Get your cardio fix and target your upper body with this medicine ball workout by Theresa Jenn Lopetrone.
Images by Dave Laus.
Complete this routine as a timed circuit or do five rounds (20 reps each exercise).
A medicine ball is a weighted ball roughly about 35 centimetres in diameter, and comes in a variety of weights from one kg to 11 kg. They are inexpensive, and available in hard plastic, dense rubber or synthetic leather material.
Medicine balls add a twist to your current workout to keep it challenging enough to elicit progress. This workout is designed to improve your overall athletic performance, firm up your core, and increase your muscular power and stamina. Use of the medicine ball will also help improve your coordination, balance and flexibility.
You will need a timer and a medicine ball for this full-body workout. Refer to the workout chart. This four-week circuit-style workout will keep you on your toes, and your heart rate going!
The workout comprises six exercises that target all areas of the body. Start with the first exercise, complete as many reps as you can within the recommended amount of work time (see chart), rest for the recommended amount, then continue on to the next exercise. Repeat until all of the exercises are done. As the week’s progress, the circuit gets more challenging. Record your results so you can properly keep track of your progress.
For Weeks 1–2:
Once all of the exercises in the circuit are complete, rest 90 seconds, and repeat the entire circuit two more times.
For Week 3:
Once all of the exercises in the circuit are complete, rest 60 seconds, and repeat the entire circuit two more times.
For Week 4:
Once all of the exercises in the circuit are complete, rest 60 seconds, and repeat the entire circuit three more times.
Tip: For beginners, use a lighter weight medicine ball. For an extra challenge and to increase your power, use a heavier ball.
Hit NEXT for the workout
1. Ball crunch with medicine ball throw
Core, abs, shoulders
Lie flat on your back holding a medicine ball at chest level. Lift your shoulders off the floor and crunch. Once at the top of your crunch, throw the medicine ball forward to someone standing in front of you, or against a wall. Catch the ball on the bounce back, roll back down to starting position. Repeat and complete as many as you can in the recommended amount of work time.
NEXT: Alternating push-up
2. Alternating push-up on a medicine ball
Position yourself in a push-up position, placing one hand on top of the medicine ball and the other hand on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width. The arm that has the hand on the ball should be slightly bent. Perform a push-up by lowering your body down. As you straighten up, rapidly roll the ball under your body to the other hand, then perform another push-up again. Repeat this sequence for as many as you can in the recommended amount of work time.
NEXT: Glute bridge
3. Glute bridge on medicine ball
Lie flat on your back and place both heels on top of the medicine ball. Push your heels down through the medicine ball and raise your hips up to a bridge position. Lower your hips back down to the starting position. Repeat and complete as many as you can in the recommended amount of work time.
NEXT: Ball slams
4. Ball slams
Core, Shoulder, Back
Stand with your knees slightly bent and hold a medicine ball overhead, with your arms extended. Bend forward at the waist and use your core muscles to slam the ball against the floor about a foot in front of you. Retrieve the ball and repeat as many times as you can in the recommended amount of work time.
NEXT: Lunges and overhead press
5. Lunge and overhead press
Lower body, glutes, shoulders, arms
Stand up straight with feet together. Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Lunge forward by taking a big step forward with your right foot. Lower your hips straight down so your torso is perpendicular to the floor and your weight is on the right foot. Return to starting position, then lift the medicine ball straight over your head. Repeat the movement with your left foot. Repeat the entire sequence for as many reps as you can in the recommended amount of work time.
Lower body, glutes, quads, shoulders
Stand with your knees slightly bent and hold a medicine ball with both hands. Fully extend your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level and perform a full squat. Return to the start position. Repeat and complete as many as you can in the recommended amount of work time.