There are a number of pieces of workout equipment that can help you train your whole body. One of my favorite pieces is a medicine ball because you can get a total body workout or target specific muscle groups.
A medicine ball doesn’t look like much. It is just a padded and slightly heavier version of something you might play with your kids with. But looks can be deceiving because it can weigh a few pounds.
Most people use a medicine ball for ab exercises. But you can also target your upper and lower body.
Total body medicine ball workout
You can perform so many exercise variations with the ball. If you don’t have a medicine ball, use a basketball or a kid’s kickball.
Medicine ball exercises descriptions
These medicine ball exercises for your abs will sculpt your upper and lower abs as well as strengthen your obliques
Bridge with medicine ball squeeze
Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on floor with your heels close to glutes. Place medicine ball between knees and rest hands along sides of body with palms facing up. Squeeze the ball and drive through heels to lift hips. Pause at top and return hips to the floor.
Come up to a seated position holding the ball in your hands. Lean back slightly keeping your chest lifted. Twist your torso and the medicine ball to one side, using the obliques, and then twist and rotate to the opposite side. Keep alternating side to side for 15 repetitions on each side.
Bring the medicine ball down to the ground, then come into a plank position with your hands on top of the ball.
This will challenge your stability and abs even more than usual. Keep stable on the medicine ball.
You can do these with the medicine ball by first going into a plank position with one hand on top of the ball. Proceed in lowering your body towards the ground in push up position and then back up for 10-12 times. You can complete all on one side and then move the ball to the opposite side.
You can do these on your toes or your knees.
If push ups on the ball are too difficult, do these without the ball. Either way, push ups will work your chest and upper body.
Lunge with a twist
This exercise works both your legs and abs. Bring one leg into a static lunge position, making sure your knee is not over your toes. The deeper you are in your lunge, the harder your muscles will be working.
Squat holding ball out
This is great for both your upper body and lower body.
To perform, get into a squat position making sure your knees are not over your toes, and hold the ball straight out from your chest. Squat holding the ball out and repeat.
What weight medicine ball should I use?
Medicine balls come in a variety of weights, usually from 2 pounds to 20 pounds. There are rubber medicine balls, soft medicine balls and slam balls to choose from. It allows you to find one that will work for your level of fitness and strength.
I would recommend starting at a 6-pound weight first and build up your strength before moving on to the 8 or 10-pound ball.
Alternative to medicine ball
If you don’t have a medicine ball, try these exercises with a basketball or kickball.
If you don’t have either, you can do a variety of exercises with a stability ball. Try a stability ball workout for your core and total body.
Stability balls add an unstable surface to your workout, forcing you to work harder and use more muscles just to keep stable. They are great for core work and stretching.
What is your favorite exercise with a medicine ball?