The name “medicine ball” or “Medball” sounds pretty old school. That does not speak against this versatile and effective training device. Maybe you know this big, a bit chunky ball even from physical education at school.
The medicine ball can be used for numerous exercises. Basically, it is less intended for classic throwing, but rather is an alternative to the dumbbell.
At the same time, he can perform excellent support exercises with him. The medicine ball training often aims to train the torso and the arms as well as to improve the condition.
Also skill exercises, abdominal muscle training as well as a leg workout are possible with medicine balls, which confirm the numerous experiences of the users.
It can be used as extra weight in classical exercises as well as in many special exercises. The “special exercises” and the special field of application include throwing, pushing and striking exercises. The quick and explosive power can be trained extremely well.
What should be considered during the medicine ball training?
The Medball already has a decent weight depending on the weight class. By dynamic throwing or pushing movements a clearly higher weight acts fast.
Attention! Please pay attention to the following points when training with the Medball:
- Heat yourself thoroughly to prevent injury. Rope jumping or the like is also perfect at home.
- In general, you should be fit for health and in case of doubt always have you checked by the doctor.
- When doing dynamic exercises in your home, remember that there are no dangerous or breakable things in the way.
Why the medicine ball is suitable for training at home
The Medball is a good buy for your home gym because it only takes a small amount of space to be stowed and you can train with it extremely versatile.
Functional strength and strength endurance exercises such as abdominal exercises, support exercises, rotational exercises, squats, etc., you can upgrade perfectly with this fitness equipment and thus exercise much more versatile.
In his area of specialization, the quick and explosive power training, where you throw the medicine ball against walls or on the floor, you need a cellar or a detached house or very tolerant neighbors.
With a training partner, with whom you throw the medball back and forth, you can work here but at least with throwing exercises also at home extremely well on your speed and explosive power.
Medicine Ball Exercises/Training – Training Plan
The training with the medicine ball is considered to be particularly effective, since almost the entire musculature is addressed.
They are the perfect alternative to traditional dumbbells and weights with a focus on dynamic movement. In addition, there is a superior variety of exercises – the training with the medicine ball is never boring!
Exercises with the medicine ball
The exercises range from easy difficulty (for beginners) to increased difficulty (advanced).
Basically, you can also distinguish between training goals when training with medicine balls: strength endurance and muscle building.
When building muscle is specifically designed with a lot of weight, but fewer repetitions (8 – 20 repetitions) to build muscle. Power stamina in turn means many repetitions (20-40 repetitions) with little weight to maintain power over a longer period of time.
If you select exercises for your workout with the medicine ball, you can therefore determine at your own discretion which training goal you set for yourself.
What are common mistakes in training with the medicine ball?
At first glance, the technique does not seem very complex and easy to learn during the exercises. Nevertheless, you should always pay attention to the correct technique during the execution, because: Technology is the alpha and omega for an effective workout. The core of every exercise is posture and body stability.
For the start we recommend to train with low weights and not to overestimate, so that the risk of injury is minimized.
As an introduction to offer 1 – 3 kg weights for women or 3 – 5 kg weights for men. Depending on ability or knowledge from other fitness areas can be varied.
1. Upper Body Rotation (Standing)
Especially for beginners it is important to get used to the dynamic training with the medicine ball. The exercises #1 and #2 are perfect for this because they are not too complex, require little technology and are nevertheless effective.
The exercises can also be performed as an example to warm the muscles before training. Please make sure that you do not use extra weight.
Execution: First sit hip-wide and hold the ball with both hands. Then you turn the ball with stretched arms and at shoulder height alternately from one side to the other.
Variation: You can increase the level of difficulty and increase your coordination and balance by alternately lifting one leg each.
Training goal: strengthening the core muscles and the lateral abdominal muscles
Sentence and repetition scheme: For warming, we recommend that you perform the exercise in about 30 – 120 seconds. For beginners 10 – 12 repetitions of 3 – 5 sets are suitable.
2. Hull Circles
Compared to the upper body rotation of exercise # 1, the medicine ball is now moving around the entire body.
Execution: In the starting position, you first stand hip-width and hold the ball with both hands. Then you lead the medicine ball in an upright standing position around the waist. Make sure the upper body stays as stable as possible.
Training goal: Strengthen the core muscles and the lateral abdominal muscles
Sentence and repetition scheme: For warming, we recommend that you perform the exercise in about 30 – 120 seconds. For beginners 8 – 10 repetitions per page of 3 – 5 sentences are suitable.
3. Belly Crunch
With the belly crunch you reach the next level in your medicine ball training. The classic belly crunch is an intense exercise for the abdominal, shoulder and arm muscles.
With the additional weight of the medicine ball, the exercise is even more intense, since the exercise with weight brings with it a certain instability, which forces the core muscles (abdominal muscles and lower back muscles) to compensate them.
Execution: In the starting position you are on supple surface (for example fitness mat) in the supine position. The legs are bent, the feet are set up. From this position you align yourself out of the abdominal muscles in the seat. The upper body is slightly bent back; the abdominal muscles are on tension.
Attention: The feet should always be on the ground during the movement, otherwise you work more out of the swing than out of the abdominal muscles.
Tip: The classic belly crunch with the medicine ball consists of throwing the ball over the head of a partner. The ball can just as well be kept in this position for a short moment. Then slowly back to the starting position.
Training goal: Strengthening the abdominal, shoulder and arm muscles
Sentence and repetition scheme: We recommend 10 to 12 repetitions of 3 to 5 sentences at the beginning. Then you can increase the weight of the medicine ball.
4. Russian Twist
The Russian Twist is a very popular variant of abdominal muscle training. Meanwhile, the exercise has also found its way into the medicine ball training. In particular, the Russian Twist causes the lateral abdominal muscles to burn, because it is a rotating movement.
The exercise can be performed in two ways: with legs outstretched, lying on the floor, or in a floating seat. The latter, however, leads to more instability, which must balance the core muscles, which ultimately means an even more intense workout.
Training goal: Primary strengthening of the oblique abdominal muscles, secondary straight and lower abdominal muscles, arm, shoulder and back muscles are also required in the movement
Sentence and repetition scheme: We recommend that you first perform 5 to 20 repetitions per page of 3 to 5 sets. You can boost yourself by increasing the weight of the medicine ball.
5. Pelvic lift
The pelvic lift is a classic and popular exercise from the abdominal-leg-butt area, as it strengthens in particular the gluteal muscles.
The exercise should not be underestimated outside of the BOP range, because there are many variations that can increase the level of difficulty quite a bit (e.g., one-leg pelvic lift) and thus intensify your training.
1. Set position: First, get into the starting position by lying supine on a soft surface (for example, a fitness mat). The arms are stretched away from the body and the gaze is directed upwards.
2. Pelvic lift: Now lay down your heels on top of the medicine ball and raise the pelvis until the legs and torso form a straight line. Only your back shoulders, the head and the arms touch the ground. During exercise, the body remains extremely tense. Wait a moment before you lower the baking again and repeat the exercise.
3. Increased level of difficulty: The classic pelvic lift on the medicine ball can be intensified a lot, for example by doing the exercise with one leg. You can either lay or stretch the leg angled on the pillar and hold in this position.
Training goal: Strengthening of the upper thigh, buttocks and back muscles.
Sentence and repetition scheme: We recommend performing 3 – 5 sets of 8 – 10 repetitions at the beginning. Then you can increase the difficulty level.
6. Lunge with front lift
In addition to the squats, Lunges are among the absolute classics in fitness training when it comes to training the buttocks and thighs.
With the combination of lunges and front lifts, two birds are killed with one stone, as the upper body is also stressed. A more intense workout is hard to imagine. We have also introduced you to a variation, with which you address other muscle groups.
1. set position: At the beginning you come to the starting position by standing hip-width and holding the medicine ball in front of the body.
2. Lunges: Now follows the lunge step. To do this, you put on the abdominal muscles and make a big step (about 60 – 90 cm forward). The hips are lowered to the floor until the back of the leg is almost parallel to the floor.
The front leg is at a 90% angle! From this movement, you perform the front lift by lifting the arms with the medicine ball so that the weight is in the final position above the head. In this position, you remain a moment before you slowly return from the power of the leg muscles in the starting position and change sides.
Important: You do not work with front lift with momentum, but with pure body tension.
3. Turn the upper body: You can vary the exercise by turning your arms sideways instead of overhead. After you have made the lunge, you turn your stretched upper body to the side of the front leg. In this position, you remain a few seconds before you push yourself back with the force of the thigh in the starting position (stand).
Training goal: Strengthening of the buttocks and thigh muscles by lunges, strengthening of the shoulder, chest and back muscles by front lifting
Repetition scheme: Lungees are particularly difficult for newcomers to the fitness world, muscle soreness is inevitable. Therefore we recommend starting with low weight and few repetitions (8 – 10 repetitions per leg).
The weight should always be chosen so that the movement upside down can be carried out correctly. After you have learned the technique, you can increase yourself (10 – 12 repetitions per leg).
7. Support on the ball
The exercise is similar to the classic forearm support. The arm support (‘planking’) is currently on everyone’s lips and effectiveness in terms of bodyweight training hard to beat, as he claimed the whole body, especially the front and rear trunk muscles. It would not mean planking if this exercise were not to be found in medicine ball training.
1st set position: First go to the correct starting position. For this you go to your knees and lay your thighs on the floor. The arms are stretched out on the medicine ball. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders.
Higher level of difficulty: To increase the level of difficulty, you can push your feet back and forth or lift one arm / leg alternately. In addition, you can also put weights on your hips.
Tip: The support on the medicine ball is (still) too heavy for you? You can also do the exercise on your knees first and later change to your feet.
Tip: For even more intensity you can increase the speed of the Mountain Climbers right up to the ‘Runnings’. But make sure that your body always remains stable.
Training goal: Strengthening of the abdominal muscles, in addition, a large number of other muscle parts are involved in the static holding work (for example, triceps, shoulder, chest and leg muscles)
8. Push Up on the Ball
Last but not least, we want to introduce you to the push-up on the medicine ball with some variations.
The Push Up ‘is probably one of the most effective fitness exercises in the world, since almost the entire body weight during the exercise on the upper body and thus loads of muscle groups are involved.
Variation #1 – the classic pushups on the ball
1. set position: First come to the starting position. You put your hands shoulder-width on top of the medicine ball, which is placed under your chest. Your fingertips point outward. You put your knees up; the body just stays like a board.
2. Push Ups: Now follow the pushups. To do this, bend your arms in the elbow joint, with your sternum approaching the ball. Keep your elbows close to your ribs as you do close pushups. Make sure your elbows are not pressed outward. Then you slowly move with the power of your arm and chest muscles back to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
Variation #2 – One hand on the ball
You can vary the movement by placing one hand on the ball and the other hand on the ground. Due to the difference in height, the lower arm is more stressed, which has a particularly intense effect on the muscles.
The instability has an enormous impact on the execution of the movement – your muscles have to compensate for the “shaking” of the ball and work even more intensively.
1. set position: You are initially in the starting position. To do this, in the push-up position you support one hand on the floor and the other hand on the medicine ball. Both hands are set at about shoulder height; the torso is extremely tense until your body forms a straight line (the head is held in extension of the spine).
2. Push Up: Now you perform the push-up motion by bending your arms in the elbow joint and lowering your upper body to the ball. In this position, you remain for a moment, and then you push yourself back with the power of your arm and chest muscles in the set position.
4. Increased Difficulty: To further increase the intensity of the exercise, the one-handed pushups can perform with hand changes. The medicine ball changes hands after each push-up, rolling the ball from one side to the other in the starting position. The torso is tense; the elbows are at the bend of the arms to the side.
5. Extremely high level of difficulty: For those who really cannot get enough of push-ups and only for absolute experts: You can also put both legs on a ball during the entire movement. This requires a great deal of coordination and balance.
Training goal: Strengthening of the chest muscles, the triceps, the deltoids and the rest of the entire body
Sentence and repetition scheme: The classic push-ups should be performed at the beginning with 8 – 10 repetitions 1 – 3 sets. With one-handed pushups, you can also start with this set and repeat scheme, but you can continue to improve (10 – 12 repetitions per side of 3 sets).
Conclusion to the medicine ball training plan
Anyone who has a dusty medicine ball in his basement should absolutely free him from the dust and integrate it into his fitness training.
The training with the medicine ball offers a huge variety of exercises addresses different muscle groups at the same time and ultimately brings a lot of fun. Rightly so, the medicine ball is currently celebrating its comeback in the fitness world.