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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021

12 medicine ball exercises that will give you a great full body workout

We’ve broken them down into exercises that will work all of your body’s major muscle groups

YOU DON’T NEED to go to the gym to work out, in fact, you don’t even need to leave your own house if you don’t want to.

You can have the body you crave with a bit of room and a medicine ball – they’re the weighted balls you see at the gym and by our reckoning, they’re a fabulous bit of equipment.

How much you do depends on where your current level of fitness is at but we always promote doing more reps as you progress.

Here, we’re going to give you 12 exercises using the medicine ball that will work all of your body’s major muscle groups. We’ve broken it down into exercises for your upper body, lower body and core.


Upper body

Exercise #1 – Med ball push-up

Very simply drop down into the push-up position adjacent to the ball and extend your arms so your ankle, knees, hips and shoulders are all in a straight line. Now place your palms on the medicine ball, ensuring you have a firm grip.

Next, keeping the core tight drop down until your chest almost touches the ball and return to the starting position. Try three sets of eight for starters. If it’s too hard then drop your knees to the floor while in the push-up position, which will take the pressure off your shoulders.

Exercise # 2 – Med ball slams

This is a great exercise for the arms and shoulders. The heavier the ball the harder it will be so be sure to select a ball that challenges you. Raise the ball directly overhead, bend your knees slightly and slam the ball into the floor, bending down to collect it and raise it above your head again, keeping your arms as extended as much as possible. 20 reps and three sets will leave your arms screaming.

Exercise # 3 – Frontal raise

Standing tall with your knees slightly bent raise the ball up in front of you to eye level. Hold it there for a second and slowly, return to the starting position. This is a great exercise for your chest and shoulders. Do three sets of 20 reps.

Exercise # 4 – Overhead raise

This requires a heavy ball and one where you are really pushing it on your last rep. Stand tall and bring the ball behind your head. Now bend your knees and slowly raise the ball straight up overhead, returning to the starting position. Again, 20 reps of three sets is your lot.


The squad warm up with medicine balls Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO


Lower body

Exercise # 1 – Squats

Standing tall, feet shoulder width apart hold the ball close to your chest. Now, squat down, doing your best to keep your knees straight over your ankles and imagine yourself sitting back into a chair.

At the same time you do this extend your arms with the ball straight out in front of you. Squat down as much as you can, maintaining proper form and hold for one second at the lowest position. Then return to the starting position.

Exercise # 2 – Forward lunges

Standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart and the ball tucked closely into your chest, lunge forward with one leg and drop the knee of the other leg down to the floor and hold for a second. Now, raise that knee and in one movement switch legs and bring the alternate knee down to the floor, keeping the ball close to your chest.

Exercise # 3 – Reaching Romanian deadlift

This is quite difficult and requires practice so don’t be alarmed if you fall over the first time. Stand with a medicine ball in your hands. Now, on one leg, lean forward as if you’re passing the ball to someone just out of reach and extend the non-standing leg backwards until that leg and your back are perpendicular (parallel to the floor) to the standing leg.

Hold for a second and return, changing legs. Do this 10 times on each legs to really work your glute muscles.

Exercise # 4 – Single leg squat

This is as much about balance as it is technique and again, requires practice. Stand stall, and extend your arms with the ball firmly clasped between your hands. Raise one leg and extend it straight out in front of you.

Now, try to sit back in a chair, bringing your bum right back. Don’t let the extended leg touch the floor. Return to the start and switch legs. This is great to help tone your legs. Perform 12 squats on each leg and do two more sets.




Exercise # 1 – Med ball twists

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart again, the ball lowered in front of your crotch. Now we’re going to simulate a golf swing, pivoting your legs in one direction and bring the ball high up over to one side of your head. This is an excellent exercise for the hip flexors and the core muscles. It’s essential to keep the core braced. Do 10 to your right and 10 to your left. Do three sets in total.

Exercise # 2 – V-Up

This one isn’t for the softies amongst us. Lying flat on your back extend the ball above your head with your legs stretched out in front of you. Now, at the same time raise your legs and hands (ball in tow) and meet directly above your chest before returning to the starting position. One way to make this harder is to pass the ball from your hands to your feet and bring the feet back to the start before returning again and passing the ball back to your hands. Try 10 of these and three sets for 30 in total.

Exercise # 3 Russian twists

Sitting on the floor hold the ball in your midriff and raise your feet off the mat, interlocking at the ankles. Now, using the ball twist or pivot from side to side, dipping the ball down to almost touch the mat on both sides. Do this 10 times on each side slowly and perform three sets.

Exercise # 4 Sit ups

You’ll need a partner for this to pass you the ball. Perform a standard sit-up but when you get to the top of the movement have someone pass you the ball. You’ll take the ball back down with you, bring it back up and at the top of the movement throw it to your partner, wait, and receive a pass. Do this 20 times for three sets. (60 on total).

About the author:

TheScore Team

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