BOSU® ball lunges are one of my favorite exercises to do in my Run Fusion class. For one, lunges by themselves are a great tool for runners to strengthen their hips, glutes, core and more. Add in a balance challenge to the routine, such as use of a BOSU® ball, and this simple exercise takes the basic lunge to the next level.
Like all strength exercises, proper form is the key. Think of your balance as a progressive skill. Master a single leg stance, and then add movement patterns from there.
How to perform BOSU® ball lunges
Warmup (Great for runners!)
I always encourage runners of all levels to practice jumping and landing with springy, light feet; before you get started with the lunges is a great time to warm up with and practice some light jumps.
First, right ball of foot extends back on to BOSU®. Hop your left foot out, then do 10 springy, light jumps. Your right foot can either stay on BOSU® (beginner), or you can progress to actually getting airborne. Left toes should remain in view as you land. Counter balance the arms or keep hands on hips.
Once you’ve warmed up, it’s time to lunge! Root to rise; ground through all four corners of the feet and splay out your toes. Activate your glutes and hips, and rise.
Next, drop hips and lunge on to back leg. Left toes should remain in view (do a toe check) as you drop, and keeps shoulders square. Perform 8-10 lunges on one leg, and then switch.
BOSU® ball lunge progression
Once you’ve perfected the BOSU® lunge, it’s time to add in some additional movement and balance work to challenge yourself.
After you sink into the lunge, rise up and lift your right knee, standing on all four corners of your left foot. Root your foot on the floor, splaying out your toes. Left hip should “fire” as you stand on that leg. Squeeze your glutes. Engage your core, while holding knee up. Counter balance the arms in running stance. Pause in this position. Then…
…Reach right foot back to BOSU® and sink hip back into lunge (Think left leg squat).
Repeat 8-10 times before changing legs.
Whether you enjoy a light morning jog or are training for your next marathon, you can really strengthen your legs, glutes and core with this exercise. Continue to challenge yourself with this exercise, and see if you notice any improvement in your run form or injury prevention!
Valli Gideon is an instructor at ABC Pilates in Laguna Niguel, Calif. As a certified Newton Running Coach and USAT Level 1 Coach, Valli teaches the Run Fusion class, which challenges students with a blast of interval-style cardio, strength and conditioning exercises to get them stronger, more flexible and improve their form for better runs.
Click here to learn more about Valli and the other ABC Instructors.