Besides all the equipment regards to exercises, there is another piece of equipment which has tons of benefits to keep you fit. This is none other than a medicine ball, which has the capability to develop explosive power, increase your body strength, increase your speed and thus provide more versatile movement in different planes. That’s why many athletes especially baseball, softball, football, and tennis players train with a medicine ball. The versatility of the ball helps them nail down the mechanics and play better. With the help of this article, we will try to figure out some of the medicine ball workouts that you should incorporate into your daily workout regime.

What is a Medicine Ball

A medicine ball is a weighted exercise ball used for full-body strength and endurance training among athletes. It is also a common tool used in physical therapy settings to promote stability and aid in recovery. As a popular piece of fitness equipment that sculpts and tones the arms, shoulders, back, core, and more; a medicine ball can also be easily used at home to enhance your workout.

If we go far back in history, it has been found that ancient Greeks used medicine balls from as far back as 3000 years ago to help patients going through post-injury stages of recovery. Nowadays, medicine balls or weighted balls have become popular in daily training with their ability to tone up bodies, build core strength, and improve balance. Being available in a wide range of weights ranging from 1kg to 10kg and shapes consisting of straps, handles, inflatable, etc., medicine balls provide users with a versatile and portable tool to carve their shapes and reduce body fat.

Benefits of Medicine Ball

  • Builds Strength – One of the greatest advantages of medicine ball training is that these exercises utilise a huge range of movement, which is effective for strengthening the hamstrings, glutes, and abdominals in total body strength training. Through short, high-impact, high-intensity movements, medicine ball training offers the ability to generate higher levels of explosive strength, which is essential for most competitive sports especially rotational sports such as baseball, tennis, and golf.
  • Offers Full Body Workouts – Medicine ball forces your core muscles to engage more, regardless of the primary muscle group being targeted. This way you can get more of a full body workout, which means burning more calories and improving overall fitness. So, mixing up and varying training forms will help you unlock your overall body capability.
  • Great for Rehabilitation after Injury – Helping patients to recover from injuries or surgeries, the medicine balls are really useful in regenerating the body’s endurance and response post-surgery. The particular parts that they help the most are spinal, shoulder, and knee injuries. Patients are usually instructed to use the lightweight ball at first, then gradually increase the ball’s weight as the recovery process progresses. Furthermore, some exercises can be designed to help to build fluidity and strength of the thigh or calf muscles specifically.
  • Allows Cardiovascular Fitness – Having good cardiovascular health is a common goal when starting training programmes, and increased cardiovascular fitness is another one of the benefits of medicine ball workouts. Medicine ball exercises are generally full-body movements that combine cardiovascular and strength training at the same time. The muscles worked in this exercise include the shoulders, triceps, glutes, back, and hamstrings, while the core redirects energy into the movement. Ultimately, this builds overall power and strength, but also spikes the heart rate, boosting cardiovascular health.

Top 10 Medicine Ball Exercises

1.) Medicine Ball Exchange

Medicine Ball Exchange is one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball exchange is a great warmup exercise for your arms and shoulders. You will also feel the burn in your abs as you work to maintain good posture throughout this strengthening move.

Steps To Perform
  • From standing or seated, hold your spine upright and engage your core.
  • Bring the medicine ball to your right hand with your arm down at your side.
  • Draw the right arm overhead and take the ball with the other hand.
  • Circle the left hand down to your side with the ball.
  • Continue circling the ball overhead, alternating the arms, and maintaining a steady pace as you go, relying on strength versus momentum.
  • Optional: Add a toss at the top of the movement for more intensity.
  • Repeat for 1–3 sets of 15–20 reps.
2.) Curl and Press

Curl and press are one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball curl and press target the biceps, shoulders, and lats. The exercise will also work your abs as you maintain stability with an upright spine. You can do this from a seated position, or from a standing position.

Steps To Perform
  • From standing or seated, engage the abdominal wall and hold your spine in an upright and neutral position.
  • Place the medicine ball in the right hand down by your side.
  • Balance the ball in your hand as you curl the arm up into a biceps curl.
  • At the top of the movement, push the arm out and up, engaging the shoulder girdle.
  • Bring the ball back down and then lower the arm to its starting position.
  • Repeat for 1–3 sets of 10–12 reps, switching sides for each set.
3.) Knee Lifts

Knee Lifts are one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball can be used as a tool to increase the heart rate with minimal impact. Knee lifts with a medicine ball incorporate both upper and lower-body strength and stability. As you build endurance and get your heart pumping, you will no doubt break a sweat with this exercise.

Steps To Perform
  • Depending on your strength and level of fitness, hold a weighted ball (2–8 pounds) overhead with both hands.
  • Lift the right knee up to waist level while bringing the arms down, touching the weight to the knee.
  • Take the weight back up and switch sides, lifting the left knee up while touching the medicine ball back to the knee.
  • Keep the torso upright throughout the exercise and avoid rounding or arching your spine.
  • The quicker you go, the more intense this movement will be. But faster is not necessarily better—be sure to move at a pace that allows you to maintain control of the weighted ball as well as good form.
  • Repeat for 30–60 seconds.
4.) Triceps Extension

Triceps Extension is one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball triceps extension is a weighted ball exercise similar to traditional arm extensions with dumbbells. You can increase the intensity by tossing the ball over to your workout partner after extending your arms. This explosive movement builds arm and shoulder strength while focusing on hand-eye coordination.

Steps To Perform
  • From standing or seated, engage your abs and hold your spine upright.
  • With a medicine ball in both hands, extend your arms overhead so they frame your ears.
  • Allow your shoulders to naturally lift to follow the extension of your arms, neither shrugging them up by your ears nor jamming them down your back.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering the ball behind your head until your elbows form 90-degree angles.
  • Squeeze the triceps to straighten your arms, taking the ball back up again.
  • Repeat for 1–3 sets of 10–16 reps.
5.) Squat and Sweep

Squat and Sweep are one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball squat and sweep is a great full-body exercise that strengthens both the upper and lower body in one dynamic move. Use this as part of your warmup for other lower body exercises or to get your heart rate up during your cardio workouts.

Steps To Perform
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a heavier weighted ball (8 pounds or more).
  • Squat as low as you can, sending the hips back and keeping the back neutral, and touch the ball to the floor if you can.
  • Press through the heels and continue to keep the spine neutral as you stand back up, sweeping the weight up and overhead.
  • Lower and repeat, moving quickly, but still maintaining control of the weight. Add a toss at the end for more intensity.
  • Repeat for 30–60 seconds.
6.) Squat and Swing

Squat and Swing are one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball squat and swing are similar to the squat and sweep, except that you take a big step out to the side. It’s also a great move that sculpts the entire body, engaging the glutes, hips, thighs, arms, and core as you move from side to side.

Steps To Perform
  • Hold a medicine ball (4–10 pounds) in both hands with your feet together.
  • Step out to the side into a squat, swinging the medicine ball between the knees.
  • Sit the hips back with the knees behind the toes and abs engaged.
  • Step the foot back in as you swing the medicine ball overhead.
  • Step out to the other side and swing the medicine ball down between your knees.
  • Step back together, swing the weighted ball back up, and repeat for 1–3 sets of 8–16 reps.
7.) Squat, Dribble and Toss

Squat, Dribble and Toss are one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. This exercise is another full-body workout that can accompany your cardio since the dynamic movements will get your blood pumping and increase your heart rate. The squat offers a lower-body and core workout, while the weighted medicine ball strengthens the arms, shoulders, and back.

Steps To Perform
  • Stand and hold a medicine ball in front of you.
  • Toss the ball up in the air, just above your head.
  • As you catch it, squat down as low as you can while maintaining good form, sitting the hips back and keeping the knees behind the toes.
  • While squatting, throw the ball to the floor and let it bounce back up into your hands.
  • Stand back up while tossing the ball in the air, and repeat for 1-3 sets of 10–16 reps.
8.) Circle Squat

Circle Squat is one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball circle squat strengthens the arms and shoulders while working the lower body and core. You will also get your heart rate going, making this move a great addition to any cardio or strength-training routine.

Steps To Perform
  • Stand tall with your feet hips-width distance apart and hold a weighted ball in both hands on the right side, next to your hip.
  • Circle the medicine ball overhead and slightly in front of you as you step sideways with your left foot.
  • Continue to circle the ball around to the left and down, and lower yourself into a squat. The ball should be at the bottom of the circle, between your legs, and at the bottom of the squat.
  • Circle the ball back to the right as you return to standing and step the left foot back in.
  • Repeat for 10–16 reps. Switch sides, and do the same motion in reverse for 10—16 reps.
  • Repeat for 1–3 sets.
 9.) Diagonal Woodchop

Diagonal Woodchop is one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. The medicine ball diagonal woodchop is a dynamic exercise that strengthens the upper and lower body while targeting the abs and obliques. The diagonal move is a functional movement pattern, as the arms reach to naturally rotate the torso much as they would in real life when picking something up off the floor.

Steps To Perform
  • Begin with the feet together and hold a medicine ball overhead at a diagonal toward the right side.
  • Step out to the left onto a lunge, swinging the ball across the body toward the left side.
  • Make sure the knee is behind the toe and rotate through the torso, taking the ball toward the back of the room as far as you can.
  • Step the left foot back to start while swinging the ball up and at a diagonal.
  • Repeat for 10–16 reps before switching sides, completing 1–3 sets.
10.) Woodchop Exercise

Woodchop exercise is one of the medicine ball workouts that you should perform. Performing this exercise regularly are great for working the abs and obliques, but this modified version, which maintains lower body stability, actually targets the core with slightly more intensity. With this move, you want to keep the hips and knees parallel throughout the exercise since there is less rotation in the torso. Your arms will still get a workout as you reach the weighted ball overhead.

Steps To Perform
  • Take a wider stance with the feet, and hold a medicine ball in both hands.
  • Squat, sending the hips behind you as you maintain a neutral spine, and take the ball to the outside of the left hip.
  • Keep the hips and knees facing the front of the room.
  • Push into the heels to stand up and swing the ball up and overhead at a diagonal, so the ball is over the right shoulder.
  • Repeat for 10–16 reps before switching sides, completing 1–3 sets.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.

Author

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