By Jennifer Fisher @TheFitFork
If you’re looking to mix things up with your training this spring, skip the gym machines in favor of a medicine ball. Your workout will be simpler and harder at the same time. If this sounds contradictory, it’s not. These old-school, weighted balls are a straightforward way to improve explosive power, endurance and overall functional fitness without the use of fancy equipment.
What Size Med Ball To Get?
Medicine balls come in a variety of weights and sizes (ranging from 4 pounds to over 100 pounds!), making it hard to decided which size is the best to use. As a general rule of thumb, most medicine ball exercises should be done with a ball that is heavy enough to slow you down and eventually tire your muscles over a series of repetitions, but not so heavy that it makes you lose control, accuracy or range of motion. I typically use medicine balls ranging from 10 to 30 pounds depending on the muscle group being worked. You may require more or less weight depending on your size and fitness level.
Med Ball WOW
Wall Ball: Stand toward wall, holding ball in a launch position close to chest. Lower down into a squat, rise upward and propel ball up to bounce on the wall as far as possible. Catch ball at chest on the way down while lowering into a squat. Complete 15 repetitions.
Med Ball V-Ups: Lay flat on back, extending arms over head to rest on floor while clasping ball. Engage core, raise arms and legs at the same time to meet in alignment above hips. Slowly lower legs, back and arms to start position. Complete 15 repetitions.
Med Ball Slams: Stand upright and extend both arms straight overhead while holding med ball. With a forcefully downward movement, use both hands to throw ball to the ground, squatting down slightly. Catch med ball on the bounce up and return to the start position. Complete 15 repetitions.
Med Ball Plank: Rest on forearms, chest toward ground and elevate feet on medicine ball. Engage core and maintain a straight line body position. Hold plank for 60 seconds without breaking form.
Med Ball Jump Squats: Stand tall with feet shoulder-width distance apart. Hold medicine ball close to chest and lower into squat position. Explosively jump upward keeping ball at chest and land returning down into a squat position. Complete 15 repetitions.
Med Ball Wood Chop: Hold medicine ball in both hands and stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Drop down slightly, moving the ball near right knee, then drive up from feet, swinging the ball up and across your body to the opposing side. Swing back down to start position. Complete 15 repetitions on each side.
Bonus Challenge Move: Headstand Med Ball Pick Ups
Balancing yourself in an inverted position, along with the skill and strength needed to move a medicine ball from the floor to over your body, creates a challenging exercise that simultaneously works your shoulders, core and glutes. After you can string a few together, work towards completing a set of 10. Here I’m using a 10 lb. med ball (you may need more or less depending on your size and strength).
Jennifer Fisher is an enthusiastic Core Power fan and user. Along with being a contributor to the fairlife team, she’s a #FitFluential Ambassador, #IDEAfit Inspired Blogger and contributor at the Cooking Light Blogger Connection. Jennifer is also a fit food & healthy living guest speaker, competitive master’s runner, CrossFit enthusiast and mother of three pre-teen through teen boys! For more on Jennifer, visit her blog TheFitFork.com and follow her on twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.