Photo by Erin Baiano

The Best BOSU Ball Exercises for Dancers

We've all seen the videos on Instagram: a professional ballerina, casually perched atop a BOSU ball, développé-ing like it's no big deal. When done properly, BOSU ball exercises are both insanely impressive and incredibly effective for strengthening your core, ankles, and overall stability. Dance Spirit turned to Joel Prouty, a NYC-based personal trainer and injury prevention/exercise-conditioning specialist, for his top three BOSU ball moves, ranging from easy to hard.

Photos by Erin Baiano. Modeled by Lauren Post, dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

Exercise #1: The Single- Leg Skip

1. Start with the ball side facing up.

2. Leading with your left leg, step firmly on the center of the ball and "skip" up, pulling your right leg up in front of you and bending your right knee.

3. Land back on the ball with your left leg, while stepping out and behind you with your right leg. Repeat 8–12 times, then switch legs.

Exercise #2: The Lunge with Rond de Jambe

1. Start with the ball side facing down. Keeping your elbows up and open, place your fingertips on your temples. Step up onto the center of the ball with your right leg and lunge back with your left leg.

2. Slowly bring your left leg up and, keeping it in parallel, développé your left leg in front of you.

3. Sink into a plié with your right leg and do a grand rond de jambe with your left leg, finishing in a turned-out arabesque with a straightened right knee.

4. Slowly lower your left leg back into the starting lunge position. Repeat the exercise 6–10 times, then switch legs.

Exercise #3: The BOSU Burpee

1. Start with the ball side facing down. Place your hands on either side of the ball. Hop out and into a plank position.

2. Jump your feet forward into a squat position.

3. Still holding the BOSU ball, stand up and push the ball overhead, making sure to fully straighten your knees and engage your core and glutes.

4. Squat down again, placing the ball side on the floor. Repeat the exercise 10–12 times.

A version of this story appeared in the March 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "(BOSU) #Ballin'."

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.


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