Have a BALL! 3 Great Medicine Ball Exercises to Tone and Define your Entire Body!

Joey with Med Ball Close up at LA Fitness

Medicine balls allow you to integrate plyometrics and functional exercises that are excellent for developing power, balance and stability. These movements are also a great way to develop your muscles and define your body!

Here are 3 Great Medicine Ball Exercises that will provide you with a total body workout.

Russian Twist – Abs / Core

The Russian Twist with a medicine ball works your entire core, and focuses on your six-pack and oblique muscles.

  1. Choose an appropriately weighted medicine ball for your fitness level. If you are not sure what weight is right for you, then start light with a 2 lb. or 4 lb. ball.
  2. Sit on the ground with your knees bent while holding the medicine ball out in front of you.
  3. For beginners, keep your heels on the ground with your toes up (as pictured below).
  4. For an advanced progression/version of the Russian Twist, keep your heels a couple of inches off the ground (as pictured below). This will challenge you to control your core and balance more as you perform the exercise.
  5. In a controlled manner, use your torso to twist as you keep your head in line with the medicine ball.
  6. Return back to the starting position, and then twist in the opposition direction.
  7. Repeat for several reps until you feel fatigued and can no longer stay in proper form.
  8. Rest and do 2 to 4 more sets.

Extra Tip: Keep good posture/spinal alignment during the entire exercise.

Extra Tip: Keep your shoulders down and do not let them scrunch-up toward your ears (especially when you get tired).

Extra Tip: Make sure you are not moving / twisting your head instead of your body. This is a common mistake. Pick a point on the ball and focus on that point for the entire exercise to help you keep your head straight.

Med Ball Chest Toss – Chest / Shoulders / Triceps

Med Ball Chest Toss works your chest, shoulders and triceps as you gain hand/eye coordination and agility.

  1. Choose an appropriately weighted medicine ball for your fitness level. If you are not sure what weight is right for you, then start light with a 2 lb. or 4 lb. ball.
  2. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet planted flat on the ground.
  3. Begin with your arms extended as you hold the medicine ball directly above your chest.
  4. Bring the ball down, toward your chest and immediately push the ball up, in a controlled fashion, releasing the ball and then catching it again.
  5. Catch the ball with a slight bend in your elbows to absorb the impact.
  6. Immediately bring the ball down and repeat the action until you feel your muscles begin to fatigue.

Extra Tip: Tighten and engage your core/ab muscles during the entire exercise.

Extra Tip: DO NOT toss the ball over your face and head. Keep it controlled over your chest and lower ribcage.

Extra Tip: If you are having trouble controlling your toss, regress to a simple press motion up and down; do not release the ball into a toss until you improve your control and stability.

Squat to Opposite Raise – Legs / Butt / Shoulders / Back

The Squat to Opposite Raise is a muscle defining multifunctional workout that involves your entire body while focusing on your legs, butt and shoulders.

  1. Choose an appropriately weighted medicine ball for your fitness level. If you are not sure what weight is right for you, then start light with a 2 lb. or 4 lb. ball.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder width to just outside of shoulder width apart.
  3. Hold the medicine ball, with your arms straight out in front of your chest.
  4. Squat down while reaching toward your right knee with the medicine ball (as seen in the photo).
  5. Raise the medicine ball above your head and slightly over your left shoulder as you stand-up from the squat (as seen in the photo).
  6. Repeat the reps until you feel fatigued, rest and do the next set reaching toward your left knee and above your right shoulder this time.

Extra Tip: Tighten and engage your core/ab muscles during the entire exercise.

Extra Tip: Maintain good posture the entire time.

Extra Tip: Do not let your shoulders fall forward or scrunch-up toward your ears.

Extra Tip: Keep your body straight and squared-up; be careful not to lean your body to one side—let your arms do the work with the medicine ball.

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Posted on March 18, 2013, in exercise, fitness, fitness club, Health, Helpful, LA Fitness, LA Fitness Blog - Living Healthy, LA Fitness Blog - Top Tips, la fitness reviews, LA Fitness Reviews - About, Motivation, Motivational Tips, Strength, Top Tips, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. “Squat to opposite raise” –> also known as Woodchops.

  2. I incorporate medicine ball workouts into my regular exercise routines and they have really improved my core strength and flexibility. I find the Russian Twist and Chest Toss very effective. I haven’t done the Squat to Opposite Raise but plan on giving it a go, so thanks for posting it Adam.

    Something I find important for beginners is to not start out with a medicine ball that is too heavy to manage. Doing so will affect form and it can result in injury. Most women seem to do well with 6 to 8 pounds for the majority of exercises and most males 10 to 12 pounds, though this will of course vary depending upon the individual’s upper body strength and fitness level.

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