance when moving it around with your arms.
  • Higher from the ground, better for your spine when doing seated work.
  • Lower cost than BOSU, but usually does not come with hand/foot pump or DVD.
 
Disadvantages
  • The only easy way to do cardio with it is to pick it up and do basic hi-low movements or use a step.
  • It rolls around and is difficult to store.
  • More dangerous to do kneeling exercises or even stand on it.
  • You need to find the right size (hips should be slightly above knees when sitting on it)
Final Verdict: For a more complete, fun and safe workout at home, I lean more towards getting the BOSU with the Smart Gym, but I would also add the BOSU Ballast Ball or at the very least an Anti-Burst Stability Ball.
Contact Alfred or  alfred[@]ifemoves.ca if you want some lessons on how to use these to maximize the benefit and fun from your exercise program.
photos from the Twist Conditioning Catalogue.
 

Alfred Ball

CEO | Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. He founded Lifemoves in 2007. He has been a Practicing Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA for over 15 years. When he isn't helping people regain their strength and confidence to move with ease he is hanging out with his wife and young son, writing, or training for his next endurance running race. His big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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