6 Power Medicine Ball Exercises To Dominate Your Core And Blast Your Body
Small package, MASSIVE power.
Medicine balls look tame and carry an innocuous name. They often come plastered in bright primary colors, which just adds insult to injury. Compared to racks on racks of dumbbells, loaded barbells, and hulking cable stacks, they often look anemic and collect dust in the corner of any gym. Most casual lifters won’t go near them, unless a trainer uses brute force and literally tosses one into their routine.
Stop ignoring them — you’re turning down results. Medicine balls have the potential to solidify the body, ignite new muscle growth, and slowly carve out a striated set of abs. They’re extremely functional, facilitate an arsenal of highly explosive exercises (including HIIT), and forcibly develop basic movement patterns; three things that are often neglected in most workout routines.
Beyond aesthetics, they’re especially beneficial if you’re an athlete that relies on dynamic power and strength. Weekend golfers, pick-up ballers, and tetherball pros, get acquainted.
Get back to basics. Blast your body, polish your sports performance, and chisel out an iron-clad set of abs with 6 of the top power medicine ball exercises. All you need is a ball, a wall, and potentially a friend.
*Need a medicine ball? We like the dual grip on SKLZ and Champion Sports’ soft Rhino Slam Ball.
Image: Tribe Sports
Target Muscle(s): Legs, Shoulders, Abs, Arms
Sports Application(s): Soccer Throw-In, Tennis Serve
The Medicine Ball Overhead Slam is probably the closest you’ll ever get to legally Hulk smashing something in public. Not only is it a badass, euphoric stress reliever, but it’s also an explosive full-body move that compresses the core, burns out the legs, and incorporates HIIT.
The key: acceleration and velocity. It starts with a squat and finishes with a full-blown slam. SMASH IT. Hard. Your goal is always to generate as much power as possible — that’s a product of speed and weight. Focus on form and speed first, and then progress to a heavier medicine ball.
- (1) Start in a half squat position.
- (2) Ascend upwards to a full stand and raise your arms overhead. The ball should be as high as possible.
- (3) Immediately contract your lats, core, and arms, sink into your hips, and throw the ball as hard as possible into the ground.
- (4) Grab the ball and repeat.
Target Muscle(s): Abs (Obliques), Shoulders, Arms
Sports Application(s): Baseball Swing, Golf Swing, Tennis Swing, Hockey Shot
Medicine Ball Side Throws are a potent way to quickly ignite the core—specifically the obliques—build rotational power, and develop overall core strength. Concentrate and fire away with as much velocity and explosiveness as possible. You’ll activate your core, legs, and arms to a degree that most other exercises can’t.
These work with a friend or a wall. If you’re throwing the medicine ball at a friend, widen the distance and/or up the weight to increase the difficulty. Your goal — knock them down (not out, make sure they’re paying attention).
- (1) Stand in a mid squat position with your feet in a wide stance.
- (2) Rotate and pull the ball to the right side of your body. Powerfully torque across your body, engage your core, and throw the ball laterally to the left as hard as possible.
- (3) Retrieve the ball, rotate back across your body and repeat.
Part of what makes Medicine Ball Side Throws so effective is “anti-rotation.” That’s the resistance of force in a given direction, which in this case means the recoil when the ball comes back to your body. Keep your core as tight and straight as possible when the ball comes back in (if you’re working with a friend/trainer), absorb the impact, and then twist.
Target Muscle(s): Legs, Arms, Chest, Shoulders
Sports Application(s): Basketball Jump Shot, Volleyball Serve
Medicine Ball Squat Throws are a powerful way to build vertical explosiveness. Jump shots included. They build coordination and train the body to efficiently transfer energy from the lower body to upper body — that helps generate power.
In the process, you’ll torch calories and sweat up a tsunami. They’re brutal and ignite muscle fibers throughout the entire body.
- (1) Start in a standing position in front of a wall. Hold a medicine ball at chest height.
- (2) Squat down as low as possible, powerfully ascend up, and throw the ball up overhead. It should resemble a chest pass.
- (3) Let the ball hit a wall, catch it/retrieve it, squat back down, and repeat the movement.
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto.
I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP
, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid
, and all-around fitness junkie.
I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine
When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses
and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.
Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO)
& Snapchat (BRYDISANTO)
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