It’s probably one of the most underused pieces of equipment in the gym, and yet, it’s one of the best. The medicine ball.
When you know the right exercises, it’s so easy to use and provides a huge amount of benefits to your body, from increased flexibility and range of motion, to fat burning and muscle toning.
Plus, with different weighted balls to choose from, you can constantly challenge your body too. Oh, and it’s also amazing for getting rid of any pent-up stress! If you’re training with a partner, using a medicine ball is ideal, as there are a number of great exercises which require two people.
The 20 minute workout with a medicine ball
We’ve put together this fantastic 20 minute routine using a medicine ball, guaranteed to hit every part of your body and give you a great, tough workout. Most of them require just a medicine ball, but there are other pieces of equipment you can use to supplement the workout further.
There are just 6 different exercises in total, targeting both the upper and lower body. We’ve mixed the two together alternating between upper and lower so you’ll benefit from peripheral heart action training (PHAT) where you push blood up and down in your body using even more energy.
You should do 10 reps of each exercise, with a short rest (30 seconds max) between each one. Rest for a minute after completing a full circuit, and then repeat two more times.
Don’t forget to warm up and cool down either.
The medicine ball exercises
- Step Ups
Start by holding the medicine ball close to your chest and performing a simple step up onto a box or bench that’s set at a comfortable but slightly strenuous height. Step up and back down to perform 1 rep. (Change to box jumps for a more advanced movement.)
- Floor Slams
Stand tall with the medicine ball raised up behind your neck. Bring your arms forward over your head, hinging hips back, and slam the ball down into the floor. Squat down to retrieve, stand and repeat.
- Overhead Reverse Lunge
Begin with the medicine ball held high over your head, arms and back straight. Step back into a reverse lunge with your left foot, lowering your knee and engaging your glutes, all whilst keeping the ball held high. Stand tall, and repeat with the opposite leg to complete one rep. (Perform jumping switch lunges for added difficulty.)
- Chest Pass
Work your chest and tricep muscles by holding the ball tight into your chest and then exploding your arms outward, pushing the ball away at 90 degrees into a wall or a partner’s waiting arms. Alternate throws to above chest height to activate your deltoid muscles.
- Squat Overhead Toss
Also known as wall balls, hold the medicine ball into your chest with your hands slightly angled underneath it. Perform a full fluid squat, keeping knees behind your toes, and then spring up by activating your glutes and quads. At the top of the jump, extend your arms and toss the ball high up at the wall in front of you. Catch the ball in front of your face, bring it into your chest, and repeat the motion.
- Overhead Ab Toss
Lie on your back with your legs raised in a sit up position. Extend your arms over your head along the floor with the medicine ball between them. Activate your abs and sit up pulling your arms over your head and releasing the ball at the top of the motion against a wall or partner. Keep your abs engaged as you return to the floor slow and controlled. Sit up again to collect the ball, and repeat.