Benefits of Training with Medicine Balls
Medicine balls have been in use for more than 2,000 years. In fact, Hippocrates was thought to have created medicine balls by having stuffed animal skins for patients to exercise as a form of recovery. Through their long and storied history medicine balls are still one of the most versatile and valuable pieces of equipment that you can add to your home gym. Why are medicine balls so useful at helping you achieve your fitness goals? Medicine balls are considered to provide functional training. In other words, rather than focusing on individual muscles, working out with a medicine ball involves activating a collection of joints and muscle groups. Functional training offers a big advantage over other forms of exercise.
Developing Your Abs with A Medicine Ball
Aside from the aesthetic benefits of using medicine balls to work out your abs, medicine balls assist with developing a stronger core. A stronger core not only helps you get into your skinny jeans, it has real life physical fitness benefits that extend past the gym. Improving your core has direct impact on reducing lower back pain. Improved mobility and strengthening the hips, thighs, glutes and core provides the stability necessary to accomplish daily tasks such as lifting, or bending without lower back aches and pains. Strengthening your core has an additional benefit, improved posture. Proper posture, as supported by a stable core, results in less pressure to your lower back. Additionally, developing ab muscles result in better respiratory function. The diaphragm, the muscle you use for breathing, can benefit from the proper posture of a strong core. When you stand up straight, your body’s alignment allows your diaphragm the room it needs to perform better, resulting in improved respiration.
10 Medicine Ball Exercises to Blast Your Abs
1. Wall ball shots
A compound exercise which combines a front squat with the medicine ball and a push press-like throwing of the ball to a target located some distance about the exerciser. This a full body movement, working your legs, core, and arms.
- Hold ball with both hands close to the chest or face.
- Squat down with thighs at or slightly lower than parallel to the floor (if possible).
- Quickly squat back up creating momentum, and throw the medicine ball to the target on wall with knees and arms fully extended.
- Catch the ball with arms and knees slightly bent, return to near upper chest or face while descending for next rep.
- Repeat for 3-4 sets at 10-15 repetitions.
2. Medicine Ball Roll-up
This simple exercise mimics much of the same movement as a sit up but with one key difference. The added weighted resistance of a medicine ball works your abs, your arm, and your shoulder at the same time. To start this workout lay on an exercise mat, or the ground, holding the ball in one hand.
- With your feet extended bring your left knee to a bent position and hold the medicine ball with both hands.
- Now, roll-up to a seated position as you continue holding the ball extended towards the ceiling.
- Lower back to the starting position and repeat for 20 reps.
3. Medicine Ball Plank
Achieving killer medicine ball abs, wouldn’t be complete without this ab blaster. You may have done a plank, but you’ve never done a plank like this. Beneficial for core strength, balance and stability, the medicine ball plank is not for the timid. To begin this exercise lay prone with your legs fully extended behind you on an exercise mat or the ground.
- Place the medicine ball under your chest and raise yourself up to a plank position.
- With one hand then the other, place your hands on the medicine ball and while contracting your abs and glutes. Then, hold plank on top of the medicine ball for a period of 30 seconds before lowering back to the start position.
- Repeat for 8 sets, gradually working up to 60 seconds.
This is a deceptively easy looking exercise that delivers serious results. To begin, stand with your feet hip width apart holding the medicine ball in front of you with both hands.
- With your arms slightly bent raise the ball over your head.
- Bend forward, bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and starting from the top of the left shoulder, mimic throwing the ball diagonally across your body towards the opposite knee– do not let go of the ball! Imaging you’re chopping some wood at this angle and the ball is your axe.
- With great force return to the standing position and raise the ball over your head.
- Repeat for 15 reps.
5. Medicine Ball V-Ups
A multi-purpose medicine ball abdominal exercise, Medicine Ball V-Ups, not only fire up the abs, but also turn up the burn on quads and hip flexors. To begin, lay face up on an exercise mat or the ground.
- With your legs extended in front of you, grab the medicine ball with both hands and extend your arms over your head.
- Holding the medicine ball in your hands and keeping your arms straight, contract your abdominal muscles and raise your feet to a 30-degree angle and you touch your toes with the medicine ball.
- Return to laying flat on your back with your legs and arms extended and repeat for 12 reps.
6. Medicine Ball Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a great exercise to raise your heart rate while you develop your abs. Medicine ball mountain climbers increase the difficulty of the exercise, because as with medicine ball planks you’re balancing on the ball as you perform the exercise.
- Begin laying prone on an exercise mat, or the ground.
- Raise yourself up to plank position with the ball under your chest and move your hands to the ball so you’re balancing all your weight on the ball with your legs engaged and extended behind you (similar to the top of a push-up position).
- Holding onto the ball for stability draw your left knee into your chest, returning it to the start position, then reverse.
- Repeat each leg 25 times.
7. Medicine Ball Sit-Ups
An effective medicine ball ab workout, the medicine ball sit-up exercise brings a new dimension to a classic exercise. To begin lay face up on an exercise mat or the ground.
- Raise your knees so they’re bent approximately 90-degrees.
- Holding the medicine ball with both hands against your chest slowly raise your torso in a sit up position.
- Lower slowly and repeat 25 times.
8. Squat to Press
While primarily developing your lower body and your shoulders, the squat press requires significant core strength to maintain proper form. To begin, stand with feet slightly wider than hip width and hold a medicine ball with both hands against your chest.
- Pushing your hips back as if you’re sitting in a chair, bend your knees, and lower your body while you continue to hold the ball against your chest.
- Once you reach your lowest maximum position stand by driving your heels into the floor and push your chest back up while you simultaneously extend your arms over your head.
- Bring your arms back to the starting position and repeat 20 times.
9. Medicine Ball Boat Balance
A modified yoga pose, the medicine ball boat balance offers a new challenge to this traditional balance pose. Start by sitting on an exercise mat or on the ground.
- Raise your torso off the floor and grab the medicine ball.
- Keeping your knees bent, lift your feet off the floor so they’re hovering in line with your chest.
- Place the medicine ball on your shins and balance the ball while you lean slightly backwards.
- Extend your arms forward and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
10. Reverse Medicine Ball Plank
If two variations on plank pose wasn’t enough for you, we have a third. We saved the best for last, this difficult balancing pose doesn’t pull any punches. Start by laying prone on the floor or exercise mat with the medicine ball near your feet.
- Raise your torso off the ground in a high plank pose.
- Carefully place the toes from one foot on the medicine ball, then carefully place the toes from the other foot on the ball so your feet are balancing on the ball completely.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat for 8 sets.
Bionic Body Medicine Ball Features
Marcy offers a selection of Bionic Body Medicine Balls weighing 6lbs to 20lbs. Every Bionic Body Medicine Ball is constructed from durable, and soft exterior with multi-stitched seams for excellent durability. Designed with a tough exterior and filled with high impact-absorbent filling, they will maintain their shape and stand up to rigorous use including dropping and throwing. Select from 6, 10, 14, and 20 lb. weights, Bionic Body Medicine Balls are ideal for all fitness levels and athletic training programs.
Develop Stronger Abs, and Improve Your Aerobic and Muscle Fitness with Bionic Body Medicine Balls
Whether you’re using your Bionic Body Medicine Ball to develop stronger core muscles or raising your aerobic capacity by using it as a slam ball, you’ll soon find yourself on your way to a slimmer, trimmer, figure. When shopping for the best medicine balls, be sure your check out Marcy Pro. With variable weights, sturdy construction and standard two-year manufacturer’s warranty Marcy has the right medicine ball to meet your fitness goals.
Eisinger, Amy (February 5, 2016), 10 Medicine Ball Moves to Build Serious Core Strength. Retrieved from: https://greatist.com/move/core-exercises-medicine-ball
Wiederer, Dan (November 9, 2008) The Tar Heels Workout. Retrieved from: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19532346/the-ultimate-medicine-ball-workout/
OxygenMag (May 25, 2013), 6 Medicine Ball Exercises for Six-Pack Abs. Retrieved from: https://www.oxygenmag.com/workouts/7-medicine-ball-exercises-sixpack-abs-11555
Barroso, Mark. 5 Everyday Benefits of Stronger Abs. Retrieved from: https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/5-everyday-benefits-stronger-abs/