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Throw, Catch, Lift, and Press

Grab a medicine ball and get a full-body workout.

You’ve seen them in movies and probably walked past a few lying on the gym floor. But have you ever used an exercise ball? First, you should know what an exercise ball is. You may be thinking of larger exercise balls, also known as Swiss balls, Pilates balls, or stability balls seen in gyms or chiropractic offices. You can sit on these, roll on these, and use them in a variety of ways increase the difficulty of various types of exercises. That’s not a medicine ball.

A medicine ball weighs between 2 and 150 pounds and is approximately 14 inches wide.

The use of medicine balls to improve fitness has been around for thousands of years. Once used to train gladiators, these weighted balls can be thrown, caught, lifted, or moved around to strengthen your entire body. Select a ball size that challenges you without overwhelming you.

Ready to give medicine balls a go? Get a full-body workout with these six exercises. Plan to do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise.

Lunge with a Twist

Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest. Lunge forward on your right leg until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Then twist your upper body to the right and move the medicine ball to your right. Return to center and come to a standing position. Now, lunge forward on your left leg and twist your body and the ball to the left. Return to the center, stand back up, and repeat.

Circle Squat

In a standing position, hold a medicine ball with both hands down by your right hip. Step your left leg out to the side and lower into a squat position. At the same time move the ball in a circle overhead and then down toward your left hip. Return to standing, step out to the right, and lower into a squat. Circle the ball overhead to your right hip.

Rolling Push-Up

Take your push-ups to the next level using a medicine ball. Get in a plank position on the floor and place a medicine ball under one hand. Do a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your body toward the floor. Return to plank position and roll the ball over to be under your other hand. Do another push-up and repeat. Not up for such a challenge? Start out by doing the push-ups while on your knees.

Chest Toss

To do this exercise, you’ll need a large stability ball and a medicine ball. Lie with your head and shoulders resting on the stability ball, your feet on the floor, and your knees bent to 90-degrees. Hold a medicine ball with both hands over your chest, your elbows bent out to each side. Gently toss the ball up toward the ceiling and catch it when it falls. Repeat.

Shoulder Press

The heavier the medicine ball, the more challenging this exercise will be. Stand up and hold a medicine ball in front of your chest. Raise the ball straight up overhead while extending your arms. Slowly lower the ball back to chest height. Repeat.

V-Up

Get a serious core workout using a medicine ball while doing V-ups. Lie on your back on the floor. Hold a ball in both hands and reach your arms above your head. Tighten your core and raise your arms up while lifting your feet off the floor until your body forms a V shape. At this point, place the ball between your feet. While squeezing your feet together to hold the ball, lower your upper body down to the floor. Now, return to the V position, take the ball from your feet, and lower your body back to starting position. Repeat.


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