These exercises can help elevate your next ab or total body workout.
Had enough of the elliptical? Next time you’re at the gym, pick up a medicine ball for some serious benefits — plus, added fun.
The equipment typically comes in two types: larger, soft balls made of vinyl, or slam balls — smaller, rubber-shelled balls. Your gym will likely have both, and they’re often interchangeable.
Medicine ball workouts have a host of benefits, says Lori Cowan, ACE, AFAA, group fitness coordinator at the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center. They include:
- Building explosive strength;
- Challenging your core with resistance;
- Helping improve balance;
- Improving hand-eye coordination;
- Adding an element of fun.
Below, Cowan provides a list of five intermediate core exercises. She reminds, “When performing any exercise, listen to your body and don’t do anything that hurts (especially your back!).”
Med Ball V-Up
- Lie flat on your back, legs extended.
- Reach the arms overhead with a medicine ball in both hands.
- Engage the core to lift the hands and feet simultaneously so the body forms a “V” position.
- At the top of the “V,” pass the ball from the hands to the feet.
- Squeeze the ball between your shoes, and slowly lower the arms and legs back down to the floor.
- Return to the “V,” and pass the ball back to the hands. That’s one rep. Repeat.
Crunch with Medicine Ball Hold
- Lie on back with legs in tabletop position, bent 90 degrees.
- Holding ball over head, crunch up and place ball on ankles, keeping legs steady.
- Lie back to start position, holding ball in place. Crunch back up, grab ball and return to start position, holding ball overhead. Repeat.
Straight Leg Sit-Up
- Lie flat, back to the mat, with a medicine ball in both hands.
- Extend the arms straight so the ball is directly above the hips.
- While keeping the legs together, raise them directly over the hips to the ceiling (so the body forms a giant “L”). With control, return to the start position and repeat.
Have a kettlebell handy? Check out these three exercises to try today.