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Medicine Ball Workout. Bodyweight, Cardio, Jumping & Throwing Exercises.

Updated on October 8, 2014

Medicine Balls

Most people think of pills or drugs when they think of medicine. It is something that they need to swallow or have injected into them. However exercise can be medicine. Yoga, tai chi and qigong are healing exercises that promote good health. They are medicine. So is meditation. The weighted balls are called medicine balls because they are a tool people can use to prevent or fix some common health problems.

One of the advantages of medicine balls is that they are firm but soft. You can throw them, catch them and jump with them. They can even be thrown hard at a solid floor or wall. It is not safe to throw dumbbells, barbells or weight plates. Throwing a medicine ball is a good way to build explosive power. Jumping with a medicine ball is a good way to build explosive power and burn calories. Medicine balls are easy to hold between your hands and your legs.

Medicine ball exercises can be done with your hands or feet on the medicine ball. Exercising on a ball makes it harder to balance. It works your abs more. Medicine balls are less awkward than dumbbells, barbells or weight plates. Exercising with them feels more natural. It is easy to go from lifting or throwing the ball to exercising on top of it.


Medicine balls usually range from 2 to 30 pounds. For medicine balls 10 pounds is heavy. They are not intended to be used like dumbbells or barbells. It should be easy to pick the ball up when you are not doing an exercise. Medicine balls are best for exercises that don't require a lot of extra weight. They are a good for bodyweight exercises, cardio exercises and throwing exercises.

My medicine ball is 10 pounds. 10 pounds does not seem like much but I would not want the ball to be any heavier. It is a good weight for the medicine ball exercises I do. You may want to get a few medicine balls that are different weights. For some of the exercises like leg raises 10 pounds may be too much.

Medicine Ball Exercises

I have provided a list of my favorite medicine ball exercises that can be done at home by yourself. If you don't have a medicine ball you can still do most of the exercises with a dumbbell or just your bodyweight. The exercises can be done as a medicine ball workout or you can include them with other exercises.

Medicine ball chest throws.
Medicine ball chest throws. | Source
Medicine ball push ups.
Medicine ball push ups. | Source
Medicine ball leg raises.
Medicine ball leg raises. | Source

Supine chest throws. Lay down on your back with your knees bent. Hold the medicine ball against your chest. Then throw it as high as you can. Catch it on the way down. Continue to throw and catch the ball. This is a good exercise for building explosive power. It works your triceps, chest and and shoulders.

Push ups. Get into the push up stance placing your hands on the medicine ball. Then do a set of narrow grip or tricep push ups on the ball. You can also do them with your feet on a medicine ball. If you have more than one you can do push ups with your hands and your feet on a ball. Another option is to have your hands on separate medicine balls or have one on the ball and one of the floor. I like doing push ups with both my hands on one medicine ball.

Leg raises. Lay down on your back and place a medicine ball between your ankles. While squeezing the ball slowly raise your legs. It can be done by slowly moving your legs up and down without touching the floor or by holding your legs in the same position. It is a difficult exercise. So you may need to start with a light medicine ball or a stability ball.

Standing oblique twists. Stand up straight while holding a medicine ball out in front of you with both hands. Twist to one side and then the other. Continue to twist from side to side to works your obliques or side abs.

Russian twist. Sit down on the floor and extend your legs in front of you. Put your hands on the floor and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor.Lean back a little to form a wide V with your torso and your upper legs. Lift your feet so your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Grab a medicine ball. Bring the ball in front of your chest close to your body. Twist your torso from side to side bringing the medicine ball to the floor. If you have trouble practice doing it with your feet on the floor.

Medicine ball walkouts.
Medicine ball walkouts. | Source
Step ups with a medicine ball.
Step ups with a medicine ball. | Source
Jump squats with a medicine ball.
Jump squats with a medicine ball. | Source

Walkouts or rollouts. Kneel down or lean over and place the medicine ball on the floor near your feet. Then roll the ball out with your hands as far as you can without your body touching the floor. After walking out as far as you can roll the ball back. If you have trouble walking your hands back you can walk your feet forward. Practice walking your hands out without the medicine ball first.

Step ups. Step up with your right foot, step up with your left foot, put your right foot back on the floor then step onto the floor with your left foot. Continue leading with your right foot for a set number of reps. Then do it again leading with your left foot. Continue to step on and off at a fast pace. A chair or a set of stairs works well. Hold a medicine ball close to your chest during the exercise.

Squat to shoulder press. Stand up straight holding a medicine ball in front of your chest. Squat down close to the floor. Stand up and lift the medicine ball over your head. Move back into the staring position. Then do the exercise again. Don't let your knees go past your toes while you are squatting. This exercise should be done at a fast pace.

Toss Squats. Do a squat to shoulder press but instead of just lifting the medicine ball above your head throw it. Throw it as high as you can safely throw it above your head. Catch the ball and quickly get back into a squat so you can stand up and throw it again. Keep doing the exercise at a fast pace.

Jump Squats. While holding a medicine ball at chest height stand up straight with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Squat down. Then jump off the floor as high as you can. When you land move back into the squat position and jump again. While jumping you can raise the ball above your head to include a shoulder press. Don't lock your knees during the landing.

Burpees. Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest. Squat down, put the ball on the floor and jump your legs back to get into push up position. Do a push up on the medicine ball. Jump your legs forward to get back into the squat position. Then jump up while raising the ball above your head. Land, move the ball in front of your chest and repeat the exercise. This exercise should be done at a fast pace and you should be holding onto the medicine ball throughout the exercise.

Quick 10 Minute Medicine Ball Workout

This workout should be done at a fast pace. After doing an exercise quickly switch to another one. When you have gone through all of them start again. If you can't complete the desired number of reps for an exercise then switch to a different exercise. The workout is intense. Work at improving your endurance, strength, speed and explosive power. I did this workout with a 10 pound medicine ball.

  • 10 Chest throws
  • 5 Leg raises
  • 10 Push ups
  • 10x2 Step us
  • 5 Walkouts
  • 10 Russian twists or standing twists
  • 10 Burpees

Don't sacrifice quality for quantity. Good form and power are more important than the number of repetitions.


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