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Top 22 Medicine Ball Exercises And Their Benefits

by
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
Top 22 Medicine Ball Exercises And Their Benefits November 15, 2017

Nothing can beat a toned and fit body. Fitness experts agree that medicine ball exercises can help you get a flat tummy as well as tone up and build strength. Hippocrates used medicine balls to help his patients recover from injuries almost 3,000 years ago, and they are still one of the best ways to carve your body. These spherical balls are available in different sizes, colors, and weights. They improve muscle coordination and stability. The best part – medicine balls are not super expensive and can you can do the exercises at home after you learn the correct technique. Here are 22 medicine ball exercises for toning various parts of your body. Let’s get started!

What You Need?

Medicine ball – 3-10 lbs

Choose a ball that is not too heavy but heavy enough to slow your motion.

What You Should Aim For?

Aim for accuracy and better coordination and not how many reps or sets you are able to do at one go.

Reps Per Set

Start with 5-10 reps per set. Once you get the hang of the exercises, you can go up to 10-15 reps per set.

Duration

Start with 10 minutes of medicine ball exercise every alternate day. Once you grow more comfortable, increase the duration to 20-45 minutes every alternate day.

Now, let’s get into action.

22 Effective Medicine Ball Exercises And Benefits 

I have categorized the medicine ball exercises into exercises for the abs, glutes and legs, arms and shoulders, chest and back, and full body medicine ball exercises.

Let me first tell you how to get a flat tummy with medicine ball exercises.

Medicine Ball Exercises For A Flat Tummy/Toned Abs 

1. Overhead Slam

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Hold a medicine ball. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and the knees slightly bent.

Steps To Do Overhead Slam

  1. Lift the medicine ball overhead.
  2. Bend at your hips, hinging forward. Do not arch back.
  3. Slam the ball directly in front of you, but not too hard. Control is the key.

Repetitions

Repeat 10 more times to complete a set.

Duration

5 mins

Precaution

Make sure to bend your knees just slightly and not squat. Keep your shoulders relaxed and core engaged.

2. Medicine Ball Crunch

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Lie on your back. Lift your legs at a 90-degree angle with the floor, and hold a medicine ball overhead.

Steps To Do

  1. Keeping your legs steady, crunch up and try to touch the medicine ball to your toes.
  2. Go back to your starting position.

Repetitions

Do 5 reps initially and gradually increase it to 10 reps.

Duration

5 mins

Precaution

Do not rush. Take your time to learn to keep your legs straight and steady while you crunch.

3. V-Up

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Lie flat on your back and hold the medicine ball overhead. Keep your legs extended, and core engaged.

Steps To Do

  1. Lift your hands and legs simultaneously to form a “V”.
  2. Pass the ball from your hands to in between your ankles.
  3. Go back to the starting position.
  4. Lift your hands and legs up simultaneously and pass the ball from in between your ankles to your hands and go back to the starting position.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

7 mins

Precaution

Keep your legs and arms straight as you get up to form the “V”.

4. Straight Leg Sit-Up

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Lie flat on your back and hold the medicine ball with both your hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Extend the arms up so that the medicine ball is right above your hips.
  2. Keep your legs together and slowly raise them, forming an “L”.
  3. Lower your legs.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

7 mins

Precaution

Do not take your legs beyond where your hips are and keep them straight.

5. Split Push-Up Knee Tuck

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Assume the push-up position with your legs placed a little wider than hip-width apart. Keep your right palm on top of a medicine ball.

Steps To Do

  1. Balance and lower your body.
  2. Flex your left knee and bring it towards the ball.
  3. Hold for a second and then bring your left leg back to its original position.
  4. Come back to your starting position and hold the ball with your left palm.
  5. Again, lower your body and bring your right knee towards the ball.
  6. Hold for a second and bring your leg back to its original position.
  7. This completes 1 rep.

Repetitions

5 reps to complete a set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

When you assume the push-up position, do not point your elbows outward. Keep them in a neutral position where they are neither facing outward nor too close to the body.

6. Medicine Ball Russian Twist

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Sit on the floor. Keep your knees flexed, and feet flat on the ground. Hold the medicine ball with both your hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Keeping your knees flexed, lift your legs, making a 90-degree angle with the ground. Support your body with your hips, and keep your core engaged.
  2. Rotate your body to the left and touch the floor with the medicine ball.
  3. Then, rotate your body to the right and touch the floor with the medicine ball.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

4 mins

Precaution

Do not put your feet down on the ground.

 Medicine Ball Exercises For The Hips And Legs 

7. Medicine Ball Burpees

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball near your chest with both your hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Squat down and place the medicine ball on the floor. Keep your arms extended.
  2. Press on top of the ball and shift your body weight to the ball.
  3. Jump back and assume the plank position.
  4. Now, quickly jump your legs back in and come to a squat pose.
  5. Quickly stand up and press the ball overhead.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Make sure you squat properly and balance your body before jumping back on your feet.

8. Single Leg Hip Bridge

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Lie flat on your back. Keep your right knee flexed, right foot on top of a medicine ball, and your left leg extended. Keep your hands on your side, with the palms flat on the floor.

Steps To Do

  1. Lift your left leg and ensure it is perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Supporting your body on your right foot, thrust your hips up.
  3. Hold this position for a second and then lower your hips.
  4. Do this with your left foot on the medicine ball and right leg straight up.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Do not push your hips up with the help of your palms.

9. Single Leg Squat

Image: Source

Starting Position

Hold the medicine ball with both your hands close to your chest. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and knees slightly bent.

Steps To Do

  1. Lift your left foot off the ground and extend it forward.
  2. Carefully squat down, keeping your left leg extended.
  3. Lift yourself back and place your left foot beside the right foot.
  4. Now, lift the right foot off the floor and extend it forward.
  5. Squat down and come back up again.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Do not flex your knees outward while squatting.

10. Medicine Ball Sumo Squat

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, and the toes pointing out. Hold the medicine ball in front of you with both hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Inhale and squat down until the thighs are parallel to the ground and the core is engaged. Lower your hands.
  2. Stand back up and exhale.
  3. Now, keep your shoulders relaxed, squeeze your glutes, and extend your hands overhead. Pause for a second, lower your hands and squat down again.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

9 mins

Precaution

Control your movement. Do not rush. You can also do a partial squat, but keep your back straight.

 Medicine Ball Exercises For The Arms And Shoulders

11. Shoulder Press

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a medicine ball (slightly heavy) in front of you with both your hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Extend the arms overhead towards the ceiling.
  2. Pause for a second and then lower your hands back to the starting position.

Repetitions

15 reps to complete 1 set.

Duration

5 mins

Precaution

Use a medicine ball that is not too heavy to lift but heavy enough to work your arm and shoulder muscles.

12. Medicine Ball Bicep Curl

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the medicine ball (heavier in weight) in front of your chest with both your hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Slowly lower your hands until they are fully extended towards the floor.
  2. Pause for a second and then curl your hands back up to the starting position.

Repetitions

20 reps to complete a set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Keep your shoulders relaxed and core engaged when you do this exercise.

13. Medicine Ball Tricep Extension

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet hip-width apart (or sit on a chair), hold the medicine ball, and extend your arms overhead. Keep your core engaged.

Steps To Do

  1. Flex your elbows and lower the ball behind your head until the forearms are at 45 degrees with the upper arms.
  2. Squeeze the triceps and pull your arms back up.

Repetitions

15 reps to complete a set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Keep your arms close to your ears.

14. Figure-8 Scoop

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the medicine ball near your chest with both hands. Keep your shoulders relaxed.

Steps To Do

  1. Lunge on your left and scoop the ball down towards the outside of your left thigh.
  2. Press your left foot to stand straight again and bring the ball back up over your head.
  3. Lunge on your right and scoop the ball down towards the outside of your right thigh.
  4. Press your right foot to stand straight again and bring the ball back up over your head.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete a set.

Duration

10 mins          

Precaution

Keep your back straight when you lunge.

 Medicine Ball Exercises For The Chest And Back

15. Medicine Ball Superman

Image: Source

Starting Position

Lie face down on the floor or a mat. Hold a medicine ball with both hands. Keep your arms extended in the front.

Steps To Do

  1. Raise your arms and your legs slowly and simultaneously. Go as high as you can.
  2. Pause for 2 seconds and then come back to the starting position.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete 1 set.

Duration        

7 mins

Precaution

Talk to your doctor before doing this exercise if you have back pain.

16. Medicine Ball Push-Up

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Assume the push-up position. Keep your palms close and on top of a medicine ball.

Steps To Do

  1. Inhale and lower your body till your chest touches the medicine ball.
  2. Pull your body back up and exhale.

Repetitions

5 reps to complete 1 set. You can do 2 sets or increase the number of reps.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Do not keep your palms too far away.

17. Sit-Up With Chest Press

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Lie flat on your back. Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Keep your knees slightly bent.

Steps To Do

  1. Pull your upper body up, flex your knees, come to a sitting position, and extend your arms fully in the front.
  2. Lie down and straighten your legs, bring your hands back to the starting position.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete 1 set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Do not rush. Take your time to learn how to do this exercise to avoid injuries.

18. Catch And Overhead Throw

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand in front of a wall with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a medicine ball with both your hands overhead.

Steps To Do

  1. Bend your elbows and lower your forearms behind your head until they are at 45 degrees with the upper arms.
  2. Now, forcefully throw the medicine ball forward.

Repetitions

15 reps to complete 1 set.

Duration

12 mins          

Precaution

Stand close enough to the wall so that you can catch it.

Medicine Ball Full-Body Exercises

19. Lunge With Twist

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders relaxed, and core engaged. Extend your arms forward and hold a medicine ball with both your hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Put your right foot forward, flex your left knee, and lower your body. Your knee should almost touch the floor.
  2. Rotate your torso towards your right.
  3. Pause for a second and then rotate your torso back to the center.
  4. Lift your body up and get back to the starting position.
  5. Put your left foot forward, flex your right knee, and lower your body. Your right knee should almost touch the floor.
  6. Rotate your torso to your left.
  7. Pause for a second and rotate your torso back to the center.
  8. Lift your body up and return to the starting position.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete 1 set.

Duration

8 mins

Precaution

Avoid doing this exercise if you have a recent knee injury.

20. Squat Press Throw

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the medicine ball in your hands.

Steps To Do

  1. Squat down and throw the medicine ball up with full force.
  2. Stand up once you do so.

Repetitions

15 reps to complete a set.

Duration

12 mins          

Precaution

Step away as you throw the ball up so that you don’t get hit by it.

21. Rock And Roll Up

Image: Source

Starting Position

Lie flat on the floor with the knees flexed and feet flat on the floor. Hold the medicine ball with the arms fully extended overhead.

Steps To Do

  1. Pull your knees to your chest and bring your hands towards your knees.
  2. Use this force to pull your body up. Assume the squat pose and then stand up straight.
  3. Pause for a second, squat again, put your buttocks first on the floor and go back to the starting position.

Repetitions

5 reps to complete 1 set.

Duration

10 mins          

Precaution

Do not rush. Take your time to do this exercise.

22. Power Cross Chop

Image: Shutterstock

Starting Position

Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball in front of your chest.

Steps To Do

  1. Keeping your core engaged, twist your torso to your left, and bring the medicine ball just above your left shoulder.
  2. Now, quickly bring the ball towards and across your right thigh.
  3. Lunge simultaneously as you do step 2, with your left knee flexed and your right leg supporting your body weight.
  4. Raise your body and go back to the starting position.
  5. Do the same on your left.

Repetitions

10 reps to complete 1 set.

Duration

7 mins

Precaution

Lunge properly and lower your body with your knee almost touching the floor.

 So, these were 22 medicine ball exercises for your glutes, adductors, quads, hamstrings, obliques, lat muscles, biceps, triceps, calves, and shoulders. Do them every alternate day, and you will see a difference in your flexibility, muscle coordination, stability, and strength. On top of that, you will get a toned body and develop a positive body image that will boost your confidence. So, get your medicine ball today and get started! Take care.

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Profile photo of Charushila Biswas
Charushila is an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition and a full-time contributor to Diet & Weight Loss at Stylecraze. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. A binge eater-turned-fitness enthusiast, Charushila likes to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.
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