Medicine balls have been used throughout the history as a form of rehabilitation for athletes. The earlier version of these were animal skins stuffed with sand. As a medicine ball workout, patients threw them back and forth for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Round and typically soft weighted items have been used by the Russians, Babylonians, Romans, and ancient Egyptians cultures in their armies. Only in more recent history have we called it a medicine ball.
It can be used for rehab, strength training, cross training and most notably in full body workouts and exercise routines. Like it’s cousin the kettle bell it’s a shame I don’t see more people in the gym putting them to good use.
Nowadays, they are also getting popular with working out. In this video, Craig Ballantyne from Turbulence Training shares 10 exercises that uses the medicine ball. These exercises are intended for you to form abs faster.
Because all these routines use full body fluid motions utilizing both the upper and lower torso, they really help you get that shredded abs look. Who doesn’t want a nice set of washboard abdominal muscles right?
Before we proceed with the specific exercises, you should know that you should only use an eight to 10 pound medicine ball if you’re already advanced. For beginners, you can use a soccer ball, basketball, or better yet, no ball at all. Work your way up in order to avoid injury.
That’s the key here. Even if you’re advanced but haven’t workout out in a few weeks, it doesn’t matter start light. Get your body into a good muscle memory for this type of training. Believe me, you’ll be sorry (and sore) if you don’t!
Here is the list of the medicine ball exercises.
While holding the ball and keeping your body faced forward, form a circle with the ball as big as you can without ruining your posture. Do 20 repetitions.
This is a great exercise for the lower back (lower latissimus dorsi and thoracolumbar fascia muscles) as well as the obliques.
As if chopping the firewood in the forest, except you’re only holding the medicine ball. Raise the ball on top of your head then try to slam it in between your legs, while bending your legs as you go down. Repeat the process 20 times.
Woodchoppers are great for your qudricepts, hamstrings, gluteus maximus muscles and your core abdominals.
Standing Russian Twists
Starting with the ball right in front of you, pivot on right toe as you twist your body to the left, then switch to the other side pivoting with the other toe. Your hips should be twisting as you turn. Do 20 of them.
This exercise is great for toning your shoulders and lower abdominal muscles.
Hold the ball near your chest as you assume squatting position. As you push yourself up to a wide stand, drive the medicine ball up over your head. Repeat this 20 times.
This helps build a solid strong core along with your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps muscles.
The first four exercises are really to warm you up. Now we can proceed with the ab exercises.
Medicine ball situps
Lie down with your legs bent. Keep the medicine ball on your chest. Do crunches 20 times.
This is excellent for developing your strong midsection and helps to really tone up your stomach.
On a sitting position, place the ball behind you by twisting your body on one side then pick it up by rotating to the other side. Do it in this direction 20 times and do it in the opposite direction 20 more times.
This is similar to doing abdominal twitsts using a long empty barbell or bar behind your neck. It really helps make your rectis obdominus pop out (these are each of your six packs on your stomach) while also making the tendinous inscriptions (the part in between each six pack abs) look more defined.
Lie down with hands extended holding the ball. Lift your legs and the ball making them touch each other. Do 20 repetitions.
Don’t wuss out here make sure your hands touch the medicine ball!
45 degree twists
Sit down on the floor and raise your knees. Alternately touch the medicine ball on each side of your hips. You should not lower your legs as you do 20 repetitions.
This exercise will really make you feel like you’re shredded, ripped and flat out tired. Make sure to go at an intense pace for a short period of time for best results.
Lie down on the ground with hands extended holding the ball. Lift the ball up to touch your right knee, then lower your knee and ball. Do the same for the other knee. Alternate both knees until you do 20.
It’s easy to cheat on this one so make sure your form and body movement is right on this one.
Start sitting on the floor and open your legs. Lie down to one side and extend your arms with the ball. Sit up then lie down to the other side, then back up. This counts as one repetition. Do 20 of them.
There you have it, a complete medicine ball workout that’s sure to give you the abs you want.