Dear Official Namer of Exercises,
Why are all my exercise names so verbose?? There’s got to be a more efficient way. I do the same thing when I name recipes, trying to fit literally every ingredient in the title. Butternut Squash Apple-Celery-Carrot Veggie Broth Soup with Pepper-Garlic Sprinkle NO. If you have better names for the following three med ball exercises please chime in.
Note: All of these can also be done with a dumbbell!
3 Med Ball Exercises to Add to Your Next Workout
Overhead Med Ball Squat Slam Catches
Start standing holding the medicine ball overhead. From here, you’re going to explosively drop down into a low squat as you swing the med ball down in front of your body as if you were going to slam it on the floor. You want to build momentum as you do this so really put some oomph into it. Just as the med ball is nearing the floor, stop the movement, catching it hovering over the floor, arms extended out in front of you. Pause in this low position and then just as explosively power back up to the starting position, pressing through your heels to stand as you swoop the med ball back overhead.
The more power you use to swing the ball down, the harder your muscles will have to work to stop the momentum. If you’re a beginner, start with a slow motion and work your way to a more explosive downward swing.
Full-Body Russian Twist Crunches
Start laying on your back with legs outstretched and hovering a couple inches off the ground. Holding a med ball in your hands, arms should be outstretched overhead and hovering as well. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your knees in towards your chest as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground and bring the weight up and over to the right of your legs. Twist through your waist as you do this, stopping the med ball a couple inches off the ground and then extending back out, lowering to starting position. Repeat, this time crunching up and twisting to bring the med ball to the outside left of your legs.
The goal is to never bring the legs and/or med ball to rest on the ground when you extend out and crunch up.
I love this compound move! It’s leg works meets oblique work meets arm work. Start in a lunge position with front leg bent to 90 degrees and a med ball held in both hands, arm extended out in front of you at chest height. To make sure you have proper form, roll your shoulder cage back and down before you start the exercise. From this starting position, twist your torso over the front leg (if right foot is forward, twist to the right), keeping arms straight as you do. You want your whole upper half moving as one unit on this—imagine your waist is a wet towel that you’re wringing out as you twist. Twist back to center and staying low on your front foot, weight in that heel, drive your back knee forward in towards your torso and then quickly extend it back out into your lunge.
When you do the knee driver, it helps to have a slight forward lean with your torso so that your bodyweight is over the standing heel.
Modification: Depending on the weight you use, it can be really difficult to keep your arms outstretched as you do the knee drivers. Try bringing the ball in towards your chest as the knee drives forward and then extending the ball back out front as you step the foot back into your lunge.
More in this series …
What are your favorite med ball exercises?