Exercises With Medicine Balls
Medicine ball training can make a fantastic addition to your current strength training programme and is easy to do at home as well as down the gym. With a wide range of weights and sizes to choose from you can push yourself to the limits and always be advancing and improving upon your performance. You can also quickly adapt some of the medicine ball exercises for when you are working out with a partner and not just solo which can make things more fun and motivational too. Plus, there is plenty you can do with a medicine ball that you just wouldn’t be able to do with a regular dumbbell. So let’s take a look at some exercises that you can do with medicine balls.
Are you ready to shred?
One of the things that we love about medicine balls is that they can be thrown and caught. That makes for a much more dynamic, explosive, interactive and fun workout session that is really going to improve your overall athletic performance and not just your muscular endurance. All of that combined means you are well on your way to shredding that excess fat and turning your body into a lean, mean, medicine throwing machine! Did you know that Hippocrates, the ancient Greek Doctor, used sand-filled animal pouches (the precursor to the modern medicine ball) over 2000 years ago to help rehabilitee patients? Well, you do now! If it’s been around for 2000 odd years, then it’s no gimmick, and your own results will visibly and quickly prove just why the medicine ball is here to stay.
Choose your weapon!
Well, your weight. The ball is your fat blasting weapon, delivering a full body workout that can simultaneously target both your upper and lower body while still providing a cardio challenge too. You need to pick a ball that is heavy enough to give you some resistance but not so heavy that it limits your range of motion. Or, that if you are doing some partner work, is going to knock the wind out of your more feeble mate’s sails! That’s just not cool. You also need to be able to comfortably perform 10-15 reps and maintain proper posture throughout, reaching fatigue and putting in that extra effort from 12 reps onwards.
Balls against the walls!
Ready. Got your ball? Then let’s go to it.
Full-Body Exercises You Can Do With Your Medicine Balls
We already mentioned that one of the great things about medicine ball training is that you really can very effectively give yourself a full body workout as well as using them to specifically target any troublesome spots where you need to focus and target your efforts to fast-track your results. Many of the exercises that you might perform with a Dumbell a Kettlebell or even an Olympic Barbell you can also do with your Medicine Ball, but because you can throw and catch them, they have so many more benefits. Let’s look at just some of the exercises you can perform and some top tips on how to get the best out of your training.
Lunge with Overhead Press
This is a good one and as you all know, any exercise that involves raising your arms above your head is going to elevate your heart rate plus lunging involves moving one of your largest compound muscles groups which is essential if you want to achieve fat burning results. In this move, you’ll want to start with your feet close together holding an appropriately weighted medicine ball out directly in front of your chest. Now step back into a deep lunge with your knee as close to the floor as you can manage and at the same time lift and press your medicine ball overhead. Step the foot back in, bringing the ball back down again to the starting position in front of your chest then continue to repeat this move stepping back and forwards on alternate legs. Aim for a minimum of 10 reps on each leg.
Lunge with Core Twist
While we are working your legs, and you are down in the bended knee position, how about incorporating a twist to really target and work those oblique muscles? As you did in the first exercise, start from a standing position with the ball held out in front of your chest. Step back into a deep and stable lunge, making sure to engage your core fully. Now extending your arms out in front of you, twist your entire torso while holding out the medicine ball to your right then back into the center, all the time keeping the arms straight and the core fired up. Rotate to the other side to really work both sides of your obliques then return to standing and change legs. Again, do at least 10 reps (twisting left to right) on both legs.
Squat Press with Wall Throw
Still working those legs and incorporating your arms for a full body blast, this one requires a wall and is going to challenge your coordination as well as increase your cardiovascular output. These kinds of powerfully dynamic exercises are perfect for medicine ball training and really can’t be achieved with any other piece of gym equipment. Heels ground and core engaged, sit down deep into a squat as though you were sitting into an invisible chair. Now drive through your heels, jumping up and at the same time releasing the medicine ball and throwing it up as high as you can against the wall in front of you. Decide whether you are going to catch the ball otherwise, get the hell out of the way fast before it knocks your teeth out. This should be a powerful and explosive movement that really fires up your metabolism. Plus its also a lot of fun and sure does work out some of that aggression.
Rolling Ball Push-Ups
Mastered the art of the push-up then its time to step it up a gear by introducing some instability to really challenge and target those chest muscles. You can use the ball in two ways when it comes to your push up training, and they are both incredibly effective not to mention pretty impressive looking too! In the first technique, you are going to really blast that upper body. Maneuver yourself into a high plank with the ball resting under one hand. Lower yourself down into a push-up, chest as close to the floor as you can manage. No cheating now! Perform a push-up and return to a high plank, rolling the medicine ball over to your overhand and repeating. If you really need to, this exercise can be modified by dropping to your knees.
The alternative technique is to have both hands on the ball at the same time. This is challenging so if you do need to come down to your knees, we won’t judge you too harshly! Tuck your toes under in a traditional press-up position but perform your push up with both hands on the ball. Once you have nailed this one, grab yourself two other medicine balls for your feet!!! Now you really are turning into Superman! Even we’re a little bit impressed with your strength and prowess.
Core Blasting V Sit-Up
You’ve worked the legs and arms and challenged your chest and shoulders, now let’s take a look at one of the many core focused exercises you could try out with your medicine ball. Core style exercises with the ball are also perfect for partner workouts where you can pass the ball to each other in between a sit up or a Russian twist. We’re focusing here on a somewhat challenging V-Sit but actually having the weight of the ball might help you to perfect this exercise where previously you’ve been struggling with it. That extra bit of resistance is handy. Get yourself down into a flat back lying position with your legs and arms extended out fully, the medicine ball over your head firmly in your hands. Now really fire up and engage that core as you squeeze yourself up into a V shape with your legs and arms lifted up the floor and the ball pulled towards your feet. Pass the ball to your feet and lower your hands and legs uniformly to the floor. Repeat only this time when you raise your hands and legs the ball will be between your ankles. At the top of the V move, you got it, switch the ball from your feet to your arms and back down to lying. Repeat as many times as you can until you start crying!
Your Full Body Medicine Ball Blast
Those are just a taster selection of the many varied and fun exercises you can carry out using a medicine ball that will really switch up and challenge your workouts. Whenever you implement even the smallest changes into your usual workout, you really do advance your results and power up your performance. Whether you are working out from home to down at your local gym, don’t be shy about handling those balls.