Total body BOSU burner

Hi friends! How’s the morning going? Hope you’re having a great day so far. <3 I’m off on a friend date with Ashley, who’s here visiting from Phoenix. We’ve been friends since the Valdosta days, and I’m so excited that she and her fam made a visit this week. We also have Tucson friends in town, and it’s been so awesome to hang out with some familiar faces that we’ve missed!

Today, I have a new workout for ya… and it’s a killer. 

The BOSU: it looks so fun and whimsical, but it will add an entirely different dynamic and challenge to your workout. If you’re been in a strength training rut, this is an easy way to switch things up and work your stabilizing muscles. You can check out more of the benefits of BOSU training and a roundup of my favorite exercises in this post. Last time I used the BOSU, it had been quite a while since I implemented it in my training (which is funny because I LOVE to use it with clients). I was shaking like a leaf! It was a great way to change up my standard strength blitz. 

Total body bosu

Here’s a workout I put together! It’s a combination of heart-pumping cardio moves, stabilization work, and strength. It’s intended to be completed circuit-style, moving quickly from one set of exercises to the next. When you finish the circuit, you have the option to complete it up to two more times through. As always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes and honor your body. Modify as needed! Here’s what it looks like: 

Total body BOSU burner

Some form cues and tips:

1) Plank wobble and push-up: come into a plank position with your hands on the BOSU, and your feet on the ground. If you are a beginner, come onto your knees. Keep your hips in line with your torso and gently wobble the BOSU from side to side. Right, left, come back to center, then complete one push-up. For the push-up, elbows are wide and squeeze your chest to rise. That is one rep. 

2) Diamond push-ups: place your hands on the BOSU and place your index fingers together and thumbs together (making a diamond shape). Place your feet on the floor and walk your feet forward, bringing your hips high (so your body is like an upside-down “V”). Bend your elbows out to the side, then exhale and squeeze your triceps to straighten your arms. 

3) BOSU burpees: for this one, you can do your burpees with the squishy side of the BOSU up (easier) or down (more challenging). Hold the BOSU up overhead -you will feel hardcore doing this because it looks really heavy even though it’s not- place it down on the floor in front of your feet, and walk or hop your feet back to a plank position. Optional: add one push-up here. Walk or hop your feet back forward, and come back up to standing, raising the BOSU overhead. 

4) Squat jumps: come into a plie squat with one foot on the BOSU and one foot on the floor. Sink down into your squat, endeavoring to bring your thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees go towards your toes but not past them. Keep your chest lifted as you reach towards the floor, then spring up into your jump, reaching your arms up overhead. Land with a soft knee. Complete as many as you can in the 30 second rounds. 

5) Biceps curl: stand on the BOSU, feet hip-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells. Keep a slight bend in your knees, chest lifted, shoulders back and down, and a tight core. Perform your biceps curls like this (aiming for full flexion and extension of the elbow), and for an extra challenge: stand on one leg. 

6) Back extension: come into a prone position on the BOSU (on your stomach), with the BOSU just above hip level. Place your hands either crossed at your chest or behind your head (more challenging). Ground through your hips and feet, and contract your core to exhale and come into your back extension. Just aim for a straight spine and avoid hyperextending your back. Gently lower down to repeat. If it’s your first time doing these, I recommend one set to start and that’s it. You will likely be sore from just a little bit and it’s better to start small and work up from there. 

7) Plank with knee to elbow: starting in a plank position (on knees or toes, hips in line with your torso), contract your obliques as you pull one knee in towards your elbow. Bring your leg back to plank and repeat on the opposite side. 

8) Lunge: place one foot on the BOSU and step the other foot back, keeping both feet in line with your hips. Keep your chest lifted and core tight as you lower down into your lunge. Watch the front knee to make sure it remains stacked above your front ankle (if it extends forward, you need to widen your stance). Complete all of your reps on one side before switching to the other side.

As always, please let me know if you give it a try!

What’s your favorite piece of workout equipment? Do you ever use the BOSU in your training?

Hope you have a wonderful day. <3



All photos by the amazing Danny Chan! 🙂

More gym equipment-related posts:

Stability balls

The scary cable pulley thing

Resistance bands

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  1. Jill @ Champagne for Everyday on March 10, 2015 at 6:24 am

    I have never tried the Bosu before, even as someone who has worked out in the gym FOREVER, it scares me!! But this post forced me to see how it works, and now I am intrigued. I think I will try the plank wobble and push up this morning to start – chest and abs day! <3

    Latest post: Opinion of a Fit Girl – The Latest Fitness Trends

  2. Taca @ A Side Of Dessert on March 10, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Oh I love the bosu! I found out about it during a fitness class I took and have loved it ever since! Thank you for sharing! Have a fantastic day with your friend!

  3. Ashley on March 10, 2015 at 6:40 am

    I still haven’t used a BOSU! I’ve always kinda found them intimidating at the gym.
    This workout looks killer, I guess it’s time to give the BOSU a try!

  4. Jenna @ just j.faye on March 10, 2015 at 6:56 am

    This workout looks awesome! The plank knee to elbow with the BOSU is my favorite core move. I don’t use it for much else, but I’m going to start!

  5. Brynn on March 10, 2015 at 7:02 am

    I love the TRX straps! They are so versatile and really give you a great all-over workout. I actually put your routine into my workout rotation! I can’t wait to try this one, I haven’t given the bosu ball much love lately.

  6. LindSay on March 10, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Love the bosu! Def trying this today 🙂

  7. Catherine Cormier on March 10, 2015 at 7:13 am

    I’m excited to try this workout because I LOVE using a Bosu! My hubby got me one for my last birthday and it was an amazing surprise 🙂 I love the versatility of it – great core work, lots of strength moves you can do with it and you can use it to up your cardio routine.

    I’d say the Bosu and kettlebells are my two favorite pieces of workout equipment.

  8. kristin | W [H] A T C H on March 10, 2015 at 7:15 am

    woah this looks tough! i never think to use a bosu at the gym.

  9. Bonnie on March 10, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Oooh, I love BOSU burpees! The first time I tried SUP I was a champ, never fell once and I credit my BOSU class. 🙂 Thanks for this workout — looks like a good one!

  10. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on March 10, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Use the bosu everyday to work balance and strength in core and ankles especially. I love these variations particularly the back extension. I need to try it. Have fun with your friend!

  11. mary on March 10, 2015 at 7:41 am

    I never have tried a BOSU but I noticed Costco sometimes sells them and the display model is filthy, which of course it would be because people stand on it. It looks fun but I don’t need a big dirt magnet. lol

  12. Les @ The Balanced Berry on March 10, 2015 at 7:42 am

    YAS. I love this! The BOSU is one of my fave pieces of equipment. Love the diamond push-ups 🙂 I do use the BOSU quite often, and also love TRX and Kettlebells. They are my trifecta of fave workout equipment.

  13. Britt@MyOwnBalance on March 10, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I used to use the Bosu a lot but haven’t in a long time. It’s such a great tool though!

  14. Emma @ Life's A Runner on March 10, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Holy crap, this looks killer! I admit I tried BOSU pushups once and was scared off of them (so so hard!) but this definitely has me inspired to try again. 🙂

  15. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on March 10, 2015 at 8:01 am

    My favorite piece of workout equipment is a barbell 🙂

  16. Catherine on March 10, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Thanks so much for this!! I have been looking for ways to use my BOSU since I got it last year. I have tried BOSU burpees and totally agree that I felt so hardcore lifting the BOSU over my head, even though it is not heavy at all!
    My favorite equipment right now is the kettlebell and I tried TRX a couple of weeks ago and loved it! Armed now with this routine, I think the BOSU will become a fave too!

  17. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on March 10, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Ironically I use the bosu a lot with my training clients, but I have not been using it in my own workouts. I was just saying to my boyfriend the other day that it would be a good addition to our home gym. Thanks for the ideas!

  18. Nikki S on March 10, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Yay! I’m so excited to try this workout either today or Thursday since my Bosu Ball class is on hiatus while students are out on Spring Break. I have a bosu ball at home but it usually gets neglected since not many workouts incorporate it and I forget I can use it to adapt body weight exercises.

  19. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on March 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Yes, love the bosu! Great moves. The bosu burpees are a move I often assigned to training clients. Have fun on your friend date!

  20. Tracy on March 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I love the BOSU! I’ve never done burpees with one but will give it a try soon. Oooh and also the plank wobble push up! I’m also a big fan of using stability balls!

  21. Cara's Healthy Cravings on March 10, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I love the bosu, but need to use it more. I often use it for pushups and mountain climbers, but I should consider using it for more strength options, like you have here. I’ll let you know when I give it a go, thanks 🙂

  22. Sara on March 10, 2015 at 10:15 am

    This inspired me to get out my bosu down from the loft! Thanks! I haven’t used it in years, but loved it when I used it previously. Thanks! Just printed the workout!

  23. RachelG on March 10, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I just got in 2 rounds of this plus a little abs during my lunch break. Holy sweat, batman! lol. Next time I do this at work I’ll need to bring more make up and some dry shampoo. 😉 A really great strength/cardio blast, especially when time is limited.

  24. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on March 10, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I’ve used this at Orangetheory, and it’s tough!! Finding balance when standing on top of it is a skill in itself I think!

  25. Erin @ Erin's Inside Job on March 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I do like BOSUs but I havent used one in awhile since the gym where I teach doesn’t have any (it’s a smaller studio). Thanks for all the options!!

  26. Claude Borel on March 10, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    You put a lot of effort into your posts, I think that’s awesome and the photos you put are extremely attractive and compelling.

    I’ve seen MMA fighters use the boshu for training. It works the whole body


  27. Sabrina on March 10, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    I used to have a BOSU but when I relocated across the country I sold it. Looking at this workout reminds me that I definitely need to get a new one! Thanks for this post!!

  28. Kerry on March 10, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    This looks scary! ha x

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      it is scary.. in a good way haha

  29. Alex @ True Femme on March 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Ooh yeah that looks intense! I don’t use a BOSU but someday I’m sure I’ll get one 🙂

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      yeah it’s a fun way to switch it up 🙂

  30. Rachel W on March 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Love this workout idea! Never thought about adding the push-ups and doing that on a BOSU! I’ve been wanting to get one for our home gym on days I can’t make it to CrossFit!

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      yeah, it’s a fun tool to have!

  31. Robin on March 10, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I had a “active recovery” day, which involved pushing the stroller for about 4 miles in the glorious 65 degree weather in MN! Hopefully back at it tomorrow!

  32. Melissa on March 11, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I actually love the Bosu so much at my gym (there are a couple classes that use them entirely for core/strength & cardio workouts) that I asked for one for Christmas! And got it! After nearly 20 yrs of marriage, he felt confident he knew me well enough to chance workout equipment for my main gift. I encourage your readers to give it a try – ask someone at the gym to help you acclimate to it if you’ve never tried one before ~ you might just find its your newest favorite workout piece! 🙂

  33. April on March 11, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Thank you SO much for this Gina, i completed this workout 3x this morning and loved it! But, OMG those diamond pushups are no joke!!!! Do you have to go all the way down like a regular push up? I wasn’t able to:=
    I highly suggest this to anyone looking to ‘switch it up’…
    BTW, loving the format of these workouts lately, easy to read on the phone at the gym:)

    • Fitnessista on March 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      no, just bend your elbows as much as you can! so happy you got a great workout and are enjoying the new format 🙂

  34. Amy on March 11, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Love this! The Bosu ball is awesome. I’ll def try this thanks!

  35. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on March 12, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been staring at my Bosu lately, wondering if I should just get rid of it since it’s the least-used of my fitness equipment. I’ll be sure to show it some love with this workout!

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