The Medicine Ball. A highly useful but often underutilized piece of workout equipment, many times sentenced to a life in the corner of a gym to collect dust, and only brought out to be shot against an eight to ten foot target. Although wall-balls are definitely the most mainstream movement that implements the med ball, here are three exercises that not only increase stamina and coordination, but also improve mobility, weightlifting technique, and positional strength.
Over Head Lunges With Medicine Balls
Everyone has done lunges somewhere in there workout routine, and many have also done some an overhead lunge with either an axle or olympic barbell. Few however have done any sort of overhead work with a medicine ball, much less lunge with it.
Without being able to grip on to a bar, the entirety of the musculature in your arm and shoulder has to squeeze the sides of the med ball in order to keep it overhead, quickly fatiguing the untrained stabilizers in said muscles.
A great movement for improving the overhead positional strength and mobility in tight or untrained shoulders.
Burns the quads and taxes the lungs like all lunge variations!
How To Perform:
Clean your med-ball of choice. It’s recommended if you have never done them before for males to stick with 20lbs Med Balls, females 14lbs Med Balls, and obviously scale if need be.
Press medicine ball overhead
(Note: It’s important to make sure that your lunges are not only good reps but also efficient in their movement patterns. Make sure your knees are not driving past your ankles or toes and that you drive out of the heel with each step.)
Split Jerk Slams Using Medicine Balls
Ball slams of any kind are not used enough in many training regiments, and when they are they are usually performed with the med or slam ball starting from the ground, peaking overhead, and then being forcefully driven back to earth. Split Jerk Slams are almost entirely different in their performance and the reasoning behind their use.
Works positional strength and stabilization in the split, something that many new weightlifters lack.
Trains specific body awareness in the split when catching the medball and general body awareness on the slam
Great for your core!
How To Perform:
Partner 1 starts in a split position with hands overhead, Partner 2 starts with med-ball in hand, 10ft to the right of Partner 1 (14-20lb ball for males, 10-14lb ball for females)
Partner 2 throws med-ball to Partner 1, who catches it overhead in a split and then slams on the ground back towards Partner 2
Partner 2 works their way around the front of Partner 1 in the same manner throwing from 5 different positions (directly to the right, between direct right and head on, head on, between direct left and head on, direct left)
When Partner 2 has worked there way to the left of Partner 1, Partner 1 switches the front foot in their split, and then work their way back with Partner 2 to the right.
Partners switch after both splits and all positions have been hit.
MedBall Death March
Most times used with either dumbbells or kettlebells, the addition of closing and opening the hips and torso to bring the med ball overhead gives the exercise a whole new meaning.
Excellent for strengthening the hamstrings and core.
Great for improving the muscular endurance of the glutes, hamstrings, and the opening and closing of the hips and torso.
How To Perform:
Start with feet shoulder width apart and medicine ball overhead
Step forward and bring med-ball from overhead to touch the ground in front of lead foot. Keep legs as straight as possible, think more straight leg deadlift and less lunge.
Walk upwards of 40 yards for 3 sets, start with a lighter medball and work your way up!