Medicine ball exercises date back over 1600 years to the Romans, but gained popularity within the last century as a tool used in boxing training. A traditional medicine ball is 14 inches across and ranges in weight from 2 to 24 pounds. The modern medicine ball is available in a variety of sizes, weights and colors.
A medicine ball can be thrown, caught, carried or simply held during other exercises to increase difficulty and intensity. Here are 7 examples of fat burning exercises using a medicine ball:
1. Oblique Twist
The medicine ball is ideal for twisting movements that strengthen your torso. For the oblique twist, hold the ball at chest level, plant your feet and twist slowly all the way to the left, back to center and all the way right. To increase the intensity, hold the ball at arm’s length and chest height throughout the movement. Popular with baseball and tennis players as this movement increases power in your twist.
2. Medicine Ball Toss
Have a partner stand slightly behind you. Hold the ball with both hands at waist height and as you turn, toss the ball to your partner who should catch it and immediately toss it back to you. And repeat. You will also want to alternate tosses left and right to balance your training.
3. Squat, Press, Throw
Plant your feet slightly wider than shoulder width holding the medicine ball at chest level. Perform a slow, low squat and then jump as you throw the ball high into the air. Let the ball fall to the ground, recover and repeat as quickly as possible.
4. Lunge With Twist
Start with your feet together, and the ball at arm’s length in front of you. Step off (lunge forward) with one foot until the forward knee is above your forward ankle. Hold the lunge as you move the ball as far left as possible, return to center and rotate right as far as possible. Push back with the forward foot to the start position and lunge with the opposite foot and repeat, left, right, left.
5. Medicine Ball Chops
Hold the ball at waist level and partially squat into a steady position. Raise the ball to your left ear and then slam it down at a diagonal outside your right foot. Quickly retrieve the ball and reset and slam the ball to your left, alternate left, right and left.
6. Medicine Ball Pushups
Start in a regular pushup position but with both hands on the ball. Perform slow pushups as you steady the ball and your upper body. To change it up, plant one hand on the ball and the other on the ball, perform one push-up and roll the ball to the opposite hand and perform another pushup. Alternate left, right and left.
7. Wall Pass
Find a strong sturdy concrete wall and stand 3-4 feet in front of it with one shoulder toward the wall. While holding your medicine ball with both hands, tighten your core and twist and hurl the ball at the wall. Medicine balls don’t normally bounce, but you are throwing it hard enough for it to bounce and then to catch it. Catch, twist the opposite direction and throw again. Twist, throw, catch twist and throw.