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10 Medicine Ball Exercises You’ll Love chuz fitness

10 Medicine Ball Workouts You’ll Love

With so much variety in workout equipment, machines, and training techniques, no two workout routines need look alike. It’s worth trying your hand to see what you have the most fun with—and what a humble yet powerful piece of strength-training equipment, it’s a must-try.

The versatility of this weighted ball may make it your next go-to training tool. Plus, if you’re wondering how to stay motivated to workout, trying new exercises and equipment, such as a medicine ball, may be just the key. To give you some inspiration, we’ve compiled ten medicine ball workouts that will make planning your next gym session a breeze.

What is a medicine ball anyway?

Although it’s a staple in any modern gym, the medicine ball is nothing new to the world of fitness. These weighted balls date back to ancient Greece. Hippocrates is believed to have given animal skins filled with the weighted material to his patients and instructed them to toss them around as part of their treatment.1 Even gladiators used them in their training exercises.

Today’s medicine balls have come a long way from their animal skin cousins. Now, most have a firm rubber outer surface and vary in size and weight. You can identify them by looking for an exercise ball that resembles a basketball in shape and feel.

The American Council on Exercise has approved this training tool, affirming that training with the mighty medicine ball can help you improve:2

  • might
  • Posture
  • motion
  • athletic skills

Convinced yet? Grab your nearest medicine ball, and let’s get to work.

10 Medicine Ball Workout

Whether you’re looking to freshen up your warmup routine or work up a sweat with a full-body workout, there’s something for everyone in these ten med ball workouts.

Before you begin, you’ll want to choose the right medicine ball for you. While they’re simple to use, they’re not necessarily one-size-fits-all—depending on your fitness level, you can choose a lighter or heavier fitness ball. The key is that you feel your muscles working, but you don’t have to stop doing a few reps of the exercise in each set. Our basic guide is as follows:

  • initial – up to 6 pounds
  • intermediate – 6 to 8 pounds
  • advanced – 12 pounds or more

If you’re using a medicine ball for the first time, focus on maintaining good form, choosing a comfortable weight, and controlling your movements to prevent injury. Once you’ve mastered medicine ball exercises, you can adjust your reps and number of sets to suit your fitness goals. Let’s jump into the first one!

#1 Medicine ball overhead pass

A dynamic warm-up is essential to prevent injury during exercise. In addition to stretching and warming up your muscles, the warm-up increases your blood flow, body temperature and heart rate, continuously preparing your body for the main workout to come.3

Either sitting or standing, try this upper body medicine ball workout during your next warm-up routine:

  1. Begin with a medicine ball in one hand by your side, with an engaged core and a straight back.
  2. Raise the ball over your head and grab it with your other hand.
  3. Bring the ball down and up again, continuing this pass-off over your head.

ups and downsIf you are looking for more intensity, you can toss the ball with your hands over your head.

#2 Hamstring Extension

Want to exercise your lower body? Another medicine ball exercise to help prepare your body for the sweat sesh to come is the hamstring extension. You might be wondering if you’re only in the warm-up section of your training.

Here’s how to complete this exercise:

  1. Begin in a standing position with the ball held above your head, arms fully extended.
  2. Keeping your back and arms straight, hinge forward from the hips.
  3. Step one leg forward and lower your arms, tapping the ball on your toe.
  4. Bring the ball back to the starting position and repeat.

#3 Reverse Lunge and Overhead Reach

A unique variation on the typical lunge, this warm-up exercise can help open up the hips and shoulders. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Begin in a standing position with a medicine ball between both hands at your waist.
  2. Drop into a lunge, bringing the ball over your head.
  3. Tilt the ball in the opposite direction of your front foot.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat.

#4 Knee Lift

To get your heart rate up without setting foot on a treadmill, grab a medicine ball and tackle this next exercise. Don’t be fooled by its simple look – this is a body burner in disguise:

  1. Begin in a standing position with a medicine ball above your head.
  2. As you lower it, lift your right knee so it touches the ball at around hip height.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat on your left leg, alternating feet.

#5 Triceps Extension with a Partner

The triceps extension is a classic exercise that you may have tried with dumbbells before. But using a medicine ball gives you the option of tossing a partner between reps, increasing the intensity, and having fun! Catching exercises are also a great way to practice hand-eye coordination.

Choose your partner and follow these instructions together:

  1. Begin in either a seated or standing position, facing your partner, with a medicine ball held behind your head.
  2. Raise the ball above your head and toss it towards your partner. Their hands should be raised above their heads, ready to catch.
  3. They’ll bring the ball down to the same starting position and toss it back to you.
  4. Be sure to keep your elbows as close to your head as possible when you’re catching the ball, and engage your triceps as you lower, lift, and throw the ball.

#6 Abdominal twist

If you’ve ever worked out with medicine balls before, you’re probably familiar with using them to enhance abdominal twists and work out your core muscles. If not, you’ll soon realize why. Increase the intensity of your twists with these steps:

  1. Begin in a sitting position on your knees. You can plant or extend your legs depending on the intensity you want. Lean your upper body back slightly.
  2. Holding the medicine ball with both hands, move from left to right, controlling the movement.

ups and downsTo make this a partnership exercise, sit parallel to your gym buddy and pass the ball to each other in between twists.

#7 Medicine Ball Slam

Medicine ball slams are a great exercise that can help strengthen several muscle groups in your upper and lower body. This exercise helps you develop power and strength, but it can also raise your heart rate, making it count as cardio. Because this exercise involves slamming your medicine ball on the ground, it may help to do it outside — such as in a grassy area — to reduce noise and soften the impact. Then, follow these steps for the overhead slam exercise:

  1. Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and an exercise ball held above your head.
  2. Hit the ball on the ground right in front of your feet.
  3. Squat down to pick it up.
  4. Bring the ball back over your head and repeat.

#8 Upward Toss

If you have a wall at home or a gym that’s strong enough to withstand the impact of a medicine ball, try tossing this upward for a twist on the back slam. it goes like this:

  1. Begin in a standing position facing a wall, holding a medicine ball by your chest.
  2. Squat down, and as you come up, use force to hurl the medicine ball toward a point on the wall.
  3. Catch it as it drops and sit back down, repeating the same motion.

ups and downs: Gym partner feeling a bit bored? Grab them to transform your wall so you can work together. All they have to do is put their hands on top of you, ready to catch the ball as you toss it overhead.

#9 Superman

Do not round your back on your back during training. Although the medicine ball-free Superman exercise is challenging on its own, you can add some extra upper body weight to increase the difficulty. This paired medicine ball exercise targets the glutes and back.

  1. Begin by lying face down on the ground with a medicine ball in front of you.
  2. Reach forward with your hands to grab the ball.
  3. Raise the ball and your legs as high as you can, hold for a second.
  4. Lower the ball and your legs to the ground and repeat.
  5. Be sure to keep your neck in a neutral, stable position when performing this exercise to avoid injury.

#10 V-Up

A set of V-ups with the added weight of a medicine ball will definitely get you feeling the burn. This exercise combines sit-ups with leg raises to build your core strength and stability. Here’s how to perform them:

  1. Begin by lying on your back with a medicine ball in your hands.
  2. Engage your core muscles to bring your arms and legs up until your body forms a V.
  3. Pass the exercise ball from your hands to your feet and lower your body.
  4. Repeat, passing the ball from feet to hands and back again.

Don’t forget to engage your core and use your breath during this exercise. Inhale as you lift up in a V and engage and exhale as you lower yourself back down to the ground.

Find your fitness community on Choose

After a few toss, twists and turns, the medicine ball will definitely become one of your go-to fitness tools. If you feel shaky in the beginning, don’t worry. It can take some time to get used to the new equipment and exercises—and you can always count on your local gym if you need some help.

On chuz fitnessFostering an inclusive community is our priority. No matter your fitness experience, level, or goals, Chuz Fitness experts want to help you master any piece of equipment and build an exciting routine that has you going to the gym (and not far away). ).

Know about us Membership Plans and “Search to find the one closest to you”gym near me“You deserve to join the fun fitness community.

reviewed by:

Annie Chuze is the Vice President of Fitness at Fitness and oversees the Group Fitness and Team Training departments. He has had a career of 25+ years in club management, personal training, group exercise and coach training. Annie lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and son and enjoys hot yoga, snowboarding, and all things cool.


  1. HuffPost. Medicine Balls Are Actually Ancient Fitness Tools, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/medicine-balls-history_n_5937664
  2. American Council on Exercise. A Medicine Ball Workout for Your Clients, https://www.acefitness.org/continuing-education/certified/march-2017/6267/a-medicine-ball-workout-for-your-clients/
  3. NSMI. Importance of Warming Up Before Sports – Sports Injury Prevention, http://www.nsmi.org.uk/articles/injury-prevention/warming-up.html



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