The medicine/exercise ball is used for strength, endurance training, and conditioning. It is widely used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to promote strength, coordination, power, stamina, and endurance. It also aids in recovery, stability, and overall conditioning.
It is one of the most popular piece of equipment that we see in commercial gyms and home workout settings. It's a simple tool that is easy to use, yet it tones and strengthens different muscle groups. It can also be used in circuit training as one of the routines that will enhance your stamina and muscle endurance.
Most athletes utilize medicine balls as part of their warm-up or their full-body workout. You can also enhance your workout by doing these 5 basic medicine ball routines that will surefire hit all your major muscle groups!
1.Medicine ball (overhead) exchange
This exercise will raise your heart rate as this is the perfect warm-up before doing the rest of the exercises. Make sure to maintain a good posture throughout the movement to ensure that you hit target areas such as your arms, abs, shoulder, and abs.
1. Engage your core by doing it in a standing position. You can also do it seated to isolate your shoulder and arms.
2. First, hold the ball with your right hand with your elbows sticking down.
3. Raise your right arm overhead in a circular motion, and pass it to your left hand.
4. As you lower it down, circle the medicine ball with your left arm towards tor right arm.
5. Alternate the ball rotation while controlling each movement steadily.
6.Concentrate on applying your strength when you move the ball and avoid relying on momentum.
7. To add more difficulty, you can toss the ball when it reaches overhead.
8. Do 16 to 20 repetitions and 3-4 sets
2. Medicine Ball Biceps Curl with Shoulder Press
Medicine ball biceps curl with shoulder press works your biceps and lats from its pulling movement and shoulders from its overhead pressing/pushing movement. Maintain stability by engaging your core and keeping an upright spine. It can also be done while seated if you want to isolate your arms more.
Stabilize the movement by engaging your core rather than using momentum by swinging your arms into the movement. Remember to distribute and plant your weight on both feet to keep your balance.
1. Engage your core from a standing or seated position while your back is in a neutral position.
2. Hold the medicine ball with your hands to the side.
3. Perform a biceps curl with the medicine ball while controlling its movement.
4.After the curl, press the ball up as you engage your shoulder.
5. Slowly bring the ball down concentrating on the eccentric movement, this also engages your abs.
6. Do 10 to 12 repetitions on each arm and switch sides in each set. Do a total of 3-4 sets
3.Medicine Ball High Knees
Build endurance with this move as this increases your heart rate with minimal impact. This can progress to a high-impact movement by including jumps and a toss.
1. Hold the medicine ball overhead with both arms
2. Lift your right knee to your waist level and bring the ball down and let it touch your right knee.
3. Lift the ball overhead and switch sides by lifting your left knee and letting the ball touch your left knee.
4. Keep your body upright throughout the movement and avoid slouching or curving your back
5. Intensify the movement by making it quick but controlled. Always maintain a strict form to engage all the necessary muscles.
6. Do this for 30-60 seconds x 3-4 sets. Rest 50 seconds in between each set.
4. Triceps extension using a medicine ball
This exercise mimics the dumbbell triceps extension as an alternative exercise. You can make this exercise explosive by passing/throwing it to your partner as you extend your arms. Your partner will do the same by catching the ball and will be passed over to you. This will build your arm and shoulders while focusing on hand-eye coordination.
1. Keep your body in an upright position (you can also do it seated or standing).
2. Raise the ball overhead while keeping both arms closer to your ears.
3. Slowly bend your elbows while lowering the weight behind your nape as your elbows form a 90-degree angle.
4. Engage your triceps as you straighten your arms overhead
5.You can also do this lying down and perform a triceps skull-crusher.
6.Do this for 10 to 15 reps x 4 sets and rest 30 seconds each set.
5. Squat and raise up (sweep)
Squat and raise up (sweep) is a full-body workout that is a great warm-up if you want to perform your lower body workout such as squats and deadlifts. It involves larger muscle groups and is also a compound movement that challenges both your muscular strength and endurance.
1. Stand naturally with feet hip-width apart.
2. Use ATG squats (ass-to-grass) with your hips back while keeping a neutral spine.
3. From the floor, hold the ball with both hands.
4. Quickly stand up while sweeping the ball up overhead.
5. Lower the ball and repeat the movement as quickly in a strict form by not arching your back too much
6.Throw the ball up at the end of the movement to add more intensity.
7.Do this for 40 to 60 seconds each set. Do 3 to 4 sets and rest one minute each set.
6. Medicine Ball Squat and Swing
The Medicine Ball Squat and Swing is a very interesting exercise since it involves various muscle groups as throughout the body such as buttocks, hips, thighs, arms and core. This all happens since unlike the squat in this exercise a large side step is incorporated.
If you are a beginner it is advisable to use a lighter medicine ball and gradually with practice you will be able to increase the weight progressively.
Let us now see together all the steps to perform the exercise correctly:
- With your feet together, grasp a medicine ball weighing between 4 and 10 pounds in both hands.
- Take a step to the side and kneel down while swinging the medicine ball back and forth between your legs.
- Bring the hips back, placing the knees under the toes and contracting the abdominal muscles.
- Bring your rear foot inside as you bring the medicine ball above and swing it.
- Take a step to the opposite side and bring the medicine ball down to your shins in a swinging motion.
- Step back together while simultaneously swinging the weighted ball back up, and continue this motion for anywhere from one to three sets of eight to sixteen repetitions.
7. Medicine Ball Squat, Dribble, and Toss
Another very fun cardio exercise that affects every muscle in the body is the Medicine Ball Squat, Dribble, and Toss. The dynamic movements of this exercise cause blood pressure to rise.
On the one hand the squat stimulates the lower body and core the medicine ball, on the other hand, weighted strengthens the arms, shoulders, and back.
The moment to pay most attention to while performing this exercise is the final part: the throw. Good coordination is necessary in order to avoid injuries and injuries. Try to keep the spine high and neutral and the feet spread apart at hip height.
Let's see in detail the steps of this exercise:
- While standing, bring a medicine ball in front of you and keep it there.
- Hurl the ball into the air such that it is directly above your head.
- As soon as you get it in your hands, squat down as far as you can while still keeping your form correct. Sit your hips back, and make sure your knees stay behind your toes.
- While in a squat position, toss the ball to the ground and wait for it to come back up into your hands.
- Return to a standing position while simultaneously tossing the ball into the air, and continue for one to three sets of ten to sixteen repetitions each.
8. Medicine Ball Circle Squat
If you are looking for an exercise that will protect your joints but at the same time improve your fitness the Medicine Ball Circle Squat is perfect for you. Your joints will not be subjected to any kind of undue stress since this exercise is low impact.
The Medicine Ball Circle Squat is perfect to incorporate within any cardio or strength training routine. The whole body is also stimulated in this exercise: it strengthens the arms and shoulders and works the lower body and core.
- Ensure that your feet are hip-width apart and that you are standing tall. Place a weighted ball on your right side near to your hip and grip it with both hands.
- While stepping laterally with your left foot, make a circle with the medicine ball in the air above you and slightly in front of you.
- Maintain your momentum by circling the ball to the left and lowering yourself into a squat position while doing so. The ball must to be positioned at the base of the circle, in the middle of your thighs, at the bottom of the squat.
- As you return to standing position, circle the ball back to the right, and then put your left foot back into the stance.
- Execute 10-16 repetitions of this motion. Alternate sides and do the same action in the other direction for 10-16 repetitions.
9. Medicine Ball Diagonal Woodchop
The Medicine Ball Diagonal Woodchop also involves the whole body although it should be noted that it specifically targets the strengthening of the abdominal and oblique muscles.
The diagonal motion is an useful movement pattern because the arms extend to organically twist the torso, quite similar to what would happen in real life while picking something up off the floor. During this movement The triceps, lats and shoulders get stronger.
Let's see step-by-step how the Medicine Ball Diagonal Woodchop is performed:
- Start with your feet together and a medicine ball held overhead at a diagonal toward the right side of your body.
- Make a lunge to the left, stepping out to the left, and swing the ball across the body to the left side of the body.
- Ensure that the knee is behind the toe and spin through the torso while taking the ball as far as you can toward the rear of the room.
- To begin, take a step with your left foot backward while you swing the ball in an upward and diagonal direction.
- Do 10-16 repetitions on one side before switching to the other and completing 1-3 sets.
10. Modified Medicine Ball Woodchop
If you have yet performed Woodchops you know perfectly well that they are for going to work the abdominal and oblique muscles, however the Modified Medicine Ball Woodchop is a modified version that targets the core area more and has a slightly higher intensity.
It is good to emphasize that while performing this exercise you need to keep your hips and knees parallel.
- Expand your stance by moving your feet further apart and grab a medicine ball with both hands.
- Get into a squat position, sending your hips back behind you while keeping your spine in a neutral position, and bring the ball to the outside of your left hip.
- Maintain a position in which the knees and hips are facing the front of the room.
- Apply pressure to the balls of your feet to step up, and then swing the ball in a diagonal motion up and overhead, bringing it to rest over your right shoulder.
- Do 10-16 repetitions on one side before switching to the other and completing 1-3 sets.
11. Lunges and Toe Touches With Medicine Ball
If you are looking for an effective full-body workout, then this is a great option to consider. Lunges using medicine ball while touching the toes can make your glutes and lower legs stronger. Also, it can help in toning and shaping up your arms. Moreover, this exercise can help you in increasing the heart rate and pumping up your blood.
This exercise can help you in strengthening the hamstring and making it more flexible in nature. Thus, it can help you in preventing any injuries. The workout can even help in testing your body balance which is quite effective in reducing the risk of falling down (quite common among the older adults).
How to do the exercise?
- First, you have to stand straight while holding the medicine ball over your head. Push your right leg back forming a straight leg lunge
- Now, you have to step back with your right leg far enough to ensure that the knee in the front is at least behind your toe
- Keeping the medicine ball over your head, step forward with the right leg and then swing that leg up while bringing down the medicine ball to your toe
- Depending on the flexibility, try to touch your toe if you can and then take that right leg back again into the lunging position
- Repeat the lunges along with the toe touch on the left leg
- You have to keep doing it for about 10 to 15 reps for each leg in 1 to 3 sets
12. Knee Pulls With Medicine Ball
This is another total-body workout where you have to use a tool named sliding disc. In this exercise, as you slide one leg in and out, the leg that is in the standing position get most of the workout done. You can feel the effort on your thigh muscles as well as on your glute muscles when you keep the standing leg in the squat position while performing the set.
You can tone your arms and shape it up well when you are lifting and lowering the medicine ball. If you add a weighted medicine ball, it can help in making your upper body stronger. It can also increase your heart rate. Using the sliding disc, you can simply slide your foot in and out according to the needs.
How to do the exercise?
- Hold the ball with two hands and place the sliding disc under the right foot.
- Now you have to bend the left knee bringing yourself in the squat position. Slowly slide your right foot back
- Keep your weight on the heels of your left leg while pushing the ball out in the front
- Now bring the ball in while sliding the right foot back to the original position
- Keep your left knee in the bending position while you do this
- Repeat this for about 10 to 16 times before you change the feet position
13. Pullover With Medicine Ball
This exercise is quite similar to that of the popular dumbbell pullover. This exercise mainly targets your lats, shoulders and arms. Along with that, you will also find your core working in order to maintain the stability that you need. You have to have a firmer and stronger grip on the medicine ball while performing this exercise. But you will have to rotate your hand and it can put a lot of stress on the bottom of your arms.
This exercise can be a bit challenging for your shoulder, especially if you have any tightness and lack of flexibility in that region. In order to avoid any injuries, you must start this exercise by using a lighter medicine ball.
How to do the exercise?
- First, you will need a bench or a step to lie down. Now, you need to hold the medicine ball between your hands right above the shoulders
- Slowly rotate the ball unless one of your hands come in the top and the other one has to come in the bottom
- Now, you have to lower the medicine ball gently behind the hand while extending your arms and engaging your core
- Here, you must avoid arching the lower back region too much
- Now, lift that ball again and then rotate it again to bring the other hand to the top
- Lower the medicine ball again like you did and repeat this for about 8 to 15 reps
14. Knee Roll With Medicine Ball
This exercise is a great one for conditioning your lower body while giving rest to your arms. It can stabilize and strengthen your abdominal wall. You can perform this exercise with the exercise ball which can offer you with an additional support. This will help you in rocking from one side to another side much more easily. Thus, you can control the movement.
How to do the exercise?
First of all, you have to lie down on the floor keeping the back of your calves properly rested on the exercise ball
- Keep your knees bent and squeeze the medicine ball between them
- Keep your arms rests on your sides for getting better support and stability
- Maintain the neutral spine and then slowly roll your ball once to right as much as you can
- Feel the tension on your core as this exercise tends to engage the abs
- Now, you have to roll your legs back again to the starting position from where you have to repeat the same by rolling to the left side
- Repeat the rolling of center to right and then again center to left for about 8 to 15 reps
Here in this exercise, 1 rep is considered when you roll from center to the right and then from center to the left again. In each rep, you have to roll to the right as well as to the left. You must do this in 3 sets.