Training with a medicine ball: The best exercises

Many of us know a medicine ball from physical education at school. The medicine ball comes back in fashion and is a great tool for exercise and training. 
How can you best use a medicine ball for training?

Why train with a medicine ball?

Medicine balls are an effective tool for training.
They don’t have grips like many other exercise tools, like for example dumbbells, do. Therefore you have to grip the ball tight to use the it. Besides the normal training stimulus, this has a positive effect on your arm- and core muscles.
Weight balls can also be used as an extra weight for bodyweight exercises. In this case they’re an effective workout for your core. When you do a functional training, you can better work on your body tension when you use a medicine ball. With exercises done directly on a medicine ball you have to tense your abdominal- and core muscles especially. This also trains the body stability.
Heavy medicine balls can be used to train the explosive force and can be thrown on the floor or against a wall – that’s hardly possible with any other training device.

The right medicine ball

Medicine balls are available in different diameters, models and materials. Which medicine ball is the best for you depends on the type of training you do, on your fitness level and on your fitness goal.
For support exercises like sit-ups, squats, lunges or pushups, a leather ball is the best choice. With exercises where you need to let the medicine ball jump, a ball made from synthetic material is the better option.

When you start training with a medicine ball for the first time, as a general rule the ball should have between two and five kilos for women and between three and five kilos for men. You should only increase the weight of the ball when you know how to perform an exercise correctly.

Exercises with a medicine ball 

Push-ups

  1. Straighten your body and bring it under tension. Your core and your legs should form a line. Make sure to raise your butt slightly and don’t make a hollow back.
  2. Lower your body until you touch the medicine ball slightly with your chest. Then, push yourself up explosively.
  3. Repeat the exercise 5 to 20 times. 

Chest pass

  1. Take a medicine ball from synthetic material. Stand about 3 meters away from a wall. The legs are at shoulders width and the knees are slightly bent.
  2. Hold the ball with both hands in front of the chest.
  3. Throw the ball with even pressure from both hands against the wall. 
  4. Catch the recoiling ball and repeat the exercise several times.

Sit-ups

  1. You are in a supine position and have your legs slightly bent. The shoulders are positioned away from the floor and the medicine ball is held with outstretched arms behind the head.
  2. Sit yourself up, hold the body tension and bring the ball slowly in front of the head.
  3. Repeat the exercise for 5 to 20 times.

Upper body rotation

  1. Stand hip-width apart and hold the medicine ball in both hands.
  2. Raise the ball to shoulder height – one time to the right side and one time to the left side. Exhale with every rotation.
  3. Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds to two minutes.

Lunges

  1. Stand hip-width apart and hold the medicine ball in front of your body. 
  2. Make a lunge with the right leg to the front. At the same time, raise your arms with the ball until it’s directly above your head.
  3. Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds to two minutes.


For all exercises with a medicine ball it’s important that the ball lies good in the hands and that the weight of the ball is well adapted to your fitness level. You should be able to repeat every exercise with the medicine ball between 10 and 15 times. 

If you have already started exercising, please click here to choose the product that suits you best.