The History of MedicineBalls

In the world of practicing strength and conditioning, it all seems like we are always looking for a whole new and very innovative piece of equipment that is not only just going to unlock your athletic potential, increase your fat burning capacity but it is going to breathe new life towards your training goals.

Having some of these thoughts and seeking out something new is all human nature, and we all do this. You can go to a gym that has a bunch of different, unique equipment that all provide alternative variations of some traditional movements.

While variety can be the spice of your life, sometimes the classic basics can usually be overlooked and almost entirely forgotten.

MedicineBall training is known to have been a form of personal conditioning and strengthening for the ancient gladiators and Persian wrestling athletes this dates as far back as 1000 BC.

If we were to fast-forward to today’s world, and we find that the medicine balls are demoted to cute little abdominal exercises that could be done in your living room or, even worse, found as a dust collector that has been untouched for months on end. Unless your child somehow finds it and attempts to pick it up and play basketball.

It is time to start to re-familiarize yourself with some medicine ball training and bring this ancient form of exercise back into your daily training programs and watch your athletic prowess grow.

In this article, we will see all of the many unique benefits of medicine ball training along with some of our favorite exercises.

Some Benefits of MedicineBall Training

If you didn’t sleep through your junior year physics class, you might not remember anything about Ampère’s Circuital Law, but you probably remember Newton’s second law where Force=Mass x Acceleration. This rule applies in the strength and conditioning world.

However, the primary focus over the years has been to lift more weight (mass) to get stronger (produce more force); however, acceleration has become an essential part of the equation and is often overlooked in training.

If we look closely at this scientific equation we can increase force production by increasing your speed or acceleration at which we can move an object; by training with moving weights faster, this can make you stronger and more explosive, and Medicine balls are an outstanding way to train acceleration for increased force production.


Multiple Planes of Movement

There is a freedom of movement with many vigorous medicine ball exercises that almost exactly duplicate the movements that are found in many sports that aren’t always found in other strength training movements.

The foundational movement exercises like squats, deadlifts and bench press are perfect for building your strength, but you become limited by their single plane of movement and ability to transfer power throughout the whole body.

Not to say you shouldn’t build strength with those foundational lifts, but when combining them with medicine ball exercises, you can enhance your force production through acceleration training and incorporate the whole body through various planes of movement.

You can project your power through a ball in a frontal, sagittal and even a transverse plane depending on how you decide to move the ball.

Safe, Versatile and Fun Benefits of MedicineBall Training

Training force production in different ways has proved to be the best method for transferring over to sports performance. This is a huge proponent of preparing strength and conditioning programs that have lower risk exercises with higher rewards.

rubber medicine ball

My goal is always to have my athletes be safe and get the most effective training available. I have found medicine ball exercises to be the easiest and safest way to train power.

For a young or new athlete, learning the kettlebell swing or even the more technically complex Olympic lifts requires a lot of technical ability.

The young and inexperienced athlete doesn’t possess a great foundation of strength, so, therefore, they are possibly setting themselves up for an injury if they are not able to perform these dynamic movements correctly.

Medicine ball training has proved to show that these athletes are still able to make force production gains safely by accelerating light medicine balls quickly.

With young athletes who are new to training, I can have them perform medicine ball training early in their training program where I usually wait a few weeks after some strength gain has been achieved, to teach a kettlebell swing.

Medicine ball training is also very versatile and can be trained for just pure power by using an appropriate weight for a particular amount of sets and repetitions, or they can be used for longer duration in a conditioning setting.

You can implement medicine ball slams for 30-second intervals which will train not only power but also train strength endurance which is a necessary energy system essential in most sports.

Lastly, it is hard-pressed to find someone, young or old, who does not like tossing the medicine balls. When the athlete is having fun, they will feel good and focus more on what they are doing because it is more enjoyable to them.

All of my athletes perform some medicine ball training either to enhance force production in a particular plane or to build their strength endurance.

Generally speaking, if I want to work on power I have the athlete perform them for a specific amount of repetitions closer to the beginning of the workout, or if we want to focus on strength endurance, we throw them into a conditioning circuit for time intervals at the end of the workout.

Remember all the physics behind using a medicine ball in your training. You want the acceleration to be high to produce maximal force.

If either the weight is too heavy or proper form is not allowing the medicine ball to rush, your energy production will be small along with your movement quality carry over to your sport.

This all brings us back to the origin of the name. The word “medicine” was long synonymous with the word “health.” The use of the word “therapeutic” in this case was to highlight how the exercises could be utilized as both a way of healing injuries and preventing them in the first place through general fitness.

Although devices we would recognize as being medicine balls have been commonplace for millennia, the word itself is only a couple hundred years old, being attributed to one, Professor Roberts way back in 1889. According to a Scientific American article from the time, Roberts coined the term “medicine ball” about the fact that using the ball “invigorates the body, promotes digestion, and restores and preserves one’s health.“ As “health” and “medicine” were considered to be synonymous terms at the time, calling it a “medicine ball” was natural enough.

Today, we always refer to the medicine balls as such, and commonly enough the terms “health” and “medicine” aren’t as synonymous as they once were. Hearing the phrase “health ball” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Rehabilitation with MedicineBalls

Medicine balls are for those of you who haven’t been to a gym. Or someone who never accidentally kicked the medicine ball thinking it was like a soccer ball.  They are heavily weighted balls that come in a variety of sizes and weights usually with a diverse range of fitness applications. But why are medicine balls called this when, at its core, a medicine ball is just a big heavy ball?

For starters, medicine balls are usually noted to be the most diverse pieces of exercise equipment one person can own, useful for toning almost every inch of your body, and they are also extensively used in various types of physical therapy.

While some details are very sparse on the history of medicine balls, we can reliably track their usage back to just about 3000 years. This is where the medicine balls were used mainly by the Persian wrestlers looking to become much stronger. In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates considered them to be an essential tool for helping the injured people regain their mobility. He also advised people to use them as a general, all-purpose way of remaining healthy.

A medicine ball can also be known as a fitness-weighted ball, or an exercise ball is a weighted ball-shaped exercise tool often used for strength training and rehabilitation. Medicine balls are available in different weight sizes, usually ranging from 2 to 25 pounds, medicine balls are distinct pieces of weight equipment used by children and adults for exercise or physical therapy.

The rehabilitation of sports-related injuries has changed dramatically in the past decade. Advances in surgical procedures, clinical outcome studies, and changes in third party reimbursement have resulted in a new rehabilitation environment. Today’s clinicians must efficiently and more address an athlete’s physical impairments and functional limitations. The outcome is to return to playing as quickly and safely as possible. Medicine balls have become an essential tool in achieving this goal.

The use of medicine balls in rehabilitation has always been a logical crossover from sports training. Medicine balls will provide your clinician a low-cost and portable option that is available in a wide range of different weights and sizes. This exercise tool can be incorporated early in the rehabilitation process and even in the final phases of your recovery. Clients will frequently purchase a medicine ball as part of their home program and use it to transition into a more free program.

Medicine balls are used extensively in the rehabilitation process of spinal, shoulder, and knee injuries. The ability to perform multiplanar exercises at slow to high speeds with a medicine ball has made it an essential tool for the rehabilitation specialist.

A medicine ball refers to a weighted ball that can be used for doing a broad range of exercises that will help improve your fitness, strength, and coordination, as well as help athletes, recover from injuries. This type of ball can be made from leather, nylon, vinyl, rubber, polyurethane and other materials. The medicine balls come in many different weights, ranging from 2 lb to 25 lb. The standard medicine ball has a diameter of 14 inches, but other sizes are also available.

History of the Medicine Ball

The earliest documented use of the medicine ball dates back to just about 3,000 years ago when Persian wrestlers trained with bladders that were filled with sand. Later on, in the time of ancient Greece, famous physician Hippocrates stuffed animal skins with sand to create medicine balls. As part of his injury rehabilitation therapy, his patients were ordered to throw the balls back and forth. In the late 19th century, the words “medicine” and “health” became synonymous, and the medicine ball was commonly used for promoting health. It became one of the “4 Horsemen of Fitness,” which also included the dumbbell, the wand, and the Indian club. This marked the origin of the modern medicine ball.

Uses of the Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are commonly used by athletes to help improve their core strength, especially in the chest, arms and legs. Athletes who might have sustained injuries also perform medicine ball training to recover their former strength and fitness. Medicine balls are effective exercise equipment for professional boxers, who use them to build strength in the abdominal muscles. A medicine ball is dropped onto a fighter’s abdomen from a certain height to simulate a punch from an opponent. Individual schools use medicine balls as fitness aids for students, who are required to perform a broad range of exercises to stretch their muscles and improve their strength.

Medicine Ball Exercises

Medicine ball exercises are useful for improving sport-specific as well as overall strength, fitness, flexibility and body coordination. They can be performed alone or with one or more partners. Some of the standard medicine ball exercises include; squats, lunges, lunge crossovers, slams, crunches, oblique twists, single leg V-ups, reverse curls, overhead lateral flexions, kneel to push ups, diagonal chops, figure eights, two-arm wall passes, hammer throws, sit-up passes, front lateral raises and standing Russian twists.

Medicine Ball Safety

It is imperative that just about every athlete performs some medicine ball exercises with the right techniques so that they can get better results and prevent any injuries. Athletes should always warm up thoroughly before they start exercising with medicine balls. Choosing a ball with the right weight is very important, as it will ensure that the activities will be performed smoothly. For each exercise, the person who’s is training or athletes should do 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. When you’re doing a standing throw from behind your head, they should not overextend their spines, and standing exercises should be done with feet firmly planted on the ground. They should keep a bend in their knees and keep their backs straight when picking up the medicine ball. When lying on their backs to perform exercises, athletes have to make sure that their lower backs are touching the ground.

It might sound kind of funny that by using a medicine ball you can build your muscle power and strengthen your core muscles. But the fun fact is that when these exercises are performed correctly and precisely it will show how well a medicine ball can be added to your daily regime to develop a hardcore physique.

The medicine ball workout is a replication of your daily chores you do in your day to day life and hence why it is easy to develop your core muscles.
Instead of focusing on just one muscle power, you will be concentrating on many core muscles at the same time.
The medicine ball will give you help so you can balance out your body energy.
The medicine ball workout regime helps you to build up resistance and lift things which are heavy like grocery bags, buckets, furniture and much more.

How To Properly Throw a MedicineBall

Many people will never learn to throw correctly! Movements that require shifting, bending, rotating and balance are important in athletics and life. For example, by learning to transfer your momentum from your rear to your front, a golfer reduces the risk of possible injury and improve performance. Due to poor movement skills, many have not mastered patterns to complete these tasks in a coordinated, efficient manner. Learning to throw helps establish or reestablish these movement skills. Throwing medicine balls will incorporate expressions of your speed, your strength, your flexibility, and your coordination will allow you to see measurable improvement rather quickly. Do you know what equipment is appropriate for you? A medicine ball usually weighs about 4-7 lbs. This size is suitable for most people.

When executing these standing movements that sometimes involve rotation, your backside foot should turn, allowing a bigger range of motion and a shifting of your center of mass over your front leg. By doing this, the integrity of your lower back is not compromised. Cueing these actions from day one sets up patterns that should be used in future exercises. When bending and rotating, you should remind your clients or athletes to use as many of their joints as possible. As you can see, these exercises have a balance component with each routine. Ultimately, throwing requires single leg balance.
Many movements in life and many sports involve a lot of acceleration while shifting or moving weight from one side of your body to the other to complete a task. Work towards standing on your one leg and decelerating or blocking one side of the body.

This is a big part of throwing. To properly finish the throws, takeoffs and many swinging movements, the body must fix one side to achieve greater acceleration of the free or moving side.

Next, we will look at how to do a three-step teaching progression for rotational throws. Remember that this may take a few weeks of work to get to modified hammer throws correctly. When progressing through this sequence, keep the previous exercises in the program. You can reduce the amount of sets or reps in Russian twists and side throws as you get to modified hammer throws. Using a few throws can add a skill-based component to your workouts.

Your sets and reps can usually be anywhere from 1-3 sets of 6-12 reps. These exercises will fit great into a warm up and could be used to awaken your nervous system. Throws are outstanding when you are doing a speed or strength session because they are a summation of forces activity. Let throwing medicine balls help you develop better movement skills.

1. Basic Rotation (Russian Twists)

Russian Twists: You want to start the ball close to your torso and work outwards. Note the turned backside foot with a noticeable shift in body weight. Cueing footwork to initiate movement is important. References like “turn your right foot” or “turn your belly button” are good reminders. Later you will see the connection to the hammer throw. The next step involves starting to throw the medicine ball.

2. 90 Degree Medicine Ball Throw

Side Throws Starting point! The thrower is positioned 90 degrees either towards a wall or a partner. The ball should be behind the right hip and arms are slightly bent. The thrower needs to be 3-5 feet from the wall, perhaps even further from a partner.
Initiate the throw by swinging the ball to the start position by loading the right side, and putting more weight on that side as well.
The thrower should start to think about right side movement a little before the ball is completely decelerated. This will eventually get the right side ahead of the ball, teaching a whipping or elastic delivery.
When this all starts to happen, the thrower will note that the effort becomes easy, and they will be “getting to their left side.” Progression for this exercise is for a faster loading and switching. Although walls allow this to happen best, good results can also be achieved with a partner accurately delivering the medicine ball back to the thrower. By the way, the partner doesn’t need to be doing the same exercise.

3. Modified Hammer Throw

Modified Hammer Throw: The final activity in this progression involves adding 90 more degrees to the range of movement. The thrower will then be facing 180 degrees away from the wall or partner, three to five feet away. The move to initiate this is the same, with a swing of the ball into position and loading of the right side. Similar cues can be used. In this exercise, the thrower will understand where the delivery position is and be able to accelerate through the fixed left side. The ball will end up being delivered closer to shoulder height with arms on the upswing at the finish. When you receive the medicine ball from either the wall or your partner, this will set the next rep.

Below are 5 of Our Favorite Medicine Ball Exercises

(that we use these weekly in our warm-up routines)

1. Standing Chest Passes

Using a partner, a coach or a wall; set up in an athletic stance. You then want to catch the ball with two hands, dip into a quarter squat and then from here use the energy from your legs and to come back up and project through the ball with both hands evenly towards your training partner or wall.

2. Standing Rotational Throws

In the same athletic stance, you are going to receive the ball at your waist level, catch the ball and then rotate like a tennis swing. Make sure to turn your knee as well, so it all remains aligned with your foot placement. Drive back through with your hips and your core and project the ball towards your partner or wall. You can repeat on the same side or alternate sides.

3. Behind Your Head Throws

This is one of our favorite movements to teach, the explosive hip extension. You want to start by turning your back towards your training partner or the direction that you are going to project the ball towards, hold the ball underhanded, squat and scoop throw the ball over your head in an explosive manner transferring the energy through the hip and lastly through the ball. You can throw the ball for maximal height or distance depending on the trajectory you decide.

4. Medicine Ball Slammers

This exercise is one of the easiest power movements to learn, and it is enjoyable to do as well. All you will need is a light medicine ball that doesn’t bounce or bounces only slightly. Get the ball over your head and drop your hips and follow through with your arms as if you are trying yo make a hole in the ground. Make sure to get the proper timing down, so the ball will stay close to your body.

5. Lying Medicine Ball Chest Passes

This is an alternative to the standing chest pass; however, you will not have your legs to help you with the movement to generate power and force. Therefore your upper body will have to produce the power. Start this exercise by lying on your back with either your legs down on the ground or knees bent; pull your belly button into the floor and either push the medicine ball off your chest toward your partner or straight up for you to catch and repeat yourself. You want this to be like a spring with no pause in between the transitions from the bottom towards the top.

Fun Exercises with a Medicine Ball

Here are some of our favorite exercises you can do with a Medicine Ball. Start slowly, make sure you are under control, and as you get more comfortable and stronger with the movements, increase the weight, duration and/or intensity. These are great core exercises!

Weighted Superman

Lie with your face down on the mat with your arms stretched out in front of you, holding onto a lightweight medicine ball, try starting with 4-6 lbs. Slowly raise your arms and legs up as high as you can possible, engaging your back muscles. Hold this position at the top for a few seconds, all the while pretending you have a cape around your neck. Lower your body back down to the mat and then repeat.

 Lying Chest Toss

Since two balls are better than one, this move utilizes two. You want to lie face up on a stability ball with your head and your shoulder blades resting on the ball’s center, and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. During this, your torso should be parallel to the floor. Keeping the neck in a neutral position, not straining yourself too far forward or hanging back, hold the medicine ball with both of your hands just above your chest, with your elbows bent and pointed out to the sides. Push the ball out, in line with the chest, (like a standard chest pass) and toss it straight up toward the ceiling. Be extra careful not to throw the ball too hard. (Just remember: What goes up must come down.)

 Wall Pass 

Find the nearest medicine ball-safe wall. When in doubt, you should always ask the gym’s staff which areas are fair game. Place yourself about 3 to 4 feet in front of it, holding a lightweight medicine ball with both hands. Get into an athletic type stance, with a slight bend in your knees, and your core engaged. Bring your ball to your chest, and firmly throw it at the wall and catch the ball on its return. You want to try to get that aggression out!

Shoulder Press

This move is one of the easiest for beginners, but can be amped up with a heavier type of ball. Hold the medicine ball at your chest. Try for about an inch away, right in front of the sternum. Extend your arms up to the ceiling, reaching the ball over your head, and slowly lower the ball back to the starting position. Easy, right?

 Figure 8

This is completely like ribbon dancing, just not nearly as graceful. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold onto the medicine ball with both of your hands to one side of your head, with arms fully extended. Slowly move the medicine ball in a fluid and controlled motion, forming the image of figure 8. Repeat reps clockwise, then you can switch directions. This one can be deceivingly tiring, so try it with a lighter ball first.

Ball Fly

This can get a little tough as far as balancing goes, but we promise you will totally look like a champ as soon as you’ve got it down. You want to start by laying face up on a stability ball with the neck and shoulder blades resting on the ball’s center, and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your torso parallel to the floor. Now it’s time to put on a show: With your abs engaged and your hips raised, extend your arms by holding a lightweight medicine ball toward the ceiling. Shift the ball to your left hand, and then slowly lower the ball until the left arm is parallel to the floor and maintain a slight bend in the elbow. Bring the ball back to your center and shift the ball to the right hand. You want to do the same thing on this side as well to complete one rep, and then repeat.

 Triceps Extension

Stand in a comfortable stance, or sit tall in a chair, with your core engaged. Hold the medicine ball in both of your hands with your arms extended over your head, your inner arms grazing your ears. Try to resist the urge to lurch the arms forward and make an elephant noise. Next, bend your elbows, lowering the ball behind your head until your arms form a 45-degree angle or as far as feels comfortable for you. Squeeze your triceps to straighten your arms, bring the ball back to your starting position.

 Biceps Curl

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball in both hands at the chest. Keeping the elbows close to the body, lower the ball toward the ground until the arms are fully extended. Then curl the ball back up to the chest. Lower the arms back to the starting position. Repeat.


How To: Lie flat on your back, legs extended but at least try not to snooze on the mat. Reach your arms over your head. Just like you do first thing in the morning with your stretch but only with a medicine ball in both hands. Engage your core to lift your hands and feet simultaneously, so the body forms a “V” position. At the top of the “V,” pass the ball from the hands to the feet. Squeeze the ball between your sneaks, and slowly lower the arms and legs back down to the floor. Return to the “V,” and pass the ball back to the hands. That’s one rep. Wipe the sweat from your brow. Repeat.

 Overhead Slam

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent. Hold a medicine ball in both hands, and lift it overhead. Then bend at the hips, slightly hinging forward, but be careful not to arch your back, and slam the ball on the ground directly in front. You can ask fellow gym-goers nicely if it’s OK to slam the ball down. But if not don’t slam too hard, control is essential. Retrieve the ball and then repeat.

 Crunch with Medicine Ball Hold

Lie on back with legs in tabletop position, bent 90 degrees. Holding ball overhead, crunch up, and place the ball on ankles, keeping feet and legs steady. We know, just try. Lie back to start position, holding the ball in place. Crunch back up, grab the ball, and return to start position, holding ball overhead. Repeat.

Straight-Leg Sit-Up

Ready to take the standard sit-ups up a notch? Lie flat, back directly on the mat, with a medicine ball in both of your hands. Extend your arms straight so the ball is directly above the hips. While keeping the legs together, raise them directly over the hips to the ceiling (so the body forms a giant “L”). With control, return to the start position and repeat.

 Hay Bailer

Kneel on your right knee, with your left foot back. Keep your toes curled under to form a 90-degree angle. Hold the medicine ball in both of your hands and close to your body while keeping your torso tight, and perpendicular to the floor. Bring the medicine ball toward your right hip, while maintaining the rest of the body forward, then transfer it diagonally up and across the body. Hold this position for at least a few seconds before returning to your start position. Repeat this movement in the opposite direction with your right foot forward. Pro tip: The more your arms are extended, the harder the move is.

12 Must Try Medicine Ball Exercises

Here are 12 Exercises You Should Try if you just purchased or already own a medicine ball.

1. Rock and Roll Up

This one is a tough exercise at first to coordinate but hits all your major muscle groups in one powerful move. Lie down, back to the mat, with knees bent. Hold a medicine ball on the ground with arms fully extended overhead. Pull the knees into the chest, preparing to use the weight of the ball (and the strength of your core!) to help catapult you to a controlled squat position, then standing. Next, slowly lower back into a squat, and ease back to the floor, butt first before lying back down. Repeat

2. Lunge With Overhead Press

Stand with your feet together, holding a lightweight medicine ball in front of the chest in both hands. Lift the right foot off the floor, bending the knee, and hold this position for one count before stepping forward into a lunge. With the body weight shifting to the right leg, reach the medicine ball straight overhead. While still in the lunge, pull the ball back to the chest, and bring the front leg back to the starting position and repeat.

3. Lunge With Twist

Engage your core, standing hip width apart with your shoulders relaxed. Hold the medicine ball a few inches in front of the chest, step forward into a lunge position with the right leg. For safety, keep the knee from sliding forward past the toes. Get deep into that lunge, making sure the front thigh is parallel to the floor, then with extended arms, reach the medicine ball to the right, rotating the torso at the same time. Maintain the lunge and return to center. Come to standing, then lunge with the other leg (and turn to the left this time). Do the twist in place, or moving forward as walking lunges.

4. Squat Press and Throws

Keep your heels grounded, then come to a squat position as if you were sitting in an invisible chair. Drive through your heels to jump up, and throw the medicine ball as straight up and as high as possible. Then get the heck out of the way quickly! Let the ball drop to the ground and then repeat.

5. Reverse Swings

This move could be almost as disastrous as if you threw a bowling ball the wrong way, so read and perform carefully. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a medicine ball directly in front of your chest, with your elbows pointing down towards the floor. Then lower yourself into a squat, by keeping your back flat, and your head facing forward. Reach the medicine ball back between the legs. Ready for the fun part? Explosively swing the ball up overhead to the point that it reaches behind the head and neck. Just don’t throw it backward! Keep those abs contracted as your ankles, your knees, and your hips extend. For some bonus points, throw the ball to the ground. Repeat.

6. Single-Leg Squat

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent. Then lift your right foot off the ground and extend it forward. Hold a medicine ball in front of your belly button. Lower your body into a squat position, while sitting back into an imaginary chair with the knees safely placed over the feet. Return to your start position, and then switch legs. That’s one rep.

7. Reaching Romanian Deadlift

This exercise takes balance, and a little breathing room to fully extend your body. You want to start by standing on your right leg, with the medicine ball in both of your hands. Bend your right knee slightly, and hinge forward at the hips, extending the left leg straight back. And for an extra challenge, you can extend your arms overhead. Your body should now form a straight line that is perpendicular to your standing leg. Return your extended leg back to the floor, and then repeat, then switch legs. Single-Leg Hip Bridge

8. Single-Leg Hip Bridges

Start by laying on your back and place the sole of the right foot on your medicine ball. Thrust your hips up towards the sky. With the left leg straight in the air, with all your weight that is supported by the right foot and the shoulders. Hold this for at least one count, then slowly return yourself to the start position with the butt on the mat, and then repeat.

9. Step Jumps

Keep your medicine ball at your heart, and never let go (just kidding) but while straddling the middle of a low bench or step. Make sure to find one that is sturdy enough! Drop down into a squat until your bottom comes in contact with the bench. Stand about six inches from the low bench or platform, and jump onto it, so that your feet will land in a natural, wide stance. Carefully proceed to jump back down to the start position and repeat.

10. Circle Squats

Start by holding a medicine ball at the right hip in a standing position. Rotate the ball overhead toward the left, while stepping out the left leg to into a squat (just like a sumo wrestler). Turn the ball all the way to the right side of your body, while still standing in the squat position, then step your feet back together, and move the ball back to the right. Repeat this and then switch directions.

11. Rolling Push-Up

Add a medicine ball to your standard push-up and watch it quickly morph the upper body-blaster into an even more challenging type of move. Get into a high-plank with the medicine ball under one of your hands, and lower your chest toward the floor to perform a push-up. Return yourself to a high-plank and then roll the ball to the other side of you. You can modify this by dropping to your knees.

12. Medicine Ball Push-Up

Drop down and get real low. Start yourself in a traditional push-up position, tuck your toes under, place the palms of your hands on the medicine ball, and shift your body weight all the way forward until you’re in a plank position. Keeping your core tight, and your head aligned with your spine, slowly lower your chest toward the ball until it just about touches, keeping your elbows pinned tightly against your sides. Finish this move by pressing upward through your arms until they become fully extended. Again, if you need any adjustments, feel free to pop your knees on the mat.