Medicine balls are functional training tools made of hard rubber, vinyl or leather. They range in weight from 1 pound to 30 pounds and can be used for multiple body exercises. As with any other type of weight training, always use proper form when using the ball. Perform 12 to 15 reps in each of three or four sets of your exercises.
Kneel to Push-Ups
Kneel to push-ups work your upper body and core strength simultaneously. Kneel on the floor in an upright position with the ball held against your chest. Quickly throw the ball to a training partner, fall forward, land with your hands shoulder-width apart, and explosively push yourself back to the starting position. Catch the ball and repeat.
Twisting lunges work your thighs and butt. Hold the ball in front of your waist, and step forward with your right foot. As you place your foot down, twist your body and hold the ball outside of your right hip. After holding for a second, stand up, step forward with your left leg, and repeat the lunge and twist. Continue by alternating with each leg. Keep your back straight, core tight and eyes looking straight ahead.
Seated rotations are performed on a stability ball. Sit on the stability ball with your back straight and the medicine ball held straight in front of your chest at arm’s reach. Rotate your upper body to your right as far as possible. After pausing for a second, reverse the motion and rotate your body to your left. Continue going back and forth in a controlled motion while keeping your eyes in line with the ball.
Slams are explosive exercises that work your upper body. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the ball straight above your head with your arms almost fully extended. After tightening your core, raise yourself on your tiptoes, and swiftly throw the ball straight to the ground in front of your body. Pick it up and repeat.
Medicine ball squats are performed with your legs in a wide stance. Hold the ball at arm’s reach in front of your chest. Slowly lower yourself down by bending your knees. Once your thighs parallel to the floor, stand up and repeat. Keep your arms parallel to the floor, your back straight and your gaze fixed on the ball.
Lateral flexion targets your sides. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the ball above your head with your arms completely extended. Slowly bend laterally to your right side. After holding for a second, return to an upright position and bend down to your left. Continue bending back and forth laterally.
About this Author
Kevin Rail has worked in the fitness industry since 2001 and has been writing since 2004. He has professional experience as a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, motivational engineer and freelance fitness writer. He currently writes a monthly column for Ron Jones High-Performance Health. Rail has a bachelor’s degree in sports management: fitness and wellness from California University of Pennsylvania.