Exercises with a medicine ball are one of the variants to be adopted even at home, to maintain muscle hypertrophy at home, not having a gym with barbells or dumbbells available. In this case, a medicine ball could be very useful. Very useful therefore to train the whole body in an alternative way.
The medicine ball exercises are suitable and adaptable to all levels of athletic training and can be used in all fitness disciplines ranging from Calisthenics to Crossfit, from Bodybuilding to combat sports such as Boxing, Kick Boxing, Thai Boxing, and MMA
All this was born from various sports and its success is due to the development of power and strength, especially in specific sports activities where explosive movements are required. With this, we will analyze 7 exercises to be performed with the medicine ball, which can be performed safely even at home.
Best Medicine Ball Exercises | Ultimate Guide 2023
Let’s make a list of the best medicine ball exercises:
We can start by saying that the modality is very similar to a front squat , but performed with a medball, therefore definitely has lower load, for this reason, to be performed deeper if possible and with a slower eccentric phase. Fundamental as a prerequisite to then tackle the heavier barbell squats. Because of this:
- It can certainly be used as a preventive exercise, but also as an analgesic for low back pain, strengthening the part;
- We have less load on the spine and above all it has respect for normal physiological curves (2 lordoses and 2 kyphoses);
- Activates the paravertebral musculature on the basis of what has been said above;
- It allows greater activation of the gluteus maximus, making you perform the exercise deeper.
Apart from the classic front medball squat , we will be able to perform a medball jump squat, medball overhead squat, medball jump, or a medball jump on step, as our level increases.
Another exercise with the medicine ball, we find the burpees; the first thing that comes to mind if we have ever done one is the fatigue of the full exercise. His work is aimed at the dorsal and hip extensor chain. Very useful, we can say, for the joint mobility of the whole organism. You will understand therefore, with the addition of the medicine ball, unlike the squat, the exercise will increase in difficulty, having both the overload of the medicine ball and the instability on the ground at the time of the plank position.
I will give you some advice on how to do it according to everyone’s abilities. When you begin to master this exercise, the first thing is to use the medicine ball only in the phase of returning from the plank position to the standing position, with the push of the weight upwards. Subsequently, performing the exercise in the same way, the execution of the burpees can be completed with the jump. Finally, for the more experienced, you can perform a push-up on the ground on the medball and a subsequent jump in the standing position. The medicine ball will serve to increase the intensity of an already intense exercise and to accentuate the proprioceptive and balance phase .
The plank positions , in all their variants, are the basis of the core stability work . They are also a great indicator of the strength we have or can have in the abdominal belt. So as you understand, they affect the entire abdominal area. Also essential for the muscles that stabilize the shoulder.
For this fundamental exercise, the medball offers an important step. When we master the plank position, we can move on to the use of the medball, first spring and then hard to gradually decrease the surface resting on the ground. First the medicine ball is placed on the upper part of the forearm, towards the elbow, with arms bent at 90 °. Then you can move on to the straight-arm position, with the medicine ball placed under the hands , or with two medballs, respectively one under each hand.
Another variant could be to place the feet, or even better the toes, on the medball, always first soft and then hard, and keep in the plank position.
4. Reverse crunch
The reverse crunch could be, according to many, one of the best exercises to test the strength of the rectus abdominis . The medball will serve, with legs bent, positioned between the knees, to increase the difficulty of the exercise, thanks to its weight but also, thanks to the closure of the legs, accentuate the adductor contraction to keep it strong. Thanks to this last contraction the pelvis will remain more stabilized, thus favoring the contraction and fatigue on the rectus abdominis. A great exercise to do to fully work this muscle.
5. Push up
The push up , as you all know, is one of the most practiced exercises especially by men. It trains the pectoral muscles in a greater percentage, and then works on the brachial triceps and shoulders. Where can medicine balls help?
The exercise increases in difficulty due to the destabilizing action of the medicine balls placed under both hands, or with a single ball under one hand, or by doing a cross push up (each push-up always change side), then they could be supported lastly. hands only on a medball.
Participation, thanks to the instability of the exercise, of the stabilizing muscles of the scapula and humerus. Another major and very important activation is that of the abdominal band.
Last but not least is the greatest descent of the body to the floor. Thanks to the medball you have a greater range of motion by involving and stimulating the brachial triceps and the pectoral more.
6. Push press
The military press or push press are all exercises that can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells, but also with a medball. With this tool you can perform a normal upward push exercise, but above all the beauty of the medicine ball are the balance exercises, the so-called “balance”, to be performed with a ball, resting on both hands, or on one hand at a time, however, it is important to perform the exercise with an open hand and the medball resting on the palm of the hand.
You can then perform the “medball diagonal press”, an exercise that mimics the throwing of the medball diagonally upwards. Definitely a complete exercise because the push must be explosive, given by the strength of the shoulder muscles, but above all of the lower limbs, involving the extensor chain of the hip. Understand how this side-to-side shift positively affects the work of the abdominal band.
7. Side to side half press
This is a real exercise with the ad hoc medical ball, very intense and preparatory to many sports such as boxing , various combat sports and rugby. It is an exercise in the upper compartment but, for most of the deltoid and trapezius, very useful, however, also for the scapulo-humeral girdle.
You hold the medicine ball with two hands, holding it just above your head. Then he moves towards the left shoulder holding it with the same hand and with the right that he accompanies. Then he goes back to the center and changes sides to work equally on both sides. The deltoid is therefore always under stress, never completely resting.
Best Medicine Ball Exercises | Infographics
Best Medicine Ball Exercises | Video Explanation
What are Medicine Ball Exercises for?
Medicine ball barbells are used to increase strength, power, and cardio. If you have a heavy medicine ball, this exercise is for you.
What is the best weight for a medicine ball?
Regarding the recommended size of a medicine ball, Fitness Trainers recommends that a 4- to 15-pound medicine ball is optimal.
Is medicine ball training effective?
Medicine ball training has been shown to be more effective than traditional strength training in improving throwing and swinging performance.
We have seen the 7 most common medicine ball exercises to perform; as you have understood, fundamental tool for the propaedeutics yes, but also in the field of functional and sport-specific training. Very useful for mimicking the sporting gesture and to enhance it. A very versatile tool, available in a wide range of variations and weights, very useful for strengthening your body.
Hi, I am Matt Storace and I am a former personal trainer and founder of Beast Biceps. We had to find ways to train at home. When I started looking for the equipment I needed, I quickly realized that there were no good resources online. So I created Beast Biceps. It is a treasure trove of information developed from my experience and research. Read More Here