HIIT Training with the BOSU®

By: Ashley Varol, PhD

HIIT Training has become a “hit” because regardless of whether you’re a parent on the go, a business professional on the road or a student trying to focus on studies, spending less time in the gym with great results is a win-win.  HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a form of training that alternates short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by recovery periods, challenging the anaerobic energy system.  HIIT training can be performed in a circuit with just a few exercises that may be repeated until the workout is complete, and can be completed solo or with a group.  Most HIIT workouts last about 30 minutes.

Planning workouts in HIIT style has become popular for both new and experienced exercisers, as each exercise can be modified to fit individual needs (a push up from the wall vs. an explosive push-up from the floor).  Because only 30 minutes is required to complete a HIIT workout, most people can find a way to fit it into their day.  Additionally, HIIT workouts can help to build self-efficacy and confidence, as most people can talk themselves into doing short bursts of an activity, like burpees, that they may otherwise avoid.  Best of all – HIIT workouts can be done anywhere, with minimal to no equipment needed. 

If your one piece of equipment on hand is a BOSU® Balance Trainer, you have unlimited options for putting together your own creative and fun HIIT circuits.  Here are 3 great circuits using the Balance Trainer that will help you get the cardio and strength workouts you are looking for in just 30 minutes each!

For each of the following circuits:

Warm Up: about 3 minutes

  • Start with deep breathing with squat and overhead reach
  • Step ups onto the dome
  • Squats on top of the dome
  • Lunging back from the dome
  • Jumping jacks with circling arms on the floor (modify to step touches)
  • Add any gentle stretching needed

Workout: about 24 minutes

  • Perform each exercise with good technique for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds
  • Complete each exercise 3-4 times total
    • Options are to rotate through (perform all six exercises, then repeat) or perform 3 – 4 sets of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise

Cool Down: about 3 minutes

  • BOSU® Basic Step– slowly stepping on and off the Balance Trainer dome to help lower heart rate and breathing rate
  • Stretch with hands placed on top of the BOSU® Balance Trainer dome, with feet together and in a straddle position as comfortable (rotate one arm overhead for additional stretch)
  • Pigeon pose on top of the dome
  • Stretch any additional muscles that you’d like!

Let’s Get It Started – Circuit 1

(Recommended for those new to BOSU® workouts)

  1. Push ups
  2. “Quick feet” – quickly following footwork pattern: up, up, down, down
  3. Alternating squats side to side from dome
  4. V-sit crunch
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Woodchopper squats on top of the dome


Take It Up a Notch – Circuit 2

(Recommended for those with some BOSU® workout experience)

  1. Burpee with overhead press, holding Balance Trainer on the overhead press
  2. Alternating forward lunge with torso rotation, holding Balance Trainer like a “shield”
  3. Squat with overhead crunch
  4. Lateral push offs (up and overs or explosive side to side)
  5. Thread the needle side plank (top arm reaches down and between arm and hip of stabilizing arm)
  6. BOSU jacks (from plank position)


Leave it On the Floor – Circuit 3

(Recommended for highly fit and experienced with BOSU® workouts)

  1. Burp the frog – burpees with feet coming onto the dome in a “frog” position followed by a jump on top of the dome
  2. Romanian squats (with optional explosive jump)
  3. Single leg push up with knee tuck (platform side up)
  4. Straddle squat jumps to dome with straddle step off
  5. Leap to dome, step off back (alternate sides with each rep)
  6. Walking planks on dome (elbow, elbow, hand, hand)


Ashley Varol, PhD, is the Wellness Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati, BOSU® National Master Trainer and a Master Trainer for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). 

Videos created by Amy Crandall - Amy is a Performance Coach & Pilates Instructor at Peak Human Performance in Columbus Ohio certified through NASM & Balanced Body. 

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