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Dublin: -1°C Monday 1 March 2021

The all-round fitness circuit that requires just a medicine ball

Who knew fitness could be so cheap.

This is all you need for a complete circuit.
This is all you need for a complete circuit.
Image: Shutterstock/LoloStock

YOU DON’T NEED a gym or a personal trainer to stay in shape when you can master this 10-exercise circuit 2-3 times a week using only a medicine ball.

This circuit is comprised of exercises that’ll work the upper and lower body as well as the core so we suggest alternating, ie. do an upper body exercise followed by lower followed by core and repeat; a circuit within a circuit, if you like.

To make life easier we’ve laid out the routine for you here…

1. After a 5-minute warm-up crack straight into rolling push ups

Source: Saranjeet Singh/YouTube

These are great for the chest and back as well as your core so to execute it you simply get into the plank position with your arms extended but with the medicine ball under one hand.

Now, lower your chest towards the floor to perform a push-up.

Return to the (extended arms) plank position again and roll the ball to the other hand. If this is too hard, drop your knees.

2. Next we’re going to do ‘v-ups’ to specifically target the core

Source: LivestrongWoman/YouTube

Lie flat on your back with your legs extended in front of you and your arms extended also. Now, with the ball in your hands contract your core and lift your hands and knees simultaneously so the body forms a ‘v’ position.

If you’re a beginner, return to the starting position but for those looking for a harder challenge, pass the ball from the hands to the feet at the top of the ‘v’ position and repeat. That’s one rep.

3. The third exercise of the circuit is a very simple ‘single leg squat’


For this, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Lift the right foot off the ground and extend it forward, locking out the knee.

Hold a medicine ball in front of your stomach and lower the body into a squat position, sitting right back into an imaginary chair with your knees safely positioned over your feet. Return to the starting position for one rep. Switch legs and repeat.

4. Number four is a wall pass and this works the arms and shoulders

Source: James Garland/YouTube

To do this you stand a few feet away from a wall with the ball held against your chest, your elbows pointing out. Now, launch the ball as hard and as high as you can at the wall (without your feet leaving the floor) and catch on its return. Simple.

5. Go straight into core mode and perform straight leg sit-ups

Source: realjockdotcom/YouTube

For these, lie flat on a mat with a medicine ball held in both hands out in front of you.

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Now, keeping your arms extended and your core tight, raise your legs directly over the hips until they’re perpendicular to the floor. Return to the start position and repeat.

6. Back down to your lower body and this time it’s box jumps

Source: Benjamin Boudro/YouTube

The key to this is getting the height of the box right. Too high and you risk injury, too low and you don’t work hard enough.

Very simply, stand opposite the box (stairs or a bench will do too) and with the ball held tightly against your chest squat down as low as you can go and leap upwards and forwards until you land on the box. Don’t stop there, though.

Let your knees ‘fall through’ and get down into another squat before bouncing back to the starting position for one rep.

7. The seventh exercise is the tried and tested push-up

Source: ScottHermanFitness/YouTube

You know the drill by now; place your palms on the medicine ball and shift your bodyweight forward until in the plank position. Keeping the core tight and the head aligned with the spine, slowly lower your chest towards the ball until it almost makes contact, keeping the elbows tucked tightly by your sides.

Finish the move by pressing upward through the arms until they’re fully extended. Again, if you need an adjustment, feel free to pop your knees on the mat.

8. Number eight is the med ball twist

Source: POPSUGAR Fitness/YouTube

To do this you rest on your glutes with your feet off the floor (together and slightly bent) and the med ball held by both hands against your stomach. Now, twist from side to side, ensuring you’re moving from your waist, not your shoulders!

9. The second last exercise is a side lunge

Source: Your Fitness Presciption/YouTube

Stand facing forward with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball at your chest. Take a big step to one side, keeping your back straight and your core tight and when you get to the farthest point stop, take a moment and rebound back up powerfully.

At the top of the movement flex your knee to 90 degrees and return to starting position. Repeat on the other side.

10. Finally, finish off with some cardio work using the ball as a prop

Source: NikeWomen/YouTube

Place the ball on the floor and for a whole minute bounce on the balls of your feet and tap the med ball with your toes. Stay moving all the time! This will complete the session.

Originally published at 07.00

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About the author:

Brian Canty

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