Medicine balls are an incredible piece of home workout equipment, and if you have medicine balls at your local gym or athletic facility, then that’s even better. Medicine balls make it easy to do a number of workouts that actually build muscle and strength, without necessarily having to buy hundreds of dollars worth of heavy and complex equipment.
Medicine balls come in different weights and sizes so that you can easily manipulate the weight and tailor the exercise toward whatever works best and is most comfortable for you. Even if you have limited options available at your disposal, incorporating the medicine ball into your workout is almost always more beneficial than just doing regular body weight exercises. Not only is the medicine ball versatile and affordable, but also it’s ridiculously easy to get in a full body workout in less than 30 minutes.
Medicine ball pushups look very much the same as your traditional pushup, but utilizing the medicine ball requires a little bit more movement and a little bit more action from some of the other muscles throughout the upper body.
Instead of planting your hands firmly on the ground and pushing the weight of your body up and down, you’ll have the medicine ball stabilized under one hand while you do the pushup. After returning to the starting “up” position, you’ll roll the ball over to your other hand and repeat the same motion. This probably seems useless, and that you’re just adding an extra step – and essentially you are. That extra step of rolling the ball from hand to hand is activating additional muscles in the shoulders and chest that otherwise wouldn’t be utilized.
This exercise will do you one better and also train your core muscles. Depending on how long you hold your body in the pushup position and how many reps you do, you’ll surely feel it through your abdominals.
The lunge and twist acts as both an exercise and a stretching motion. Even without the medicine ball included, you’ll end up using near every muscle in your body if you go through the correct motions.
This exercise is exactly what the name tells you. First, your starting position will be standing straight up with the medicine ball in hands, and your feet just a little bit closer than shoulder width apart. Then, you’re going to take a long step out in front of you, just far enough to feel a slight stretch, but not so far as to lose your balance. In the same motion, you’ll want to take the medicine ball – still in both hands – and reach it all the way out in front of you. Once you reach the end of your lunge motion and have the ball all the way outstretched in front of you, you’ll perform a twisting motion as if to turn your upper body 90 degrees. Then, return to the lunge position, and then back to the starting position.
Take turns alternating which foot you lunge with and which side you twist to. This motion in itself will activate your quads, your hamstrings, your core muscles and your shoulders. Not only will this exercise condition every muscle that you use to perform it, but it also acts as a great way to stretch your back and hamstrings.
If you’ve ever practiced regular squats either with a barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells or just using your body weight, this exercise should feel very familiar. The only difference between the medicine ball squat and your traditional squat is the addition of the medicine ball as well as one supplemental motion.
Start in your usual starting position for a regular squatwith the medicine ball in both hands in front of you. Then, go through the squat motion with the medicine ball still held in front of you. Once you reach the top of your squat and are back in the starting position, lift the medicine ball up and over your head before bringing it back down. And that’s all it is! It really is as simple as a traditional squat; you’ll just be adding a shoulder press to the end of the squatting motion.
Of course, you don’t have to include the should press motion, but the additional movement will take your workout just a little bit further and allow you to hit a whole different group of muscles that wouldn’t even be required to work otherwise.
Not much different than your regular plank, the medicine ball plank likes to complicate things an additional piece of equipment. I’m kidding; the medicine ball is a great workout because it incorporates your entire body. Your arms and shoulders down through your core and into the quads and calves will all receive equal treatment on this one.
It’s as simple as grabbing onto the medicine ball with both hands and supporting the weight of your body for an extended amount of time. Picture the starting position of a pushup with both hands firmly planted onto a single medicine ball. It doesn’t seem like it would be difficult, but a few sets of 30 seconds will definitely have you sweating.
This exercise is as easy as they come. It requires no movement and only sheer resistance, but your entire body will feel it. The medicine ball wall sit is nothing more than sitting against the wall with the medicine ball being held out in front of you. And no, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Picture yourself sitting in an invisible chair with nothing but your back against the wall. This position alone will activate all of your legs and your core muscles. Incorporating the medicine ball in there allows you to workout your shoulders and arms, and further incorporates that core and leg strength.