How to Choose Between a BOSU and Stability Ball | Lifemoves
BOSU compared to a BOSU Trainer

How to Choose Between a BOSU and Stability Ball

Last Updated: June 20, 2023

Clients often ask "How do I choose between a BOSU  or stability ball for my home gym?"  BOSUs and stability balls, are tools with advantages and disadvantages. It is important to think about these when deciding between buying one or the other. 

There are several questions to ask yourself first. The first one is "What will it be used for?" Are your goals oriented towards adding more cardio or do you want something you can sit on at your desk and do exercises?

Second, consider your health and fitness history. For example, are you able to get up and down from the floor easily? 

Also, don't forget what space is available to exercise and to store it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a BOSU (Both Sides Utilized)  

Although it is commonly known as the BOSU ball, it is not a ball.  It is an inflatable half-dome made of similar materials to a physioball.  

The BOSU Trainer was first developed in 1999 by David Weck. It became all the rage in group fitness classes and with Personal Trainers during the 2000s.

Senior man using BOSU Trainer flat side up on the beach.

Advantages of a BOSU

  • A implies it can be used with both sides up. The flat side is often easier for balance exercises.  Anyone who wants a greater challenge can flip it over so that the flat side faces the ceiling.
  • It can be inflated or deflated for more or less stability. 
  • Use it for balance, core stability, Pilates or cardiovascular exercises.
  • Its size makes it easy to store.
  • You can sit or stand on it. 
  • Unlike a stability ball, it won't roll away from you!
  • You can do advanced plyometrics on it while learning to land softly to maintain your balance.
  • Outstanding for developing joint proprioception and joint stability in the upper and lower body.
  • They have a 300lb weight capacity.

Disadvantages of a BOSU Trainer

  • To use it with more variety you require more skill and instructions. 
  • There is a greater possibility of an ankle injury. Standing on the dome side places your feet in a similar position as to when people sprain their ankles.  
  • Calf strains can occur when stepping up and down fast. 
  • It requires more balance and awareness to stand on the flat side. Deflate the BOSU to make it more stable.
  • Needs more room surrounding it to prevent injuries if you do fall off.
  • Costs more than a stability ball, but they can often be bought in a package with instructional videos.
  • It is difficult to substitute a weight training bench with a BOSU.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Stability Ball

The stability ball is known as a physio or balance ball. 

Stability Ball in home gym

Advantages of a Stability Ball

  • Versatility: Strength, seated balance, core strength, and kneeling balance.
  • A more common piece of equipment. 
  • Light and easy to carry.
  • BOSU Ballast - has sand to from moving. The sand adds weight and the need for more stability when it is moved around during arm movements.
  • Higher from the ground. Easier to sit on.
  • A variety of sizes for different heights, and leg lengths.
  • Lower cost than a BOSU, but usually doesn't come with a hand/foot pump or DVD.

Disadvantages of a Stability Ball

  • The only way to do cardio with it is to pick up the ball to do basic hi-low aerobic movements or use a step as well.
  • It rolls around and it is difficult to stare.
  • It is more dangerous to do kneeling exercises on it. For your safety, we strongly advise that you never stand on it.
  • It isn't one size fits all. You need to find a size that fits your body. The right size is one where your hips are slightly above your knees when you are seated comfortably on it.
  • Cheaper models are quick to deflate. Also, the materials are flimsy, so they are prone to bursting.

Whether you buy a BOSU Balance Trainer* or a stability ball* depends on your goals and available room. 

We lean more towards the BOSU for a fun, safe, versatile home workout. Since there also are things you can do with a stability ball, we would also add the BOSU Stability Ball. 

If you do decide on a physioball, invest in one with anti-burst. 

Please contact us if you need help deciding or if you'd like to learn a few exercises.

Affiliate disclosure.  All links to BOSU's official website are for informational purposes. We do not earn any fees from these links.  *Lifemoves receives a small commission from purchases made through Amazon links on our website. These help support our efforts to provide you with high-quality educational content. 

Alfred Ball

Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascia Stretch Therapist | Clinical Pilates Instructor. Alfred has been a Kinesiologist since 1999. He started Lifemoves in 2007 to provide exercise therapy and fitness programs for people with injuries, chronic diseases and disabilities. His focus as a Kinesiologist is to empower and to guide people to learn to move with more strength, confidence and ease. He is an avid Lego and Star Wars fan. His other hobbires include writing, playing board games and being active outdoors.

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