- 10 Medicine Ball Moves for the Best Full Body Workout
- The 20-minute routine
- 1. Mountain climbers
- 2. Overhead squat
- 3. Circles
- 4. Russian twist
- 5. Side lunge
- 6. Pushups
- 7. Single-leg deadlift
- 8. Superman
- 9. Slams
- 10. Toe touch
- The bottom line
- Best Medicine Ball Ab Workout
- 1. Russian twist with medicine ball
- 2. Medicine ball plank
- 3. Medicine ball crunch
- 4. Medicine ball woodchopper
- 5. Medicine ball mountain climber
- 6. Reverse medicine ball plank
- 7. Medicine ball boat balance
- 8. Medicine ball twist
- 9. Superman with medicine ball pass
- 10. Medicine ball toe touch
- 9 Best Medicine Ball Exercises To Get Ripped
- The Total-Body Medicine Ball Workout That Carves Your Core
- Medicine Ball Exercises | Core Exercises for Cyclists
- How to Choose the Right Medicine Ball
- Russian Twist
- Medicine Ball Crunch
- Triceps Push-Up
- Superman With Medicine Ball
- Kneeling Wood Chop
- Squat With Halo
- Lunge With Twist
- Single-Leg Deadlift
- 7 Exercises You Can Do With a Medicine Ball
- Wall Balls
- Medicine Ball Slams
- Squat Thrusts
- Medicine Ball Twists
- Squat Throws
- Sit Up Wall Slams
- Side to Side Slams
- 3 Moves. One 15-Minute, Full-Body Medicine Ball Workout
- 1. Medicine Ball Crunch
- 2. Clean And Press
- 3. Mountain Climbers
- Medicine Ball Tips
10 Medicine Ball Moves for the Best Full Body Workout
Need to turn your at-home fitness up a notch? A medicine ball could be your new best friend.
Today, they’re large, firm rubber balls ranging in weight from 2 to more than 20 pounds, but medicine balls are thought to have evolved from a creation by Hippocrates thousands of years ago. The physician is said to have stuffed animal skins with heavy objects and had his patients utilize them to recover from injuries.
And due to its versatility, this concept has stood the test of time and strength. A medicine ball can challenge your strength, endurance, and balance.
Other pluses? They’re inexpensive and easy to store.
Below, we’ve curated 10 medicine ball exercises sure to challenge your whole body.
Choosing the right gear Pick a lightweight medicine ball for all of these exercises, especially if you’re a beginner. Four or six pounds is a good starting point. A basic version this one or one with handles for an easier grip will work just the same.
The 20-minute routine
Warm up for 10 minutes or so before starting this workout — brisk walking or walking in place will work just fine. Once you’ve been practicing these moves for a while, start utilizing a heavier medicine ball to continue to challenge your strength and endurance.
Combine at least five of the moves below and cycle through them for 20 minutes for a no-frills, whole-body routine.
1. Mountain climbers
A good exercise to get your blood flowing, mountain climbers are a whole-body move made harder by incorporating a medicine ball.
- Get into a plank position with the medicine ball underneath your hands.
- Keeping your back and neck straight, drive your right knee up toward your chest. Extend it and immediately drive your left knee up toward your chest. Ensure your core is engaged throughout.
- Continue, going as fast as you can without compromising form, for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat twice more.
2. Overhead squat
Overhead squats engage your core — especially your lower back — and challenge your stability more than a standard back squat. You’re also working your upper back, shoulders, and arms by holding the medicine ball above your head. Your range of motion will be different with this type of squat, so pay special attention to your form.
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball straight over your head throughout the entire movement.
- Squat down: Begin to bend your knees and push your hips back as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground and be sure your knees don’t bow inward.
- Push through your heels on the rise, giving your glutes a squeeze at the top.
- Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.
A shoulder burner, circles will challenge you. Move slowly and with control to make the move effective.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball straight overhead.
- Brace your core and begin to move your extended arms in a clockwise movement, “drawing” a circle from start to finish. Twist your core to accommodate the movement, but keep your feet stationary.
- Repeat 8 to 10 revolutions going one direction, then switch to do another 8 to 10 in a counterclockwise direction. Complete 3 sets.
4. Russian twist
What’s a workout without some ab work? Be sure you’re twisting your entire torso to each side for maximum benefit.
- Sit with your legs bent at a 45-degree angle out in front of you, feet touching the floor. With extended arms, hold the medicine ball out in front of you.
- Brace your core, twisting your torso, and move the medicine ball to your right side until it nearly touches the ground.
- Return to the middle. Repeat on the left side.
- Perform 3 sets of 20 total reps, 10 on each side.
5. Side lunge
Working movement from side to side is just as important as working front to back, which is why a lateral lunge is a great exercise to incorporate.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball at your chest.
- Take a large step to your right side. When your foot reaches the ground, bend your right knee and sit your hip back in a one-legged squat position. Keep your left leg straight.
- Push through your right foot and return to the starting position.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.
As if standard pushups weren’t challenging enough — throw a medicine ball in the mix! You’ll get a deep stretch in your chest when utilizing a medicine ball for this exercise. And as always, you can easily regress this move by dropping down to your knees.
- Start in a pushup position, but instead of your right hand resting on the floor, place a medicine ball underneath. You can flare out your elbows more than they would in a standard pushup, but make sure your back isn’t sagging and your neck is neutral.
- Complete a pushup. Roll the medicine ball to your left hand and repeat.
7. Single-leg deadlift
Single-leg deadlifts challenge your stability while also isolating one leg at a time to help address any imbalances you may have.
- Stand with your feet together and the medicine ball held straight out in front of you.
- Keeping your right leg slightly bent, bend at your hips letting your torso fall forward, and extend your left leg straight out behind you. Ensure that your back is straight, core is tight, hips are square to the ground, and neck is neutral.
- When your torso is parallel to the ground, return to the upright position.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.
Targeting your lower back and glutes, this exercise is deceivingly hard. Adding the weight of a medicine ball to your upper body ups the challenge.
- Lay on your stomach with your arms extended overhead gripping a medicine ball and your toes pointed toward the wall behind you. Ensure that your neck stays neutral throughout this movement.
- Engaging your core, use your back and glute muscles to raise your upper body and legs off the ground as high as you can.
- Pause for 1 second at the top and return to start.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
Used to develop power and strength, medicine ball slams are cardio work as well — a one-two punch. If you have a heavier medicine ball available, this is the exercise to use it.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the medicine ball straight above your head.
- Bend at your hips and, keeping your arms extended, slam the medicine ball into the ground as hard as you can.
- Pick up the medicine ball and return to the starting position.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
10. Toe touch
Cap it off with more ab work, taking the toe touch up a notch.
- Lie on your back with your arms and legs extended, holding the medicine ball in your hands.
- Engaging your core, lift your arms and legs straight up to meet above your mid-body, crunching upward to ensure they touch.
- Slowly lower back down to start. Perform 12 to 15 reps.
The bottom line
Complete these 10 moves with a medicine ball to tighten, tone, and increase overall strength. Hippocrates would be proud!
Nicole Davis is a Boston-based writer, ACE-certified personal trainer, and health enthusiast who works to help women live stronger, healthier, happier lives. Her philosophy is to embrace your curves and create your fit — whatever that may be! She was featured in Oxygen magazine’s “Future of Fitness” in the June 2016 issue. Follow her on Instagram.
Best Medicine Ball Ab Workout
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Dumbbells and kettlebells are a great way to amp up any routine, but they’re not the only weights at the gym. If you’ve never picked up a medicine ball, there’s no better time than now.
This sandbag-meets-basketball is perfect for core training since it allows you to easily move and balance the weight in ways dumbbells may not.
Best of all, medicine balls come in different weights and sizes, so even if you’re new to working out, there’s one to suit you.
These 10 strength-building moves not only work the superficial six-pack muscles but also engage all layers of your core from the front to the back of your body.
Try incorporating three or four of these moves into your next workout. You can also do one round of all the moves for the prescribed number of reps for an extra core-focused routine.
1. Russian twist with medicine ball
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Sit with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding medicine ball to your chest. Lean back slightly at a 45-degree angle to the floor, engaging your core.
Keep feet flexed with heels lightly touching the floor. Rotate to the right, keeping the ball at your chest, and twist from your low back.
Return to the starting position, then rotate to the left. Do 8–16 reps per side.
2. Medicine ball plank
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Place both hands on medicine ball with arms fully extended and legs straight behind you. You’ll be in a high plank position but with the added challenge of balancing your hands on a ball.
Keep abs tight, hips level, and shoulders down and back. Hold for 30–60 seconds.
3. Medicine ball crunch
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Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding medicine ball with arms extended overhead.
Curl head and shoulders off the floor and squeeze abs in. Raise the ball overhead and bring it in front of you as you sit up.
Allow the ball to gently fall overhead as you lower back down to the starting position. Do 8–16 reps.
4. Medicine ball woodchopper
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Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding medicine ball with both hands. Bring ball up and to the left on a diagonal so arms are fully extended.
In one fluid movement, bring ball down and across your body to the right, allowing torso to naturally rotate. Bend knees and pivot feet slightly as you lower. Finish with ball about even with right knee, hips back, and knees bent.
Return to the starting position by bringing the ball up and across your body on the same diagonal. Do 8–12 reps on this side, then switch sides.
5. Medicine ball mountain climber
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Start in high plank position with both hands on medicine ball. Draw right knee in toward chest, then re-extend right leg and draw left knee in.
Continue to alternate knees as quickly as possible while maintaining a tight core and level hips. Repeat for 30–60 seconds.
6. Reverse medicine ball plank
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Start in a high plank position with medicine ball near your feet. Place one foot on top of the ball, then the other, so feet are balanced on the ball. Hold for 30–60 seconds.
Make it harder: From the high plank position with feet on the ball, bring right knee in toward chest, carefully return right foot to the ball, and bring left knee in ( mountain climbers). Continue to alternate as quickly as possible, maintaining balance.
7. Medicine ball boat balance
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Sit with feet on the floor, knees bent, and medicine ball close at hand. Bring feet off the floor and legs into tabletop position so shins are parallel to the floor.
Balance the ball on your lower shins. Lean back slightly at a 45-degree angle and raise arms in front of you. Hold for 30–60 seconds.
8. Medicine ball twist
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Start seated with knees bent and feet on the floor, holding the medicine ball to your chest. Raise feet off the floor into a low tabletop position. Twist torso to the right as you move knees to the left.
Rotate back to center, then over to the left, with knees dropping slightly to the right. Do not allow knees to touch floor.
Keep hips stable and core tight throughout. Alternate for 8–12 reps.
Make it harder: Lie faceup and straighten legs toward the ceiling. Curl up and rotate slightly to the right while allowing straight legs to fall to the left.
Without allowing left foot to touch the floor, bring feet back up. Allow them to drop to the right while you crunch up to the left.
9. Superman with medicine ball pass
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Lie facedown, arms extended in a T, with right hand on top of a medicine ball. Lift upper back and feet a few inches off the floor and contract abs into a Superman position. Be careful not to put excess pressure on your low back.
Pass ball to left hand by rolling it in front of you. While still holding Superman position, roll ball back to right hand. Pass ball for 8–16 reps per side or for 30 seconds.
10. Medicine ball toe touch
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Lie faceup, holding the medicine ball overhead. Raise legs toward the ceiling so your body forms an L shape.
Extend arms and crunch up, bringing ball toward feet and raising upper back a few inches off the floor. Make sure to contract abs and keep neck and shoulders relaxed.
Roll back down, allowing the ball to gently come overhead. Return to the starting position. Do 8–12 reps.
Special thanks to our model, Liz Barnet, a certified trainer in NYC. Barnet wears a top and pants from C9 Champion and uses a medicine ball from SKLZ.
9 Best Medicine Ball Exercises To Get Ripped
BE A BALL OF MUSCLE
Complete three rounds of this nine-move circuit, instructs Liubinskas. “It’s designed to give you a taxing, total-body workout using a single piece of equipment.
You can also do it in a confined space,” he adds – where there’s maybe just enough room to swing a cat. Give yourself 15 seconds’ rest between exercises.
You can take a full two-minute breather between rounds, if you want to. And you will.
1|| BEAR CRAWL TO BALL
Start this priming exercise on your hands and feet, about 5 metres from the medicine ball depending on how much space you have to play with. Crawl towards the ball, driving your knees towards your chest. When you reach it, place your right hand on the ball, engaging your abs for balance. Now crawl backwards the same distance, before returning to the ball for a left-handed touch.
2|| SQUAT ONTO BALL
Elevate your heart rate, open up tight hips and build leg-and-glute strength with this non-negotiable staple. Stand tall, feet shoulderwidth apart, weight evenly balanced. Hip-hinge to initiate the squat, keeping your arms extended out front to keep your upper torso upright, while trying to achieve sufficient depth so that your butt touches the ball. Drive back up.
The slam isn’t just a chance to release pent-up anger. It’s a classic all-body move that torches kilojoules. Squat down to grip the ball firmly in both hands. Now, keeping your back in a neutral position and core braced, rise Kong, bringing the ball overhead. Pause in this power position, before using all your might to slam the ball into the floor.
RELATED: Forget The Sit Up, These Two Core Moves Will Build You A Better Six-Pack
4|| FRONT-RACK LUNGE
Stand tall, feet at shoulder width, grasping the medicine ball to your chest. Brace your core and step back with your left leg, hingeing at the knee until it’s almost touching the deck, while your right thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Now use the strength in your right leg to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
5|| RUSSIAN TWIST
Time to attack your core with this advanced move, which is best skipped if you have lower-back issues. From a seated position, raise your feet 10cm off the floor, lean back and lock in to that position. Now grasp the medicine ball on your right side and, keeping everything still except for your arms, bring it over to your left side. Now return it to your right.
KEEP UP THE INTENSITY
You’re past the halfway mark – and no doubt feeling the pinch. “Dig deep to maintain both pace and form,” says Liubinskas. You be the judge as to what weight of ball to use.
For safety, you don’t want to be overburdened on moves the Russian Twist [No. 5].
“Generally, though, I’d be starting with a 10kg medicine ball and possibly switching to 15kg by week two or three of the program,” advises Liubinskas.
RELATED: The 20-Minute Full-Body Kettlebell Shred
6|| PUSH-UPS ON BALL
Assume the push-up position, with two variations: your legs are slightly wider than usual and your right palm is on top of the ball. Brace your core and, keeping everything in line, lower your chest towards the floor. Push back to the start, then roll the ball to your left hand and do another rep. Keep alternating through the 30 seconds.
7|| CLEAN & TOSS
From a standing position, keeping your head up and back straight. bend down and scoop up the medicine ball from directly between your feet. Now drive up with your legs until you're fully upright, rolling the ball gently over your left shoulder at the top. Don't rest; simply turn around and repeat the move, this time dropping the ball over your right shoulder.
RELATED: Build Upper Body Muscle With This Intense Pump
This kilojoule-torcher also targets your legs and shoulders for growth. Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart, medicine ball held in both hands at chin height. Hip-hinge to sink slowly into a squat. Pause for a moment, then use glute-and-leg power to drive back up, raising the med-ball triumphantly above your head as part of the same movement. Go again. And again.
9|| BURPEE WITH LATERAL JUMPS
So sorry for the brutal finish. Standing next to the medicine ball, squat, drop onto your hands and kick out your legs into a plank. Kick your legs back towards your chest and spring to standing. Now, instead of jumping straight up, jump laterally over the ball. Perform another burpee, then jump laterally the other way.
The Total-Body Medicine Ball Workout That Carves Your Core
Get a fast and effective workout with this training tool—plus an abs-burning bonus
Jacob Lund // Shutterstock
This killer medicine ball workout mixes cardio and resistance moves to help you build strength and blast fat—all while sculpting a tighter torso and flatter abs.
(There's a reason you need a medicine ball for these top five fat-burning exercises.
) A weighted ball is a great training tool because you can add it to almost any exercise to challenge your core stability and improve coordination.
For best results, do this workout on two or three nonconsecutive days per week. (Short on time? Instead, try this 8-minute medicine ball mayhem workout.)
You'll need: A medicine ball (3-10 lbs)
Workout details: Do each move as quickly as you can with good form, moving from one exercise to the next with little or no rest in between. Once you've finished the last move, rest and repeat the entire circuit 1 or 2 more times.
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, holding the medicine ball at your chest. Brace your abs in tight and twist your torso to the left. Allow your right heel to pivot off the floor and bring the ball up over your left shoulder. Quickly “chop” the ball down and across your right thigh, lunging as you pivot your left heel off the floor. That's one rep.
Do 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Hold the medicine ball at your chest and stand with your feet wide. Step your left leg out into a side lunge as you scoop the ball down and to the outside of your left thigh.
Press through your right heel to straighten your right as you reach the ball up and overhead, quickly reversing the lunge and scoop to the right.
(Think of tracing a figure-8 pattern with the ball as you lunge from side to side). That’s one rep.
Do 15 reps.
Get into a pushup position with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Place your right hand on top of the medicine ball (if this is too tough, modify on your knees). Balancing on the ball, lower your body into a pushup. As you extend your arms, bend your left knee across your chest towards the ball. Quickly step your left foot back to the floor and repeat.
Try 15 reps on each side.
Scale up: bring your feet closer together in your push-up position.
Stand standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding the ball at your chest. Squat down and place the ball on the floor, keeping your arms extended. Shift your weight into the ball, pressing your hands on top.
Quickly jump your feet back into full plank position, still balancing on top of the ball. Brace your abs in tight to help your balance. Jump your feet back in, landing in a squat. Quickly stand up and press the ball overhead.
That's one rep.
Do 15 reps.
Scale down: Try walking your feet in and your squat and plank position instead.
Scale up: Add a jump when you stand and press the ball overhead.
Hold the ball at your chest and stand with your feet together. Take a wide step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge. As you lower, pass the ball from your right hand to your left under your left thigh. Press through your left heel to quickly return to standing, grabbing onto the ball with both hands. Repeat on the other side. That's one rep.
Do 20 reps.
Position yourself on your knees and hold the ball at your chest. Your knees should be slightly wider than your hips, toes pointed. Brace your abs in tight and lean back, keeping your spine straight (don’t let your back arch).
As you bring your body back up, extend both arms overhead. Bend your elbows (keep them pointed forward) and lower the ball behind your head. Extend your arms back up.
Quickly bring the ball back in front of your chest as you repeat the lean.
Do 15 reps.
Place the ball on the floor in front of you and lie facedown with your arms and legs extended into an 'X' shape. The ball should be close to your right hand.
Extend your spine, lift your chest and thighs off the floor, and roll the ball under your right hand. Quickly roll the ball over to your left arm, catching it with your hand, and then pass it back to your right hand.
Go back and forth, keeping your torso as still as you can while maintaining your extension.
Do 20 reps.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and hold the ball at your chest. Brace your abs in tight and lift your legs so they're almost making a 90-degree angle. Rotate your torso to the left and tap the ball on the floor just outside of your left hip. Pull the ball back into your chest and rotate to the right. That's one rep. Continue alternating sides each time.
Do 20 reps.
Sit on the floor you did for the side-to-side slam and place the ball in between your ankles, holding onto it with just your legs. Reach your arms towards your feet, balancing on your buns.
Keep your abs tight and shift your weight to the right, trying to lift your left 'cheek' slightly off the floor (your knees will turn a little as you rock). Quickly rock onto your left cheek, and lift the right. That’s one rep.
Repeat as quickly as you can (without losing your balance).
Do 20 reps.
Medicine Ball Exercises | Core Exercises for Cyclists
Everyone knows core strength is important for performance. But what you may not realize is that the real power of a strong core is the movement it prevents—specifically, strong abs, obliques, back, and hip muscles prevent unwanted slumping, hunching, and twisting, all of which can rob power from your pedal stroke and set you up for aches, pains, and injury.
When researchers tested how core stability impacted the pedaling mechanics of 15 competitive cyclists, they found that when the riders’ core muscles fatigued, their pedaling mechanics suffered, and their legs began flailing more side to side rather than tracking pistons. That not only wastes watts, but also can wreak havoc on hips, ankles, and knees.
Poor core stability is also a leading cause of back pain on and off the bike. That’s why curls and crunches by themselves are fine for building nice mirror muscles, but not much else. They don’t build strength in the muscles that prevent unwanted motion, especially rotation. It’s also why medicine balls are such an awesome tool for strength training.
Performing core exercises with a medicine ball involves twisting, turning, and bending in a wide array of angles, targeting muscles that can be missed during traditional strength training and core work.
Full-body medicine ball exercises such as squats and lunges require you to contract your core muscles for stability and balance.
Put it all together, and you’ve got a routine that creates unbeatable, balanced core strength.
[Boost your power in the saddle with Maximum Overload, a cutting-edge on-the-bike and strength program, designed to improve your output by 12 to 15 percent.]
How to Choose the Right Medicine Ball
Back in the day, there wasn’t much choice when it came to medicine balls. You got big, heavy, and leather. Today, you can still get big, heavy, leather medicine balls, but you can also get light leather medicine balls, rubber medicine balls that bounce, gel-filled medicine balls, small ones, big ones…you get the idea.
Since you’ll be hoisting the ball over your head, you want to be able to hold it firmly and maintain control throughout the movement. The ball should be heavy enough to provide resistance, but not so heavy that you can’t maintain proper, controlled form throughout the exercise.
A good rule of thumb is to start with a 5- to 10-pound ball and progress as needed to heavier medicine balls in the 10- to 20-pound range, as you become stronger and more comfortable with certain exercises.
If you have access to multiple options in a gym, grab one lighter ball for overhead moves and one heavier option for lower body exercises deadlifts.
How to use this list: The exercises below are demonstrated by Amanda Butler, NASM-certified trainer for Aaptiv and creator of The Butler Method on NeoU Fitness, so you can see perfect form. Perform each exercise according to the reps listed. Aim to perform the entire routine two to three days per week.
How to: Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, holding the medicine ball in front of your chest. Lean back to a 45-degree angle, feet flexed with heels touching the floor. Keeping the ball at your chest, and your back straight, rotate your torso to the right. Return to center, then rotate to the left. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps per side.
Medicine Ball Crunch
How to: Lie faceup with your legs extended straight up toward ceiling and hold the ball with your arms extended over your chest. Contract your abs and curl your head and shoulders off the floor, as you reach the ball to your toes. Slowly lower back dow to reverse the move. Be sure to keep neck long, not strained. Repeat for 10 to 20 reps.
How to: Assume a high plank position, with hands on top of a medicine ball positioned underneath your chest, wrists directly under shoulders, and abs and glutes engaged so that your body forms a straight line from shoulders to heels. Bend your elbows, and keeping your arms tucked close to your sides, lower your body until your chest touches the ball. Push back up to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.
Superman With Medicine Ball
How to: Lie facedown with legs straight, holding a medicine ball in both hands, arms extended overhead. Simultaneously contract your glutes and upper back muscles to lift your arms and legs off the floor. Return to start. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.
Kneeling Wood Chop
How to: Kneel on your left knee with your right leg out in front of you, foot flat on the floor, both legs bent 90 degrees.
Hold a medicine ball overhead with torso turned to the right. Swing the ball diagonally across your body to the left, while rotating torso to the left until ball comes to left hip. Return to the starting position.
Perform 8 to 12 reps. Then repeat on other side.
Squat With Halo
How to: Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball at chest level. Send hips back to squat down so that thighs are about parallel to the floor.
Bring the medicine ball up over to left shoulder, circle it around your head, then back over your right shoulder to your chest while maintaining a straight back. Press back up to stand. Repeat the move, circling the medicine ball in the opposite direction this time.
Repeat, alternating the direction of the halo for 10 to 14 reps.
Lunge With Twist
How to: Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest. Step forward with your left foot and bend both legs 90 degrees into a lunge position.
At the same time, rotate your torso to the left, bringing the ball over the knee to the left hip. Rotate back to center while pushing back up to the standing position. Repeat to the opposite side.
Continue alternating for 8 to 12 reps per side.
How to: Stand with your feet close together, holding a medicine ball in front of hips. Shift weight to right leg so left leg is free.
Hinge forward from the hips, and lift left leg straight behind you as you lower the ball toward the floor. Contract your right glute and hamstrings as you hinge back up to the starting position.
Perform 8 to 12 reps, then repeat on other leg.
All Images: Julia Hembree Smith
7 Exercises You Can Do With a Medicine Ball
You’ve probably noticed we love medicine balls here at 12 Minute Athlete.
A simple medicine ball can help to make your workouts incredibly versatile. Wall balls are one of our favorite exercises you can do with it, but there are so many more!
If you don’t have a medicine ball, we really recommend you get one. They’re not super expensive, are easy to store at home, and once you get one you’ll have it for life. Of course, you can also substitute medicine balls for any ball- object you have around a basketball or soccer ball, but make sure to work even faster so that the overall intensity of the workout stays high.
Here are 7 of our favorite exercises you can do with a medicine ball:
Wall balls get your heart pumping quickly. They’re a full body exercise, where everything from your head to your toes is involved, but be ready to feel the burn in your quads!
How to do them: Stand about two feet from the wall, facing it. Make sure not to stand too far from the wall, because you want to toss the ball up, not forward.
Keeping the ball at your chest, do a full squat. Stand up explosively as you extend the arms and throw the ball high up against the wall. Catch it and repeat immediately. Don’t pause at any point of the movement— try to tie the squat, stand up, and arm extension together into one smooth movement.
Medicine Ball Slams
Medicine ball slams work your arms and shoulders, but also your core—just be sure to engage your abs to add even more power to this movement. Medicine ball slams are also a great way to help you let go of some stress and frustration!
How to do them: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Pick up the medicine ball, lift it overhead and slam it on the ground as hard as you possibly can. The louder the better!
Medicine ball squat thrusts are another full body exercise. They’re similar to wall balls, but because they’re quiet, you can do them without worrying about waking up your family or neighbors.
How to do them: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold the medicine ball at your chest, then do a full squat. Stand up explosively as you extend your arms overhead, then bring the ball back to your chest and repeat. Try not to pause at any point and tie all the movements together into one smooth motion.
Medicine Ball Twists
Medicine ball twists help you to strengthen your core muscles, and more specifically your obliques, the muscles on the sides of your belly.
How to do them: Sit down and hold the medicine ball in your hands. Lift your feet off the ground, then twist your torso to the right and let the medicine ball touch the ground. Immediately twist left and let the ball touch the ground on your left. Make sure to keep your core tight at all times.
To make this exercise a bit easier, try crossing your feet. If that’s too much as well, simply keep your feet on the ground.
Medicine ball squat throws are similar to wall balls, but you can do them without a wall. You’ll still get a full body workout.
How to do them: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Keep the ball at your chest and do a full squat. As you stand up, extend the arms and throw the ball up in the air. Don’t pause at any point of the movement—try to tie the squat, stand up, and arm extension together into one smooth movement.
Sit Up Wall Slams
Sit up wall slams work your arms, shoulders, and core, and also make you feel a bit a badass.
How to do them: Sit down facing the wall. The distance of the wall will depend on the weight of your ball and how well it bounces back, so adjust as needed.
Hold the medicine ball in your hands, then lie down while keeping the ball at your chest. Do a sit up and as you come up, throw the ball against the wall. Catch it and immediately get back into your starting position and repeat.
Side to Side Slams
Medicine side to side slams help you strengthen your whole body, but especially work your arms, shoulders, and obliques.
How to do them:Stand up tall, pick the medicine ball up, and extend your arms overhead. Engage your core and powerfully throw the ball into the ground right next to your right foot. Catch the ball and toss the ball down right next to your left foot. Keep alternating sides, keeping your core tight the entire time and aiming for speed.
Try these exercises out in your workouts and let us know how you d them. Happy training!
3 Moves. One 15-Minute, Full-Body Medicine Ball Workout
If you’ve never tried a medicine ball workout, now’s your chance. Adding a weighted ball to your existing workout routine adds resistance, effectively sculpting your muscles and nearly doubling the amount of calories burned.
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Holding, lifting and balancing — all while holding a 3 to 10-pound weighted ball — creates an ab-flattening, core-shredding workout. Best of all, you’ll get it done in just three exhausting moves.
1. Medicine Ball Crunch
Lay on your back the floor with the knees bent. Hold a medicine ball in both hands, at arms length, pointing to the ceiling. Slowly lift your head, neck and shoulders off the floor.
Keep the ball at arms length and the chin at the same distance from the chest at all times. Slowly return to the starting position. Burn calories and build explosive speed with this move.
Beginners should start with a lower weight and work up towards a higher one. You’ll want to do 3 to 4 sets of 20 reps each for this one.
2. Clean And Press
This move definitely works your full body: legs, torso, core, shoulders, chest, back and arms. With one foot propped on a weight bench behind you, prepare to do a lunge. In the clean and press starting position (straight-standing leg), hold the medicine ball above your head. Bend your standing leg to a 90 degree angle for the lunge.
As you deepen into the lunge, lower the ball to chest-height and let the weight of the ball help you lower deeper into the lunge. With an explosive movement, come the lunge as you heave the ball up over your head again. Maintaining balance and control over the ball is what makes your core work the hardest. Do 3 sets of 15 reps each leg.
You will feel this one in the morning.
3. Mountain Climbers
This move has been around forever and is a great full-body workout on its own.
The basics of the Mountain climber move go as follows: In a push-up position, bring one knee in towards your chest (or as high as you can manage); return your leg to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
To add intensity and increase the effectiveness of this move, place your hands on a medicine ball instead of the floor. If you maintain your balance during these fast-twitch movements you will double the calories burned as well as engage and challenge your core muscle groups.
Medicine Ball Tips
When using a weighted medicine ball, proper form is a must. Here are three important tips:
- Never arch your back – if you’re having trouble keeping your glutes tight and hips tucked forward during these workouts, chances are the medicine ball is too heavy. Try the same move with a lighter weight.
- Always warm up first – if you’re adding a medicine ball to a normally-lower body workout, make sure you warm up your shoulders, arm and chest muscles beforehand. Otherwise, you risk injury.
- Only do full-body medicine ball workouts with a day of rest (or other exercise) in between.
There are endless ways a medicine ball can be used to increase the intensity and effectiveness of your workouts. Remember, the warm-up and cool-down phase is equally important as the workout itself, so be diligent with them. Above all else, have fun with it — toss the weighted medicine ball between you and a workout buddy for a fun, but highly effective start to your workout routine!