Medicine ball workout
Why work out with a medicine ball?
Medicine balls are great for strengthening your arms, shoulders, core muscles and more. Available in a range of sizes and weights, they’re suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Working out with a medicine ball can help to improve your range of motion, flexibility and coordination, too, so there’s every reason to give this workout a try!
What you need
Medicine balls are sold at sporting outlets and online, and range in price from $20 to $70 depending on the weight you choose and the brand, too.
Warm up before you begin, and use a weight you can lift without compromising form or technique. Bend your knees when lifting the ball, and keep your core engaged during the workout to protect your lower back. Do one set of 12-15 reps of each exercise. As you gain confidence with the equipment and your strength improves, use a heavier medicine ball so your muscles are constantly challenged by the workout.
1. Lunge and lift
Focus area: Legs and arms
How-to: Stand with your feet together, holding the ball in front of your chest with both hands. Keep your core engaged and take a big step forward with your left foot, lowering your hips so your torso is perpendicular to the floor and your weight is on the left foot. At the same time, raise your arms so the ball is over your head. Lower the ball back to your chest as you bring your right foot next to the left foot. Repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.
2. Squat and swing
Focus area: Arms and thighs
How-to: Stand with your feet together and hold the ball in both hands. Step your right foot out to the side, sit into a squat position, and hold the ball between your knees. In this position, keep your hips back, knees behind your toes and core engaged. Step your right foot in again as you raise the ball overhead in a swinging motion. Step your left foot out and lower the ball back to between your knees to complete one rep.
Focus area: Core and arms
How-to: Lie face down on the mat with your feet hip-width apart. Get into a plank position with the medicine ball under your shoulders and place your hands across the top of the ball to help maintain balance. Engage your core and keep your back in a neutral position and your legs straight. Keep your breathing steady as you hold the position for 15-60 seconds, increasing the amount of time you maintain the plank as your core strengthens.
4. Trunk rotations
Focus area: Core, arms and shoulders
How-to: Sit on an exercise mat or towel with your feet together, knees slightly bent and heels on the mat. Hold the ball in front of your chest with both hands. Keep your back straight and core engaged and rotate your torso to the left, keeping the ball close to you. Hold this position for a moment, then slowly turn your torso to the right and repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep.
5. Tricep extensions
Focus area: Back of arms and upper back
How-to: Sit on an exercise ball with your feet hip-width apart to help maintain balance. Hold the medicine ball above your head with both hands. Keep your core engaged, back straight and shoulders down as you bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and lower the ball behind your head. Squeeze your triceps as you bring the ball back over your head to start position, completing one rep.