Very few people actually know how to use a medicine ball. To most, it’s just a weighted ball that they use for abdominal exercises. To the fitness industry, it’s an invaluable tool to get people in shape. The medicine ball has limitless possibilities. It is the only tool in the gym that can be thrown and released without causing damage (only throw at designated walls or “power walls”). The ball is also used for power drills to rev up you calorie burning and get your heart pounding in an instant. Make use of these great animated exercises, courtesy of “Sports Fitness Advisor” to get in shape FAST!
Sample Medicine Ball Exercises
Kneel to Push Ups
1. Start Position: Your body will be in an upright position sitting on your knees.
2. Hold medicine ball at chest level. Keeping your torso erect fall forward and chest press the medicine ball to a partner or a wall.
3. Upon releasing the ball drop your hands to the floor and immediately complete a push-up.
4. Advanced athletes: To make this more challenging have a partner throw the ball back to you. You will have to explode up with the push-up so that you are back in the seated upright position on your knees. Your partner will throw the ball back to you and then repeat the exercise until the desired repetitions are met.
Single Leg Chops
1. Starting Position: Stand on right leg and your arms are extended holding the medicine ball up and to your right.
2. Bring medicine ball down in a wood chopping motion towards your left foot.
3. During this place motion switch feet so your left foot is now on the ground and your right foot is in the air. Repeat this motion for the desired repetitions and then repeat in the opposite direction.
1. Stand with feet parallel and knees slightly bent.
2. Pull medicine ball back behind head and forcefully throw ball down on the ground as hard as possible.
3. Catch the ball on the bounce from the ground and repeat according to prescribed repetitions.
Figure of Eights
1. Start Position: Hold medicine ball with your arms extended over your right shoulder.
2. In one continuous motion bring the ball down in front of you like you are chopping wood and the ball should end towards your left foot.
3. Stand back up and raise the ball straight up over your left shoulder and now bring the ball down towards your right foot.
4. You will have to bend at your knees to complete this.
5. Return to starting position and repeat.
Medicine Ball Lunge Crossovers
1. Stand with feet hip width apart. Take left leg and step back approximately 2 feet standing on the ball of the foot.
2. Start position: Feet should be positioned at a staggered stance with head and back erect and straight in a neutral position. Hold medicine ball in front of your chest.
3. Lower body by bending at hip and knee until thigh is parallel to floor. Body should follow a straight line down towards the floor. As you are lunging reach to one side of the leg with the ball.
4. Return to start position and repeat by reaching to the opposite side with the ball. Alternate or switch to other leg after prescribed reps.
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
2. Hold medicine ball with both hands and arms only slightly bent.
3. Swing ball over to the right hip and forcefully swing ball forward and around towards the left side. Reverse back in the opposite direction. Keep the stomach drawn in to maximize proper usage of muscle.
Single Leg V-Ups
1. Start position: Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent, both hands behind head. Keep elbow back and out of sight. Head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
2. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise shoulders off floor or bench. Extend arms and also raise one leg up toward ceiling.
3. Return to start position.
4. Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion may cause injury. To increase resistance, hold medicine ball in hands. To decrease resistance, position hand closer towards body
Medicine Ball Obliques
1. Starting Position: Lie on your back and raise your legs with your knees bent.
2. Holding a medicine ball between your knees rotate your legs to the side and then return to the starting position. Repeat to the other side.
Lateral Flexion w/ Stability Ball
1. Starting Position: Lie on your side over the stability ball and spread your legs for balance.
2. Hold a medicine ball over your head and curl up towards the ceiling. Lay back down across the ball and repeat the movement.
3. Repeat with the other side.
1. Start position: Lie with back on floor or bench with hips flexed at 90° and feet in air holding onto a medicine ball. Position arms at sides with palms down on floor.
2. Leading with the heels towards the ceiling, raise glutes (butt) off floor or bench.
3. Return to start position.
4. Remember keep legs from swinging to prevent momentum throughout the exercise.
If you don’t have a medicine ball handy, then try using a dumbbell instead.
(CES, PES, CPT, BS)