An unstable surface doesn’t seem ideal for a yoga practice, but a half ball balance trainer is actually one of the best ways to drastically improve your core strength, stabilizer muscles, and balance for a more effective yoga workout. Instead of trying to make use of a full rolling exercise ball, these flat-sided workout balls are a great option for supporting your yoga flows.
A half ball or bosu ball basically looks like an exercise ball that has been chopped in half. It has a platform on one side and an inflated rounded area on the other side. You might have seen them at gyms or sports stores and wondered “what the heck do I do with that?”
We decided to review the top 5 half exercise balls for yoga and dig into the best yoga ball workouts for a strong core and amazing balance.
If you’ve been wanting to add a little more umpf to your yoga practice, a Bosu ball is the perfect challenge to sculpt your body and take your balance to the next level.
- 1 Quick Picks
- 2 What is a Half Yoga Ball or Bosu Ball?
- 3 Benefits of Using a Bosu Ball
- 4 Top 5 Best Half Yoga Balls
- 4.1 #1 – BOSU 26 Inch Pro Balance Trainer Ball Exercise Fitness Gym Equipment for Yoga, Sports, Personal...
- 4.2 #2 – PEXMOR Yoga Half Ball Balance Trainer Exercise Ball Resistance Band Two Pump Home Gym Core Training...
- 4.3 #3 – ZELUS Balance Ball Trainer Half Yoga Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands and Foot Pump for Yoga...
- 4.4 #4 – LifePro Half Exercise Ball Trainer -Balance Ball for Exercise- Balance Ball Half Trainer -Stability...
- 4.5 #5 – Sportneer Balance Ball Trainer - Non Slip Half Yoga Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands & Pump for...
- 5 How to Use a Bosu Ball to Build Strength and Balance
- Best Overall: BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
- Best Grip and Weight Capacity: Pexmore BOSU Ball and Resistance Bands
- Best Portable Option: Zelus Yoga Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands
- Most Durable: LifePro Half Exercise Ball Trainer
- Best Budget Pick:Sportneer Half Balance Ball
What is a Half Yoga Ball or Bosu Ball?
Not everyone can afford to invest in a full home gym or yoga membership, but a bosu ball workout is a bit like an all-in-one. This exercise ball cut in half can be used to challenge your balance and coordinate your nerves and muscles for more stability. Bosu balls are most commonly used in physical therapy and strength training, but they have now become very popular in the yoga world as well.
For yogis, a bosu ball is like an extra versatile yoga block. It can support your knees in deep lunges or challenge your balance in tree pose. It can also cushion your lower back during boat pose or up-level your arm strength in plank.
A half ball is essentially a yoga prop, cushion, and workout aid all-in-one. You can use it to make your practice more comfortable or more challenging, depending on your goals.
Benefits of Using a Bosu Ball
Balance training on a yoga ball challenges all those smaller muscles that may not always get activated during regular asana flows. The bosu ball helps promote proper alignment while supporting your body weight and cushioning joints. This prop is extremely useful for people with limited flexibility or knee pain who still want to practice yoga. It is also a great way for fitness-minded yogis to take functional strength training to the next level.
Practicing yoga poses and exercises on a half ball improves your body’s stability and resilience in times of stress. The elevated, uneven surface is a bit wobbly at first, which helps you learn to find equilibrium when life throws your balance out of wack.
Lastly, half balls are very popular for physical therapy. You can combine many yoga poses with physical therapy exercises to rehabilitate injured body parts without putting too much strain on them from a standard yoga class.
Bosu balls are helpful for beginner and advanced yogis alike. But not every half ball is created equal. Like any yoga prop, you get what you pay for, and you definitely don’t want a bosu ball that bursts in the middle of your yoga workout. Yikes!
Top 5 Best Half Yoga Balls
|Product's name||Size||Material||Weight Capacity||More Info|
BOSU 26 Inch Pro Balance Trainer Ball Exercise Fitness Gym Equipment for...
|26”||PVC||450 lbs||See latest price|
|Best Grip and Weight Capacity|
PEXMOR Yoga Half Ball Balance Trainer Exercise Ball Resistance Band Two...
|20”||Hypoallergenic PVC||660 lbs||See latest price|
|Best Portable Option|
ZELUS Balance Ball Trainer Half Yoga Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands...
|23”||Eco-friendly PVC||880 lbs||See latest price|
LifePro Half Exercise Ball Trainer -Balance Ball for Exercise- Balance Ball...
|23”||Heavy duty plastic and TPE||440 lbs||See latest price|
|Best Budget Pick|
Sportneer Balance Ball Trainer - Non Slip Half Yoga Exercise Ball with...
|23.4”||PVC||300 lbs||See latest price|
#1 – BOSU 26 Inch Pro Balance Trainer Ball Exercise Fitness Gym Equipment for Yoga, Sports, Personal...See latest price
Anyone serious about their balance training and yoga practice will find this ball to be a very worthwhile investment. This is the original brand name BOSU ball that actually holds up for years to come. It is easy to stand on or crouch on and never causes awkward curves in your alignment. It is strong and durable, yet comfortable to use.
This professional-grade BOSU Pro is about 1 inch bigger than no-name brands and makes a huge difference for both grip and performance. At 26″ diameter and just 17 pounds, the ball is easy to pick up and move around, and super simple to inflate. The burst-resistant material can support up to 350 pounds of weight. It even includes a hand pump, training manual, and several downloads.
Best Grip and Weight Capacity
#2 – PEXMOR Yoga Half Ball Balance Trainer Exercise Ball Resistance Band Two Pump Home Gym Core Training...See latest price
This hypoallergenic PVC yoga ball balance trainer can safely support up to 660 pounds with anti-burst technology and an anti-skid bottom surface. It is lightweight and portable, yet still durable enough for long term use. The pebbled surface of this half ball has the best grip surface for bare feet or for using as a back massage on body acupuncture points. This textured material stimulates blood flow while you workout and can even help reduce fatigue.
The 8 anti-skid “feet” on the bottom make it easy to do crunches, tricep dips, planks, and more without worrying about slipping around. Thanks to the complimentary hand pump and foot pump, it is easy to setup and start your half ball yoga practice right away. This brand also includes 2 resistance bands that can attach to the base of the ball for over 100 different workouts.
Unlike some cheaper brands, you can really jump around and get some cardio into your yoga workout with the Pexmore. This half ball can easily support your full body weight in any yoga balance.
Best Portable Option
#3 – ZELUS Balance Ball Trainer Half Yoga Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands and Foot Pump for Yoga...See latest price
At only 11 pounds, the Zelus is by far the most portable option for going to the studio or practicing your yoga exercise routine outdoors. The flat side has 6 anti-skid rubber feet that firmly grip any floor surface. The upper portion of the 23″ ball is textured with an eco-friendly PVC material that has excellent traction for any pose. The top of this ball is extra wide and cushioned for better core workouts and posture adjustments.
This bosu ball includes resistance bands that securely attached to each side of the base. It is also the quickest to inflate and deflate for easy storage and portability. But what most impressed us is how weatherproof and durable this exercise ball is. You can literally take it anywhere!
#4 – LifePro Half Exercise Ball Trainer -Balance Ball for Exercise- Balance Ball Half Trainer -Stability...See latest price
When it comes to high intensity workouts or joint support during your yoga practice, you have to trust your base in order to fully let loose. Because of its durability, this bosu ball is one of the most popular for professional physical rehab, pilates, and strength training.
The LifePro only weighs 14.3 pounds but supports up to 440 pounds of weight. The ultra stable base is non-slip and easy to grip or move with the built-in handles. The top surface is made of heavy duty plastic and TPE that will seriously last a lifetime. This ball includes one of the easiest-to-use pumps and portable inflation straws. Best of all, it is one of the easiest balance balls for beginners and can drastically improve your balance in a very short time frame.
Best Budget Pick
#5 – Sportneer Balance Ball Trainer - Non Slip Half Yoga Exercise Ball with Resistance Bands & Pump for...See latest price
At under $70, this PVC 23″ ball gives you the most bang for your buck. It is extremely anti-skid and durable for maximum stability in any pose. We were impressed with the ball’s stability on the flat side as well as when used upside-down for balance challenges. This ball includes quality resistance bands that securely attach to the base for a diversity of workouts.
The Sportneer is very similar to the exercise balls you find in most gyms. It is burst-resistant and holds air well. The original air pump inflates the ball very quickly (less than 15 minutes) so you can get started right away. It will hold up even when slightly deflated for less resistance. Many reviewers have even found that it is better than the brand name Bosu ball!
How to Use a Bosu Ball to Build Strength and Balance
The possibilities for yoga and workouts on a half ball balance trainer are virtually endless. You can use it as a cushioning prop under your joints or use it to make poses extra difficult for a maximum sweat. But you can also just use your yoga ball to make core and balancing exercises more comfortable. Here are our favorite yoga poses using a bosu ball:
Crunches for Yogi Abs
Incorporating crunches into your yoga routine can be rough on your back. A bosu ball is the perfect prop on or off the mat to ease back pain while still strengthening your core.
Begin with your lower back on the bosu ball and feet flat on the floor. Bring your arms up behind your head and begin crunching just as normal, allowing the ball to support your spine as you move. Variations include hovering straight-leg crunches, bicycles, and side crunches to activate the obliques.
Boat Pose with the Half Ball
Crunches are nice and all, but the king of yogi ab workouts is by far Boat Pose (Navasana), which is so much easier on the low back with the help of a yoga ball! Begin with your tail bone firmly resting in the center of the ball.
Lean back and bring your body into a “V” shape, then slowly lower your legs (knees can be bent or straight) until you feel your abs activate. Lean back with your hands straight forward and embody a boat floating at sea. Keep your chest lifted and arms engaged. Breathe through the challenge for at least 30 seconds to tone the core and aid in back pain.
Chair Pose Balance Trainer
We don’t usually think of Chair Pose (Utkatasana) as a balancing pose. However, when you flip over a bosu ball and stand on the flat surface with in your squatted chair position, the challenge on your smaller lateral leg muscles can drastically improve your balance.
Start standing with the ball flipped upside down in front of you. Slowly step on with your right leg on the outer portion of the ball and allow your body to adjust (fan your arms for balance) as you step your left foot onto the ball.
Stand up straight with your arms up by your ears, then begin squatting backwards as if sitting down in a chair. Keep your chest lifted and gaze forward. Breathe and flow with the ball as you feel little muscles twitching and activating to try to keep you stable.
Bosu Ball Balance for Tight Hips
Anyone with tight hips or sensitive knees knows how hard it can be to fully stretch out when lunged poses put so much strain on your joints as they dig into the hard ground. Simply place a half ball under your knee and use it to stabilize while lunging into your hip flexors.
Start in a Downward Facing Dog with the ball under the center of your body. Inhale and lift one leg, then lunge forward, bringing the back knee onto the equipment and lunge forward for a deep stretch.
For an added balancing challenge, bend the back knee and grab your right foot with your right arm. Engage your leg and core muscles for more stability. Then, place your hands back on the ground, move back into Downward Dog, and repeat on the other side.
A half ball may seem like a funky prop to use in your yoga practice, but once you experience the drastic improvement in your balance, stability, and comfort, it’s hard to go back.
Have you tried any bosu ball workouts before? What did you think?