Seven Best Exercises Using a Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are useful tools to develop your abilities, burn calories and strengthen your muscles. However, you should know the exact techniques so that you can avoid injuries and achieve your goals.
Seven Best Exercises Using a Medicine Ball

Last update: 17 September, 2018

A medicine ball is very similar in appearance to a basketball, except it’s much heavier. Medicine balls are available in different weights, and you can swing them, lift them, throw them and catch them. They are an ideal accessory for strength training and exercise routines. Discover the seven best exercises that you can do using a medicine ball. Keep reading to learn how you can benefit from the advantages of using a medicine ball during your workout.

Seven practical exercises using a medicine ball

Using a medicine ball in your exercise routine allows you to experience a more intense and effective workout. You’ll also work your whole body, particularly during throwing exercises.

Woman doing sit ups with a medicine ball.

Ball throw against a wall

This exercise helps you to burn calories, although it does require strength, which is why many people incorporate it into a CrossFit routine. If you use the right technique, you’ll work most of your body, including your: glutes, quadriceps, pectorals, triceps, shoulders and femoral muscles.

Woman throwing a medicine ball against a wall.

Jumping jacks

This is the perfect exercise to help develop different muscles and lose weight. You should use a medium weight medicine ball and this exercise will also benefit the mobility of your arms and legs.

Alternate push-ups using a medicine ball

If you do these correctly, you can burn a lot of calories. Moreover, they work your pectorals, core and triceps.

Traditional burpees

These are designed to work your pectorals, shoulders and arms. At the same time, you will also burn calories and work your legs. The correct way to do traditional burpees with a medicine ball, is to lay on the floor. Except, you should support yourself using the ball, instead of using the floor. This creates a shaky support point, which strengthens the muscles you’re working, and demands a lot of effort from your core.


Also known as throwing the ball to the floor, slamball works your lower and upper body, as well as your abs. The medicine ball that you use, needs to be heavy enough, so that it can handle the impact.

Plank over a medicine ball

To perform the plank using a medicine ball, you need to have powerful muscles in the middle part of your body. If you’re a beginner, you must place your hands on the ball, stretch out your arms, and lift your body gradually from the floor. To improve your technique, besides placing your hands on the ball, you can also place your feet on another ball. You shouldn’t bend your waist or raise your shoulders.

Moving lunges

Moving lunges promotes the development of your abdominal oblique muscles and this exercise is an incredible leg workout. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the medicine ball with both hands in front of you. Next, take a step forward with your right leg.

With your left foot (still flat on the ground), make a lunge until your left knee touches the ground. When you reach the lowest point, twist your core (and the ball) to your right. Stand up and repeat the process on the other side.

Work your core using a medicine ball

As we have discussed, these balls are great tools to train and strengthen your core and middle region. To get the most out of this versatile tool, try the next exercises:

Twists using a medicine ball

Sit down with your knees bent, and your feet on the ground. Place the ball over your chest and lean in until you form a 45 degree angle. Keep your abdomen tight, and lift your head and shoulders from the ground, before lifting the ball.

Wood chops

You must keep your knees flexed and hold the medicine ball with both hands. Keep your arms extended and move the ball upwards, and towards the left. Perform between 10 to 12 repetitions.

Plank using a medicine ball

Place your hands on the ball with your arms extended outwards. Stretch your legs and balance your hands on the ball. Hold this position for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the intensity up to 60 seconds. Remember to contract your abdomen.

How to choose the right ball?

Choosing a medicine ball that is too light, is the most common mistake that people make. For each routine, you’ll need a specific weight, and to choose the right one for you, follow these suggestions:

  • Speed training: light balls
  • Strength training: a bigger and heavier ball
  • If you lose control of the ball, use a lighter one

Keep in mind the above suggestions when you choose the weight of your medicine ball. This way you’ll enjoy great results and reap the benefits of exercising with a medicine ball.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.