8 Awesome Workouts With Just One Medicine Ball

Carly Pizzani | Mar 26, 2014 Healthy Living

Medicine Ball WorkoutI love workouts where you only have to use one piece of equipment. If you try this medicine ball workout in a gym, it doesn't matter if the gym packed. All you need is enough space to lunge -- no stress about whether a machine is taken or moving from one spot to the next. If you do it at home, all you need is the space for a yoga mat, and a medicine ball.

Ready to get sweaty? Here are 8 exercises you can do using only a medicine ball.

Seven has a funny name, but it's a great workout! Have you tried it yet?

Image via andrewmalone/Flickr

  • 8 Exercises Using Only a Medicine Ball


    Image via andrewmalone/Flickr

    Try this workout as a circuit -- move quickly from one exercise to the next, trying to keep your heart rate elevated throughout.

    If you are using a lighter medicine ball, try doing two sets of 15 - 18 repetitions. With a heavier ball, try three sets of 8 - 10 repetitions. Remember to listen to your body, and if you need to rest between sets or between exercises, do it! 

  • Squat and Press Exercise With a Medicine Ball


    The Squat and Press is a great exercise to start with, to warm up and work out your whole body. Holding the medicine ball at your chest, squat (pushing your hips back as if you're looking for a chair behind you), then raise the ball overhead as you stand up.

  • Lunge and Twist Exercise With a Medicine Ball


    Here's a full-body exercise that will really get your heart rate up. Lunge forward while lowering the medicine ball to the outside of the lunging leg. As you stand and step back to your start position, raise the ball above your head. Lunge forward with the other leg, again lowering the medicine ball to the outside of the lunging leg. That's one repetition.

  • Triceps Extension Exercise With a Medicine Ball


    To do a triceps extension with a medicine ball, hold your arms up straight over your head then bend your elbows until the ball is behind your head. As you extend your arms back up, your triceps are doing all the work.

    Want to make this a full-body exercise? Squat as you bend your elbows, standing up as you extend your arms up straight.

  • Chop Exercise With a Medicine Ball


    Stand with legs wide, arms extended overhead. Quickly and forcefully lower the medicine ball -- with arms straight -- as you come down into a squat. Slowly stand up and raise your arms to return to your starting position.

    If you're in a gym, you could progress this exercise by letting go and bouncing the medicine ball at the bottom of the movement. (Probably best not to try this at home if you have downstairs neighbors or particularly nice floors!)

  • Squat Rotation Exercise With a Medicine Ball


    At first glance, this exercise is similar to the lunge and twist. The difference with this exercise is the hip movement. Start by lunging to one side (if lunging is uncomfortable, this can be a very shallow movement), holding the medicine ball on the outside of your lunging leg. Stand up and twist to the opposite side as you raise the ball in an arc in front of you, up over your head. To do the twist, swivel on the ball of your foot, and focus on letting your hip turn with the weight.

  • Sit Ups With a Medicine Ball


    If you're convinced you'd never be able to do a full sit up, using a medicine ball can help you work up to full sets of sit ups rather than crunches.

    Hold the ball at your chest, then push it forwards as you hinge from the waist to sit up. The movement of the medicine ball gives you a biomechanical 'assist' to the exercise to make it a little easier. Resist the urge to have your feet tucked under a couch or bench when you do sit ups and crunches. When you do this, your hip flexors take over more of the work than your abdominals.

  • Dead Bugs Exercise With a Medicine Ball


    Dead bugs! How can you resist an exercise with such a delightful name? This exercise looks deceptively easy, but you will definitely feel this in your abs. 

    Lie on your back with the medicine ball straight up over your chest and your legs up in a 90 degree tabletop angle. Lower one leg slowly, bring it back to start position, then repeat on the other side. That's one repetition.

    To add an arm workout, as you lower your leg also lower your arms to the floor behind your head.

  • Russian Twist Excercise With a Medicine Ball


    For the Russian Twist, sit on the floor with knees bent, leaning back slightly. Twist to one side as you lower the medicine ball, then slowly twist the ball around to the outside of the other leg. It's important to ensure your knees are falling to the opposite side that you're twisting, so you're protecting your lower back while doing this exercise.

    Note: Skip this exercise if you have diastastis recti (where your abdominal wall has separated and the muscles haven't knit back together -- often experienced post partum).

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