Here are my favorite med ball workouts. And remember if you don’t have a med ball, you can get creative with water bottles or soup cans. The important thing is that you’re moving your body.
(Be sure to watch this video before you try any of these exercises.)
Med Ball Slam
In this exercise (which, by the way, is the perfect stress release), you’re focused on squatting down and slamming your frustrations out. Put your arms overhead, squat, and slam the ball down to the ground as you squat. Your goal is to catch the ball on your way up. Start at a 5- to 10-lb. ball. If you go up in weight (15 to 20 pounds), you’ll feel more in your arms and core and do fewer reps. If you opt for a lower weight, you can do more reps.
Focus on keeping good squat form, and avoid any bad foot placement that could injure you while squatting. Your feet can be wider than shoulder width apart because you need room to slam the ball. At a lighter weight, opt for three sets of 15 reps. At a heavier weight, opt for three sets of eight to 10 reps.
A Romanian deadlift, or RDL, is a great way to learn deadlift form. You can do this two ways. You can cradle the ball, or you can hold the ball down, touching your legs. Push your hips back and bend forward, making sure to keep good posture. Stiffen your body. You’re going to feel a stretch in the hamstrings and under the glutes. Use the same weight you used for the squats (5 to 20 pounds). Opt for three sets of 15 reps for lighter weight, three sets of eight to 10 reps for heavier weight.
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
In this exercise, you’ll bend the same way you would in a two-legged RDL. But in a single-leg Romanian deadlift, you’ll develop balancing skills. Bend forward at the hip and extend your second leg fully out behind you as far as you can without losing your balance. Opt for three sets of 15 reps on each side for lighter weight (5 to 10 pounds), and three sets of 10 reps on each side for heavier weight (15 to 20 pounds).
Your goal in this exercise is to learn how to control your sense of gravity when you squat. This is a good way to start learning to keep your chest up when you squat. Place your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, toes facing slightly outward. (Everyone’s foot placement is slightly different.) Put your arms over your head (you can put a chair behind you if that makes you feel more comfortable) and squat. Opt for three sets of 15 reps on each side for lighter weight (5 to 10 pounds), and three sets of eight to 10 reps on each side for heavier weight (15 to 20 pounds).
Lunge with Trunk Rotation
In this exercise, you’re keeping your core tight as you lunge, and twisting. You’re working on your legs and obliques. This is another way to spice up a lunge. As you drop down into your lunge position, twist toward the leg that’s bent in front. Opt for three sets of 15 reps on each side for lighter weight (five to 10 pounds), and three sets of eight to 10 reps on each side for heavier weight (15 to 20 pounds). If you’re not strong in your arms, opt for the lighter ball (5 to 10 pounds) because you have to keep your arms extended throughout the whole exercise. For variations, you can also do a lunge slam (see video).
Hold the ball and extend your arms out. As you extend your arms, squeeze your triceps and your chest. Use a lighter weight before going to a heavier weight. This exercise works both your chest and triceps. Opt for three sets of 15 reps for lighter weight (5 to 10 pounds), and three sets of eight to 10 reps for heavier weight (15 to 20 pounds).
Hold the ball in both hands behind your head. Extend your arms behind your head at a 90-degree angle, and then lift them up into the air. Once you’re in position, you should only be moving from your elbow to your hand. Make sure to keep your core tight and point your elbows toward the ceiling. Opt for three sets of 15 reps for lighter weight (5 to 10 pounds), and three sets of eight to 10 reps for heavier weight if you feel up to the challenge (15 to 20 pounds).
Around the World
This is a shoulder exercise. Start with a light ball (5 to 10 pounds). Make a circle around your head eight times in each direction. This exercise will help keep your shoulders nice and loose.
One-Armed Pushup with Medicine Ball
This is an advanced move. To modify, do the exercise on your knees. Put one hand on the ground and the other on the ball and do pushups. Newbies, opt for 10 on each side on your knees. Advanced, opt for 10 on each side in a full pushup position.
Russian Twist Med Ball Slam
Keep your core tight at all times as you slightly sit back, rotate your torso and slam the ball. Do a total of 20 (10 on each side). For lightweight options go up to 10 pounds. For heavyweight options go up to 20 pounds.
Med Ball Crunch
This is another advanced move. In this exercise, you can do a crunch, a situp or both. You’re going to almost do a shoulder press as you crunch up. Use a weight of 10 pounds or above. Opt for 20 reps.
About the Author: LP is a personal trainer based out of New York. She is also Curvicaity’s monthly fitness columnist. For more LP, you can find her on IG @sexy_as_i_get