9 Medicine Ball Exercises that Tone the Whole Body9 Medicine Ball Exercises that Tone the Whole Body
New exercise gadgets come and go, but the medicine ball is a fitness tool that has been around for ages. Newer models come in a variety of weights and sizes with an easy-grip surface. Change up your strength training routine by using a medicine ball with these effective exercises.
Squat with Overhead Press
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the medicine ball with both hands close to your body, at shoulder level. Squat and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle.* At the same time, push the medicine ball straight up overhead with your arms extended. Stand back up and return the ball to chest level.
Side Lunges with a Front Raise
Stand with feet together. Hold the ball in both hands with your arms extended down towards the floor. Step the right foot to the right and bend the right knee to 90 degrees.* (Your left foot should be flat on the floor with your left leg straight.) As you lunge, raise the ball out in front of you at chest level with straight arms. Lower the ball back to the starting position and step the right foot back to the center. Repeat on the left side, alternating sides with each lunge.
Forward Scissor Lunges
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your right foot into a forward lunge. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle and lower your left knee towards the floor as your left heel raises off the ground.* Pass the medicine ball under your right knee from your left hand to your right hand. Return to the starting position. Lunge forward with your left leg and pass the ball under your left knee from your right arm to your left arm.
Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the ball over your chest and push the ball into the air until your arms are fully extended. Lower to the starting position and repeat.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ball with both hands in the air over your right shoulder with your arms fully extended. Move the ball at a diagonal across your body and bend your left knee as you touch the ball the floor on the outside of your left foot. Return to the starting position and complete all repetitions before switching to the other side.
Triceps Overhead Press
Hold the medicine ball in both hands straight up overhead with your arms fully extended. Keep your arms close to your ears and slowly bend your elbows to lower the ball behind your head. Once your elbows bend to slightly less than a 90 degree angle, press the ball back up to the starting position.
Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a small medicine ball with both hands, close to your chest. Keeping your upper back straight, slowly lower it towards the floor until you feel your abdominals engage. Hold this position and lift your right foot about 6 inches off the floor. Pass the ball under your right knee from your left hand to your right hand. Switch legs and pass the ball under the left knee back to the left hand.
Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a small medicine ball with both hands, close to your chest. Keeping your upper back straight, slowly lower it towards the floor until you feel your abdominals engage. Hold the medicine out in front of you with both hands and your arms fully extended at chest level. Slowly rotate your torso to the right and move the ball to the right with straight, extended arms. Return to center and slowly rotate to the left.
Around the Core
Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a small medicine ball with both hands, close to your chest. Keeping your upper back straight, slowly lower it towards the floor until you feel your abdominals engage. Move the ball to your right hand, and pass it behind your back to your left hand. Continue to pass the ball in the same direction around your torso to complete your full number of repetitions before switching directions.
*When doing squats and lunges its important to practice safe form to protect your knees. Sit your bottom back as you squat and lower your body straight down when lunging to ensure that your knees do not push forward past your toes.