How to Use a Medicine Ball: The Best Medicine Ball Exercises

How to Use a Medicine Ball_ The Best Medicine Ball Exercises

So, you've got yourself a medicine ball. Nice choice! It's like the utility belt of workout equipment—versatile, reliable, and always ready to kick your butt into shape. But maybe you're wondering, "What the heck do I do with this thing?" Fear not, fellow home gym enthusiasts! We've got you covered with everything you need to know about getting the most out of your medicine ball.

Imagine a cross between a basketball and a bowling ball, and you've got yourself a medicine ball. These bad boys come in various weights and sizes, making them perfect for all fitness levels. But what makes them so special?

Benefits of Using Medicine Balls:

  • Functional Strength - Medicine ball exercises mimic real-life movements, helping you build functional strength that translates into everyday activities.
  • Versatility - From solo workouts to partner exercises, medicine balls offer endless possibilities to spice up your routine.
  • Core Stability - Many medicine ball exercises engage your core, helping you build a rock-solid midsection.
  • Improved Coordination - Balancing, tossing, and catching a medicine ball can enhance your coordination and proprioception.
Now that you're convinced of their awesomeness, let's dive into some killer exercises.

It goes without saying that there are TONS of exercises you can do with medicine balls. However, we’ve put together a few fan faves to get you started.

Medicine Ball Slam

This explosive movement targets multiple muscle groups, including the shoulders, arms, core, and legs. By lifting the ball overhead and forcefully slamming it to the ground, you engage the upper body while also activating the core and lower body to generate power. It's an excellent exercise for building strength, power, and coordination. Note: We highly recommend using a slam ball instead. They’re better built for the onslaught. How To:
  • Grab your medicine ball and lift it overhead.
  • Slam it down with all your might, engaging your entire body.
  • Catch the ball on the bounce and repeat for reps.

Med Ball Russian Twist

The Russian twist primarily targets the obliques, which are the muscles on the sides of your abdomen. As you twist your torso from side to side while holding the medicine ball, you engage the obliques to stabilize and rotate the spine. Additionally, this exercise also works the rectus abdominis (the front abdominal muscles) and the lower back muscles, helping to improve core strength and stability. How To:
  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet elevated.
  • Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest and twist your torso from side to side, tapping the ball on the ground with each rotation. The motion should be slow and controlled, keeping your core under tension to protect your spine.

Medicine Ball Burpee

This compound exercise is a full-body burner, engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The squat and push-up components target the legs, chest, shoulders, and triceps, while the explosive jump incorporates the glutes and calves. Adding the medicine ball adds an extra challenge to the movement, requiring stability and coordination throughout the exercise. How To:
  • Start in a standing position with the medicine ball at your chest.
  • Drop into a squat and place the ball on the ground.
  • Jump back into a plank position, perform a push-up, then jump your feet back toward your hands.
  • Grab the ball and explode upwards into a jump, extending your arms (and the ball) overhead.

Lunge with Twist

Combining a lunge with a twisting motion, this exercise targets the legs, glutes, and core muscles. The lunge component works the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, while the twisting motion engages the obliques and deep core muscles to stabilize the torso. It's an effective exercise for improving balance, coordination, and overall lower body strength. How To:
  • Hold the medicine ball at chest height.
  • Step forward into a lunge while twisting your torso towards the side of your front leg.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
For an extra challenge, hold the ball out with extended arms or overhead.

Medicine Ball Wall Sit

Ah, a simple-yet-effective form of torture. Our favorite! While holding a wall sit position, adding a medicine ball to the mix engages the core and upper body muscles. By maintaining tension on the ball while performing small pulses, you intensify the challenge to the core, shoulders, and arms. This exercise helps improve endurance, strength, and stability in the lower body and core muscles. How To:
  • Hold the medicine ball at chest height while leaning against a wall in a seated 90-degree position.
  • Maintain the wall sit position while performing small pulses with the ball.
  • Cry.

Medicine Ball Pass

This partner exercise is a dynamic way to work the entire body while also enhancing coordination and communication with your workout buddy. As you squat and pass the ball back and forth, you target the legs, glutes, core, shoulders, and arms. The continuous movement also boosts heart rate and calorie burn, making it a great addition to any workout routine. How To:
  • Stand facing your partner a few feet apart.
  • Both partners simultaneously perform a squat while holding the medicine ball.
  • As you rise from the squat, pass the ball to your partner.
  • Repeat for reps, keeping the movement fluid and controlled.
Do NOT use this as an opportunity to release aggression toward your partner for bailing as a spotter on what would have been your new bench press 1RM, BRANDON.

Overhead Partner Throw

By throwing and catching the medicine ball overhead with your partner, you engage the shoulders, arms, and core muscles. The explosive movement requires coordination and timing between partners, enhancing reaction time and agility. Additionally, the overhead motion helps improve shoulder mobility and stability. How To:
  • Stand facing your partner with some distance between you.
  • Hold the medicine ball overhead and throw it to your partner.
  • Your partner catches the ball and repeats the motion.
  • Keep the tosses smooth and controlled to avoid any mishaps!

Medicine Ball Sit-Up Pass

Misery loves company! Performing sit-ups with a partner and a medicine ball adds an extra challenge to the traditional ab exercise. As you sit up and pass the ball to your partner, you engage the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors. The added resistance from the medicine ball increases the intensity of the movement, helping to build strength and definition in the abdominal muscles. How To:
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, facing your partner.
  • Hold the medicine ball overhead and perform a sit-up.
  • As you sit up, pass the ball to your partner.
  • Your partner then lies back and repeats the movement.

Medicine Ball Squat and Toss

This is a progression on the Med Ball Pass, adding explosive movement and power. This dynamic exercise targets the lower body, core, and upper body muscles while also improving explosive power and coordination. As you squat and toss the ball to your partner, you engage the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings in the lower body, while the throwing motion activates the shoulders, arms, and core muscles. How To:
  • Stand facing your partner, a few feet apart, holding the medicine ball at chest height.
  • Simultaneously perform a squat, then explosively jump upwards, tossing the ball to your partner.
  • Your partner catches the ball and immediately performs a squat jump, tossing the ball back to you.
  • Keep the rhythm going for reps.

Medicine Ball Partner Plank Passthrough

Solo plank pass-throughs are tough, but let’s share the pain, shall we? Holding a plank position while passing the medicine ball back and forth with your partner challenges the entire body, with a focus on core stability and shoulder strength. The plank engages the deep core muscles, including the transverse abdominis and obliques, while the passing motion adds an element of coordination and balance. This exercise is excellent for improving overall core strength, stability, and endurance. How To:
  • Both partners get into a plank position side by side, with some distance between you.
  • One partner holds the medicine ball and passes it through to the other partner.
  • The receiving partner passes the ball through their plank, then back through to the partner.
  • Keep your core engaged and maintain a strong plank position throughout the exercise.
This is a fun (lol) exercise with a group. Everyone line up and get passing.

There you have it, folks! Ten killer medicine ball exercises to take your home gym workouts to the next level. Whether you're flying solo or teaming up with a workout buddy, these exercises will torch calories, build strength, and leave you feeling like a fitness rockstar. So grab your medicine ball, unleash your inner beast, and let's get rolling!