The Best BOSU Ball Exercises for Dancers

Photo by Erin Baiano

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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