We play with balls on the playground. We toss them over the volleyball net and shoot them through hoops. We kick them and run the bases and throw them around at the beach. Balls are fun. So why not use them to put the fun back in fitness. Medicine balls are a fantastic workout tool! Perhaps their greatest asset is that they are versatile. These babies can be tossed, slammed, lifted, twisted, passed and rolled. There is almost no end to the variety of moves you can accomplish with the ball. They can by used for lower body, upper body and of course total body workouts. In this workout we are going to use a medicine ball to sculpt your core.
Because of the versatility of moves, the medicine ball takes your body through very functional activities—things you do in every day life like lifting, tossing, twisting and rotating. Think of all the things your core does in a day. If you strengthen the core muscles that move you through those activities, not only do you sculpt out that awesome core of yours but you are less likely to injure your back.
Related: Medicine Ball Core Workout
Get ready to slam, twist, plank, toss and rotate all to help strengthen and define that beautiful six-pack! This workout is great on its own or tagged on to another cardio routine. You will need a medicine ball that is anywhere between 8-15 pounds for this workout. As always, modify as needed and when in doubt, go lighter and build your way up to a heavier ball. For each move below perform between 8-12 repetitions unless otherwise noted (as in plank holds). Always move with slow, controlled motions, keeping the ball close to your center of gravity at first, especially during a twist.
Medicine Ball Slams
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 for 8-15 repetitions.
High To Low Rotation
1) Stand with feet hip width apart, holding ball in two hands up over right shoulder.
2) Bend knees and lower body into squat position as you pull the ball down toward left ankle.
3) As you stand back up, reach the ball back up over right shoulder. Repeat 8-15 repetitions and switch sides.
Medicine Ball Plank
1) Begin kneeling on the floor with hands cupped around medicine ball.
2) Tighten abdominals and glutes and stretch your legs behind you to a straight line. Straighten arms but keep shoulders down away from ears.
3) Breathe and hold your body in a straight line. Avoid sagging through the low back. Hold for 30 seconds.
1) Begin in plank position with both hands cupping medicine ball, arms straight and legs long behind you.
2) Hold body long and tighten abs while pulling right knee to chest.
3) Return right leg to straight while pulling left knee to chest.
4) That is one repetition. Continue for 8-15 repetitions per one or skip the counting and go for 30 seconds.
1) Begin in a seated position with knees bent, feet off the floor, and holding medicine ball in front of 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 8-15 reps per side or 30 seconds.
1) Hold the medicine ball in your hands and lay on your back with arms straight behind head and legs long.
2) Tighten abdominals and gently press low back into the mat.
3) Raise feet and medicine ball straight up over body.
4) Slowly lower back to start. Repeat 8-15 times.
Ab Toss Roll-Up
1) Lay on your back with knees bent, feet on floor, and holding medicine ball at chest.
2) Pulling abdominals in, roll your upper body up off the ground and toss the ball when you reach seated position.
3) Catch the ball and immediately begin to lower slowly back down.
4) If you struggle rolling up, hold the medicine ball out farther in front of you. Perform 8-15 reps.
1) Begin on your back with legs together straight up above hips, holding the medicine ball with two hands at your chest.
2) Curl chin slightly forward, relaxing through the back of the neck.
3) On an exhale, squeeze your abdominals to reach the ball up toward the toes to touch, then gently release back to start position. Repeat 8-15 times.
Congratulations! You are on your way to a strong back and sculpted core.