Medicine ball exercises are by far the most primitive of workouts using weights that were developed by the ancient Greeks in order to improve strength and conditioning along with better health, speed and explosive power. It is the perfect exercise for athletes and body builders that should be repeated 3 to 4 times every week as an alternative to traditional strength training. Medicine ball workouts are simple and versatile and that is why it has withstood the test of time. Modern medicine balls are available in rubber and leather and some absorb the bounce while others and highly bouncy. Medicine balls form an integral part of plyometric weight training to enhance the explosive power of athletes.
Benefits of Working out with a Medicine Ball
Medicine ball exercises are a fun way to add variation to the exercise routine that also challenges the body in new ways and promotes it to grown and change for the better.
- Building Explosive Strength – Medicine balls are the ideal tool for increasing strength so that a person can exert maximum force over a short time period. All vigorous activities such as jumping, jogging, running, throwing and kicking require explosive strength. Working out with medicine balls promotes fast twitch muscle fibers and increases calorie burn.
- Challenging the Core – Medicine ball core workouts add resistance to the core and abdominal muscles. Medicine balls can be included in traditional crunches, push-ups, squats and lunges in order to improve core strength.
- Improved Balance – Incorporating a medicine ball in the push-up routine can help in improving balance and coordination of the body. The push ups and Romanian deadlifts holding a medicine ball challenge the balancing skills.
- Suitable for All Ages – Being a low impact workout, it is suitable for people of all ages and all fitness levels. In addition, medicine ball workouts can be modified as per the fitness level of the individual.
- Enhanced Hand Eye Coordination – The constant tossing and catching of the ball enhances hand-eye coordination which is not possible if you use dumbbells or kettlebells.
10 Effective Medicine Ball Workouts for Explosive Power
Power is the product of strength and speed and therefore it is directly proportional to force. The more power you have, the faster you can develop force. The ability to generate power can be enhanced by performing med ball exercises that promote the body to work as an integrated system.
Squat Push Throw
For this exercise you will need a medicine ball that weighs abound 25 pounds and does not bounce. This is one of the best medicine ball exercises that help in developing explosive strength by working a wide group of muscles at the same time, such as the leg muscles, abdominal muscles, chest, shoulders and spinal erectors. You will feel the tension in the shoulders and spinal erectors while performing the squat and throw actions, while the chest and shoulder muscles are worked during the fall movement.
Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart while holding the ball at the chest level and your elbows pressed to your sides. Now, squat down as low as possible while keeping your back flat and then jump upwards tossing the ball as high as you can. Pick up the ball from the floor and repeat again.
Reverse Scoop Throw
The medicine ball reverse scoop throw is one of the most effective medicine ball workouts that engage the core muscles and stabilizes the strong throwing motion while toning and strengthening the shoulders at the same time. But it is important to throw the ball using the shoulders and not the back.
Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart holding the ball at arm’s length in front of the chest. Now lower the body towards the floor by pushing your hips back and bending the knees. Next, throw the ball overhead by extending the hips. Collect the ball and repeat the exercise again.
Side Scoop Throw
This is one of the most effective core strength exercises that enhance power transfer from lower body to upper body. The powerful sideward movement of the body and the arms works the hips and core as vigorously as possible.
Stand with your left foot forward and legs staggered. Now, bend your knees and hips slightly while holding the ball arm’s length. Throw the ball across to your right by twisting your torso to the left and moving your body weight to the left foot. Remember to pivot your body on your back heel while throwing the ball. Collect the ball and repeat the same on the other side.
For this exercise, use a med ball made of rubber with a weight of 15 pounds. The ball should have some ounce to it. This exercise improves the strength of the shoulders, legs and core and provides a smooth shoulder rotation and enhanced flexibility. The throwing motion using all strength of the body helps in proper transfer of power throughout the body and stretches the hips and groins.
Stand with your left foot forward while holding the medicine ball with both hands and twisting your torso to the right. Now, throw the ball straight in front using an explosive movement. Collect the ball and repeat the throw on the other side.
Lunge and Overhead Throw
This is one of the most power-packed medicine ball core exercises that increases strength of the lower body, enhances muscle coordination through a vast range of body movements and builds up rotational core strength. In addition, it also improves the control of movement of the ankles and other stability muscles of the lower body.
Hold a 10 to 15 pounds bouncy medicine ball overhead and lean back to stretch your abdominal muscles. Now take a step forward and throw the ball at a wall. Make sure that the ball can bounce back before you catch it.
The rotary throw is one of the basic med ball exercises that involve the mechanics of swinging a bat or throwing a football. This exercise challenges the body in a different way because the movement involves rotations about the spine and other joints along with side flexion. This exercise also reduces the chance of back injuries.
Stand facing the wall with your feet placed shoulder width apart and the ball held at arm’s length. Now, twist to your right and throw the ball explosively at the wall and catch it after it bounces off the floor.
V-Sit Medicine Ball Chest Throw
The V-sit medicine ball chest throw is one of the most effective medicine ball ab exercises that help in developing explosive power in the upper body.
Sit facing a wall with your hips and knees bent and your feet placed flat on the floor while holding a medicine ball in your hands. Now, tighten your abs, puff your chest and bring the shoulders back while leaning back and lifting the feet off the floor. Do not slouch and explosively throw the ball towards the wall. Catch the ball as it bounces back and immediately throw it back again.
Explosive Med Ball Slam
The explosive medicine ball slam is one of the best medicine ball power exercises that work the entire body by engaging multiple joints. It generates tremendous power that moves from the core in a downward direction that helps in strengthening the legs.
Stand with your feet placed somewhat more than shoulder width apart while holding a medicine ball with both hands. Now, move the ball overhead in a swift motion and slam it to the floor. Your body should follow the movement of the ball but it should not bend at the waist. The exercise should rather end in a squat position with the head up and chest and glutes lowered down. Now, catch the ball after the first bounce and come up with an explosive move so that your body is fully extended.
The ball fly is one of the most powerful medicine ball core workouts that is also grouped in the stability ball exercises where it is done using dumbbells. This exercise helps in boosting strength and stability of the core muscles and also improves balance of the body.
Lie on a stability ball with the shoulders resting at the center of the ball, torso parallel to the floor and knees bed at 90-degree angles. Hold a light weight medicine ball up towards the ceiling while keeping the abdominal muscles engaged and transfer the ball from one hand to another overhead and lower the hand that holds the ball so that it becomes parallel to the floor. Repeat this movement on both sides.
Rock and Roll Up
This is a full body exercise and also one of the power packed medicine ball core workouts that work the major muscle groups of the body all at the same time. But this exercise can be a bit tough to coordinate at first and will require lots of practice.
Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and holding a medicine ball overhead with fully extend arms. Now, Pull the knees towards the chest by using the strength of the core and come up to a controlled squat position and then stand up. Return slowly to a squat position and then lie down on the floor.
Boost your athletic power and enhance the performance of weight training with these forceful medicine ball exercises that also helps to increase strength and conditioning.