Dumbbell Exercises: Side Shoulder Raise on Bosu

Using a Bosu to help intensify your workout is an increasingly common method of adding new challenges to standard types of exercises. The Bosu is akin to the top portion of an exercise ball that has been attached to a flat base; this allows the Bosu to be a flexible, bending surface to stand on. The result is that it adds an element of balance challenge to every exercise that you do on it.

The side shoulder raise is typically a beginner level exercise that is good because it works the triceps and the upper shoulder muscles, two groups of muscles which are not commonly strengthened but which are very important. If you’re looking for an additional challenge for the side shoulder raise, consider incorporating the Bosu into it.

Side Shoulder Raise on a Bosu

The basic position of the exercise requires that you stand on the Bosu with a dumbbell in each hand. Put the Bosu flat on the ground in a wide open area. Hold moderately weighted dumbbells in each hand and carefully stand up on the Bosu. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart and parallel to one another. To enter into the resting position, bend your elbows only very slightly and then hold the dumbbells so that your palms are facing each other and so that the dumbbells are in front of your legs.

To execute the side shoulder raise itself, maintain the shape of your arms and do not completely stretch out your elbows. Breathe deeply, and as you exhale lift up the dumbbells out from each other. The final position should have the dumbbells at shoulder height with both of your arms extended outward from your center. Slowly lower the dumbbells back into the standard position in order to complete the first repetition of the exercise.

Safety and Injury Prevention

It’s a good idea to practice this exercise a fair bit without using a Bosu before you do incorporate the Bosu into the exercise. This will ensure that you can accurately complete the side shoulder raise on your own and without the Bosu. Only when you’re entirely comfortable with the exercise should you try it on top of a Bosu. It’s important to continue to breathe regularly as you exercise, and also to stretch out your shoulder muscles and your arm muscles both before and after you complete the exercise.


As you get more and more comfortable, increase the weight of the dumbbells. You can also draw your arms forward from the upper position so that they’re hanging in front of you before lowering them straight down. This helps to work the outer arm muscles and the biceps. For an added balance challenge, try to perform the side shoulder raise while standing on one foot, first on the floor and then, when you’re comfortable, on top of the Bosu.


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