Continuing our trend of “one-item” workouts, we’re hopping on the medball train this week. If you’ve ever thought about working out with a medball, you likely think of wall balls, maybe some ball slams, and that’s probably close to the extent of it. Medballs, though, like kettlebells and single bumper plates, are SO versatile and fun to crush a full-body workout with. We offer a huge variety of sizes in medicine balls, so you'll be sure to find the size that works best for you. A medicine ball is one of the best items to invest in after you've purchased the basics (more of those items here!).
Plus, one-item workouts are super convenient and don’t leave you scrambling all of your equipment together before and during your workout. These medballs are great for beginners, experts and everyone in between, when you’re traveling, and when you’re looking for something quick and relatively equipment-less to do to get your sweat in.
Medballs are easy to transport, easy to work with, and can provide a massive pump and great workout when you’re using them right. There’s about a million things you can do for a medball workout, but we’re going to talk about 10 of our favorite medball movements.
Let’s get our medball on.
If you’ve ever done any kind of CrossFit training, this one will be familiar to you.
The idea here is to start with your medball between your feet, which are shoulder width apart, and your hands on the medball. Your legs are bent at about a medium level. They’re not stick-straight, and they’re more bent than what they might be for a deadlift, but you’re not totally squatting. This considered, your chest should be up as much as possible, not down toward the ball and floor.
With your hands on the middle of the medball, keeping your ball as close to your legs as possible, stand up with some force, shrugging your shoulders up to your ears, arms straight, and then quickly drop underneath the ball and bring the ball up to your shoulders under your chin. You should land in a squat position.
The best tip I can give for these is something particular: when you’re squatting under the ball, it’s important to have less than a death-grip on the ball so you’re rotating around the ball instead of rotating the ball in your hands. If the numbers of the weight on your ball are up toward the ceiling when you start, that’s where they should end.
A wall ball is fairly simple compared to the medball clean, but can still get tricky sometimes to find the right timing for you.
You’ll need to locate a target, ideally 10ft or 9ft if you’re male or female respectively. You don’t need to have an actual wall ball target. Some kind of target on a wall at those heights works just fine!
For this one, start in a standing position with your hands on the ball. Stick your arms out in front of the post or wall in front of you, and you should be at least your arms length away. Feet should be shoulder width apart, toes pointed out slightly, or at least in your most comfortable position to squat in. With the ball now at your chest, take a full squat, and come out of the bottom with some momentum. When you reach the top of your squat, use that momentum to throw the ball up into the air to reach the target.
Let the ball come back down to you, and as you bring it into your chest, squat down and repeat.
With your hands under the medball, stand perpendicular to the wall in front of you. Feet should start about shoulder width apart. From there, bring the ball to the outside hip, and generate power from the back leg and hip. Transfer to the front leg as you scoop the ball as hard as you can into the wall. Be ready for a quick comeback, and try your best to catch the ball on the return. Repeat vigorously, and make sure you hit the other side.
Start standing 6 feet away from the wall, facing the wall. Start with your feet together and the ball at your chest. Take a step with either foot, and as you step forward, bring the medball up and behind your head so your elbows point toward the sky. As your foot lands, hinge forward at the hips and throw the ball directly at the wall. Follow through with your hands to the ground, and let your back leg reach as high as it needs to.
Standing in your most comfortable position to squat in, hug the medball at your chest. Like, bear hug, not just holding it out in front of your collarbones. Squeeze your core, sit your butt back ever so slightly while keeping your chest up, and bend your knees into your full squat. All the while, make sure you’re pushing your knees out wide. From the bottom, squeeze your butt and drive up. The medball shouldn’t move at all here. Your core is guaranteed to light up!
With or without an ab mat, weighted sit ups are a great way to elevate your regular sit-ups. You can either perform your sit-up like a normal CrossFit sit-up and use the ball as momentum from behind your head as you lay flat, bringing it toward your feet as you sit up, or you can take the momentum out of it and hold it at your chest. Hugging or front rack holding is just fine. If you’re looking for super ab action, snag an ab mat and stick it under your low back. Bring your legs into a butterfly position, and put the bottoms of your feet together. This takes your hip flexors out of the movement and guarantees abs on fire.
This can be done in a variety of ways. First, you can hug the medball like you would have for the squat above, and walk or run your allotted distance or time. THe second way to do this is is as an odd-object carry. This can be done with the ball resting on one of your shoulders at your ear, and the opposite arm out for balance. If you go for that variation, be sure to switch to the other side as well. For an extra challenge, hold the ball in both hands overhead and give your walk/run a try. Remember to keep your core tight and abs engaged so you can avoid flaring your ribs and irritating your back.
All of these movements can be completed in one workout, paired together in couplets, as an EMOM, an AMRAP, or whatever time and exercise domain you choose. Some of these seem like basic exercises, but they’ll definitely light up some of those muscles you didn’t know you had.
If you have questions about any of these exercises, or how to put them together in a workout, send us a message on our site or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help you compose a workout to crush and get your sweat on.
As always, lift heavy, lift happy :)