Don’t shy away from medicine balls because you don’t know what to do with them. The medicine ball workout below to seriously sculpt your core while you work your arms and legs too. Medicine balls are a great piece of equipment you can add to basically just about any exercise and train with them to add speed, endurance, or power to any of your workouts.
In the abs-specific arena, they’re a great way to add some variety to your exercises to help you get stronger. Your abs will grow even more after you bring the med ball into play, too, since you’ll be putting more stress on the muscles with the added load.
We have plenty of tricks to squeeze in a quick workout in when you don’t have any equipment, but when you want to make the most out of your effort, reach for one of the most effective, versatile implements in the gym: the medicine ball.
Knee-In With Med Ball:
Make It Easier: Ditch the med ball, keep your feet together and splay your knees to the sides.
- Sit on a bench with a med ball between your knees; touch your feet together to form a diamond shape with your legs.
- Holding the bench for support, lift your legs from the ground and lean back slightly.
- Bring the ball towards your chest by bending your legs; at the same time, hinge forward slightly from your hips.
- Extend to return to the start, and repeat for two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
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Bicycle With Weave:
Make It Easier: Cut out the pass (just cycle your legs).
- Hold a medicine ball in your left hand and sit on a mat with your feet lifted from the floor as shown.
- Bend your right knee, bringing it towards your chest, and pass the ball under the right leg.
- Grab the ball with your right hand, then switch leg positions and reverse the move to return to the start.
- Continue fluidly for 30 seconds, then rest and repeat once more.
- Be patient: the move might be tricky the first time, but with a bit of practice, you will eventually be able to do it seamlessly.
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Med-Ball Hip Lift:
Make It Easier: Only focus on lifting your hips straight up from the bench.
- Sit on a bench, gripping the edge on each side of your hips for support, and place both feet on a medicine ball, with knees bent.
- Contract your core, straighten your legs and lift your hips rearward to roll the ball away from the bench; your tailbone should be directed towards the wall behind you at the top of the move.
- Pause, then release and return to the start.
- Repeat for two sets of 10 reps.
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Make It Easier: Do the exercise without the med ball and keep both legs straight.
- Lie faceup on an exercise mat, with your left leg straight and your right leg bent (foot flat on the floor).
- Hold a light medicine ball in your left hand and extend your arm towards the ceiling.
- Keeping your arm straight, roll your spine up from the mat, vertebrae by vertebrae, until you are in an upright position.
- Slowly reverse to return to the start.
- Perform two to three sets of five to eight reps, then repeat on your other side.
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V-Up With Med-Ball Pass:
Make It Easier: Touch your hands under your legs instead of passing a ball.
- Lie faceup on a mat and hold a medicine ball with both hands.
- Flex your hips to lift your torso from the floor and bend your knees, bringing them towards your chest; concentrate on “scooping” your abdominal wall as you rise.
- With your body in a “V” position, pass the ball behind your thighs from your right hand to your left.
- Extend your legs to return to the start, then reverse the pass on your next rep.
- Do two sets of 10 reps in each direction.
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Seated Med-Ball Twist:
Make It Easier: Plant your feet on the ground (shown), or remove the weighted ball and hold your hands in front of your chest instead.
- Sit on a mat with your legs bent and feet on the floor.
- Hold a medicine ball close to your chest, lift your feet from the ground and lean back slightly from your hips.
- Alternate rotating your torso from left to right.
- Do two 30-second sets.