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!
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.)
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!
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-peasy, right?
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.
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.
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.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the med 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.
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.
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.
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.