Medicine Ball Exercises For A Total Body Workout

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November 9, 2018

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Medicine balls are a really versatile piece of home gym equipment that you can use to amp up your workout and add that extra level of resistance to bodyweight movements

There are so many ways you can use a medicine ball during your workout — with the correct form, it can help you to work your entire body and develop strength and muscle.Jump to:

As with any workout, make sure you have done a good warm-up before you try out any of these medicine ball exercises.

Tips for doing a medicine ball workout

If you’re working out at the gym, you should have access to a range of equipment — which means performing these medicine ball exercises should be easy! Follow these top tips if you’re doing these exercises in the gym:

  • Try not to go too heavy to start with — remember, the correct form is the most important thing in any workout. This is especially true when performing medicine ball exercises. If you can’t perform each exercise correctly using the ball that you’ve chosen, it may mean you need to swap for a lighter one. Aim to build up the weight slowly over time. 

  • If there are limited medicine balls available in the gym or if the weight you want is not available, you can also use a kettlebell — you might just need to be a little more mindful when moving through each of the exercises. 

Working out from home? Here are some tips for completing these exercises at home:

  • If you don’t own a medicine ball and aren’t in a position to purchase one, you can get creative to do these medicine ball exercises! You’d be surprised how many household items can be a good swap for a medicine ball. Anything weighted that is easy to grasp (that can also be moved correctly through each exercise) can be swapped in as an alternative. 

  • Be mindful of maintaining correct form throughout each of the exercises. Your technique may be compromised a little more easily if you’re not using a conventional medicine ball.

Top 5 medicine ball exercises

Here are 5 of the top medicine ball exercises that you can do to help you work all parts of your body and strengthen your muscles. 

Complete all of these medicine ball exercises twice through each for a full body workout that will get your muscles burning! If you don’t want to complete an entire medicine ball workout, choose some of the exercises to incorporate into your usual workout as a way to change things up!

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Crab walk 

  1. Holding a medicine ball in front of your chest, plant both feet together on the floor. 

  2. Keeping your right foot on the floor, release your left leg and take one large step sideways.

  3. Your feet should be further than shoulder-width apart.

  4. Inhale. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees remain in line with your toes.

  5. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure that your back remains between 45- and 90-degrees of your hips.

  6. Exhale. Push through your heels and extend your legs to return to a neutral standing position and bring your feet together. 

  7. Complete 10 repetitions on the same leg, before completing the remaining 10 repetitions on the other side.

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Medicine ball press 

  1. Holding a medicine ball with two hands directly in front of your chest, plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart. 

  2. Inhale. 

  3. Exhale. Extend your arms to press the medicine ball above your head. Your arms should be in line with your ears on either side of your head.

  4. Inhale. Lower the medicine ball back into your chest.

  5. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

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Squat and press

  1. Holding a medicine ball with two hands directly in front of your chest, plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart. 

  2. Inhale. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees remain in line with your toes. 

  3. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure that your back remains between 45- and 90-degrees of your hips.

  4. Exhale. Push through your heels to extend your legs, at the same time press the medicine ball above your head as you return to a standing position. Your arms should be in line with your ears on either side of your head.

  5. Lower the medicine ball back into your chest.

  6. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

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Walking lunge and twist 

  1. Holding a medicine ball with both hands directly in front of your chest, plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. Carefully take a big step forward with your left foot. As you plant your left foot on the floor, bend both knees to approximately 90 degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle and your back knee will be hovering just off the floor.

  3. While in the lunge position, twist your torso to bring the medicine ball over your front leg, ensuring that your knee remains in line with your middle toe. Unravel your torso to bring the medicine ball back to your chest.

  4. Exhale. Push through the heel of your left foot and toe of your right foot to extend both legs.

  5. Inhale. Carefully take a big step forward with your right foot. As you plant your right foot on the floor, bend both knees to approximately 90 degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle and your back knee will be hovering just off the floor.

  6. While in the lunge position, twist your torso to bring the medicine ball over your front leg, once again ensuring that your knee remains in line with your middle toe. Unravel your torso to bring the medicine ball back to your chest.

  7. Exhale. Push through the heel of your right foot and toe of your left foot to extend both legs.

  8. Inhale. Transfer your weight onto your right foot.

  9. Continue alternating between left and right for 20 repetitions.

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Russian twist

  1. Holding a medicine ball with both hands directly in front of your chest, start seated on a yoga mat with knees bent and heels firmly planted. Lean back slightly so that your abdominals are engaged and you are balancing on your sit bones. Keeping your feet together, raise your feet off the mat and extend your legs slightly. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. While keeping your lower body as still as possible, twist your torso to the right and gently touch the medicine ball on the mat next to your right hip.

  3. Exhale. Untwist your torso to return to the starting position.

  4. Inhale. While keeping your lower body as still as possible, twist your torso to the left and gently touch the medicine ball on the mat next to your left hip.

  5. Exhale. Untwist your torso to return to the starting position.

  6. Continue alternating between right and left for 20 repetitions.

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Bent-leg raise

  1. Holding a medicine ball directly above your chest with both hands, lie on your back on a yoga mat. Extend both legs and engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale.

  3. Exhale. Bend your knees and, using your abdominals, bring them in towards your chest, ensuring that your feet stay together.

  4. Inhale. Slowly extend your legs to return to the starting position.

  5. Repeat for 12 repetitions.

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Change up your routine with this medicine ball workout

Sometimes the best way to keep things interesting is to change up your workout routine by incorporating something different — these medicine ball exercises are the perfect way to do that!

Just remember, it is so important to balance your training days with rest days to ensure your body recovers properly so if you do want to perform this as a full body workout, it might mean swapping out one of your scheduled workouts for the week.

What other medicine ball exercises do you like to incorporate into your routine? Let us know in the comments below!

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* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.

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