In need of a fresh twist on your fitness routine? Dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells are all functional tools that offer a large range of exercise options, but a medicine ball workout can give your routine a whole different range of opportunities.
You see, a medicine ball can be tossed, rolled, and even slammed into the ground—something its fitness cousins do not offer. This allows for a different range of motion, allowing you to work for different muscle groups more effectively.
This medicine ball workout is a combination of strength and cardio that will get your heart rate up, strengthen your muscles, and, best of all, increase your whole body’s stability and core strength!
What Is A Medicine Ball
Medicine balls have been around for almost 3,000 years when Persian wrestlers trained with bladders that were filled with sand. In ancient Greece, the famous physician Hippocrates filled stuffed animal skins with sand to create medicine balls. His patients would throw the balls back and forth as part of their injury rehabilitation.
Fortunately, we’ve moved beyond animal skin to a nice gentle leather-bound weighted ball coming in all ranges of sizes from 2 to 25 pounds! Plus, they’re easy to find.
If you are new to using a medicine ball, go for something moderate: 6, 8, or 10-pound balls are a great place to start for this routine.
Total-Body Medicine Ball Workout
20-minute medicine ball workout
Start with a 1-minute warm-up.
You will perform each exercise below for 1 minute, with a 10-second rest in between.
After you complete all eight moves, this will be an entire cycle of the workout. Take a moment to get water then, go back and start the workout for a second time through (skipping the warm-up) for a complete 20-minute workout!
1. Medicine Ball Squat Toss
How to do a medicine ball squat toss:
1) Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold the medicine ball with two hands in front of your chest.
2) Sit back in a squat position, keeping the chest lifted, and lower the ball to the floor.
3) Stand up with an explosive movement while tossing the ball up overhead.
4) Catch the ball at chest level and sit back to a squat position. Repeat.
Continue to squat and toss for 1 minute, then rest for 10 seconds and move to the next exercise.
2. Medicine Ball Cross Behind Front Raise
How to do a medicine ball cross behind front raise:
1) Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball in your hands with arms straight down in front of your body.
2) Cross your right foot behind your left leg and bend your knees while raising your arms/ball up to shoulder level. Keep hips facing the front.
3) Return to the start position and switch sides. That is one repetition.
Continue for 1 minute, then rest for 10 seconds and move directly to the next exercise.
3. Medicine Ball Rolling Push-Ups
How to do a medicine ball rolling push-up:
1) Begin in a plank position with the right hand on top of the medicine ball and the left hand on the floor. Hands are directly below shoulders with arms long.
2) Begin to lower your chest toward the floor, bending your elbows and keeping your body straight. [If this is too difficult, bend your knees and place them on the ground.]
3) Press up to start position then roll the ball over to the left hand. Repeat the push-up with the ball under the left hand. This is one repetition.
Continue rolling push-ups for 1 minute then rest for 10 seconds and move directly to the next exercise.
4. Medicine Ball Plank Jacks
How to do a medicine ball plank jack:
1) Begin kneeling on the floor with hands cupped around the medicine ball.
2) Tighten your abdominals and glutes and stretch your legs behind you to a straight line. Straighten arms but keep shoulders down away from ears.
3) Jump your feet out to shoulder-width apart, then jump them back in together.
Continue jumping legs out and in (without letting the body bounce up and down) for 1 minute. Then rest for 10 seconds and move to the next exercise.
5. Medicine Ball Lunge with Rotation
How to do a medicine ball lunge with rotation:
1) Stand with feet hip-width apart holding the ball directly in front of your chest.
2) Step right foot behind you, bending both knees into a lunge, while twisting the ball to your left side. Keep both hands on the ball and arms long.
3) Step back to center drawing the ball back to the center.
4) Step left foot behind you, bending both knees into a lunge, while twisting the ball to your right side. Keep both hands on the ball and arms long.
5) Return to start. That is one repetition
Continue reverse lunges with a rotation, moving slowly and controlled, for 1 minute, then rest for 10 seconds and move directly to the next exercise.
6. Medicine Ball Slam
How to do a medicine ball slam:
1) Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold the medicine ball with two hands directly overhead.
2) Slam the ball to the ground in front of you as hard as you can, engaging your abs, glutes, and upper back.
3) Catch the ball after one bounce and raise it back overhead. Repeat.
Continue to slam the ball for 1 minute, then rest for 10 seconds and move to the next exercise.
7. Medicine Ball High-To-Low
How to do a medicine ball high-to-low:
1) Stand with feet hip-width apart holding the ball in two hands up over the right shoulder.
2) Bend knees and lower body into a squat position as you pull the ball down toward the left ankle.
3) As you stand back up, reach the ball back up over your right shoulder. Repeat.
Continue rotation for 30 seconds from the right shoulder, then switch to 30 seconds starting at the left shoulder. Rest for 10 seconds and move directly to the next exercise.
8. Medicine Ball Russian Twist
How to do a medicine ball Russian twist:
1) Begin in a seated position with knees bent, feet off the floor, and holding the medicine ball in front of the chest a few inches.
2) Twist the ball to your left hip bone, keeping body-centered.
3) Twist the ball to your right hip bone, keeping body-centered.
4) This is one repetition.
Continue to twist back and forth for 1 minute then rest.