You’ve probably seen them sat on a stand in the gym, or maybe rolled into a corner, and you’ve never really known what you should be doing with them. Well we want to share with you the secrets of the Medicine Ball.
It might look small and underrated, but it’s one of the most effective pieces of functional equipment, and it can do wonders for your entire body. Use it right, and you’ll increase your flexibility, boost your range of motion, tone muscles all over your body, and most importantly, burn fat!
Medicine balls come in different sizes and weights too, so you can always challenge your body and push your current abilities. It’s ideal for working out any pent up stress, and is the perfect piece of equipment if you’re training with a partner!
Take a look, and see what a short, 20 minute workout can do for you:
You’ll complete just 6 different exercises for this workout. You’ll need a medicine ball, of course, and could use some other equipment in the gym, such as a box or step – though exercises can be modified if you don’t have these.
Throughout this medicine ball workout, you’ll hit every part of your body in a HIIT style workout. You’ll need to push hard to complete every rep, with exercises alternating between lower and upper body, using the benefits of peripheral heart action training (PHAT) to use maximum energy as you push blood around your body.
Warm up first, and then you’ll complete 10 reps of each exercise. Take a short rest in between each exercise, a maximum of 30 seconds. When you’ve completed all 6 exercises, that’s circuit one complete. Rest for a minute, and then repeat for circuit 2 and 3.
Be sure to cool down once you have finished the workout.
6 Exercises With The Medicine Ball
Begin with the medicine ball held between your hands, just in front of your chest. Keep your back straight, and step up onto a box or bench in front of you (just step forward if you don’t have these). Ideally the box should be at a comfortable height, but still slightly challenging. Step back down to complete one single rep, and then repeat. (Add a box jump in if you’d like to increase the intensity)
With the ball still held tight in front of your chest, target your upper body by pushing your arms straight out at a 90 degree angle in an explosive movement, throwing the ball in front of you at either a wall or your partner’s arms. Angle the throw upwards by 45 degrees to target your shoulders and deltoids too.
Overhead Reverse Lunge
Raise the medicine ball above your head, and keep your whole body straight. Step backwards into the reverse lunge position with one foot, and lower that knee towards the ground. Engage your glutes and keep the ball straight in your arms above your head, feeling the pull of your abs. Return to standing, and repeat with the opposite leg to complete one repetition. (Alternate legs with a jumping switch lunge if you’d like to add more difficulty)
Overhead Ab Toss
Get down onto the floor and lie back, raising your legs into the sit up position. Stretch your arms out flat along the ground behind you, with the medicine ball in your hands. Sit up by activating your abs and pulling your arms up over your head, before throwing the ball against a wall or partner in front of you. Keep your abs engaged as you catch the ball, and then lower to the floor in a slow and controlled motion. Repeat 9 more times.
Squat Overhead Toss
Return to standing, with the medicine ball at chest height, hands slightly underneath it. Squat down with good form, and then spring up into a jump out of the squat. As you lift your feet off the floor, engage your core and glutes and push your arms forward and up, to toss the ball as high as possible against the wall in front of you. Catch the ball at the peak of your jump and drop back down into the squat position in a single, fluid motion.
The final exercise is ideal to really get all your stress out and push to your limit to complete the circuit. Keep your body tall and straight, with the medicine ball held behind your head, in between your hands. Hinge your hips back, bend forward slightly, and bring the ball over your head and slam it into the ground – all in a single smooth movement. Squat down carefully, pick up the ball, and repeat 9 more times.
That’s it. 6 exercises with the medicine ball, 3 circuits, 1 intense 20-minute workout that will target your entire body, get your heart pumping and burn some serious fat!