The greatest thing about the medicine ball is the versatility. Medicine balls can help you build more core stability, functional strength, and endurance, turning your body into a fat-burning machine. We’re going to talk about the best full-body medicine ball workouts for weight loss and more.
What Is The Medicine Ball (Med Ball)
The medicine ball or med ball for short, is an extremely effective and versatile training implement in functional training programs. Medicine balls are thought to have started back in the time of Hippocrates using them for recovery from injuries. Today, medicine balls range between 2 – 110lbs, and can be used in a wide variety of exercises and max out your caloric burn during your workout.
It's important to note, that there are two different types of medicine balls. One is made with a rubber outside, which is grippy, and normally ranges between 10-110lbs. This ball can be used for a multitude of workouts, aerobic and anaerobic, for strength and muscular endurance.
Med balls, which are lighter between 2-20lbs have a smooth outer surface and are generally used for high-volume work for maximizing endurance and aerobic capacity.
Benefits of Full-Body Medicine Ball Workouts
Endurance is built through aerobic exercise, prolonged bouts, and short sprint interval training. High-intensity functional training, increased workout volume, and shorter rest periods can also help improve endurance capacity. Most, but not all med ball exercises, can help improve endurance. As opposed to resistance training, medicine balls recruit full-body movement, to execute a repetition. Therefore, you’ll be able to adequately build and enhance your endurance.
2. Better Form
Considering that med balls are relatively not heavy, they assist you with implementing better form in your heavier barbell-loaded lifts, such as the clean, power clean, squat, and thrusters. Mobility is often a common issue, and with the med ball, you can work on your wrist, ankle, and hip mobility, all while under a lighter load.
3. Weight Loss
Med ball workouts can help induce greater changes in body fat, helping with weight loss and body recomposition. Med ball workouts, are generally higher intensity, forcing your heart rate to work at a much higher capacity, increasing aerobic work, and burning more body fat. Medicine ball exercises, such as the lateral toss, and wall balls can get your heart rate up in a hurry. These are also highly effective cardio acceleration movements. Cardio acceleration movements are generally performed between resistance training movements, and sets, to help increase heart rate and burn more calories.
Joint mobility is a critical determinant, in performing heavy barbell movements, with efficiency and ease. The med ball can greatly benefit your joint mobility in your ankles, wrists, and hips, ensuring you perform these lifts, with fluidity and ease. Medicine ball workouts, and accessory lifts, are great to further enhance your athletic performance and ensure a greater range of motion and movement.
Best Full-Body Medicine Ball Workouts
1. Russian Twist
The Russian twist is one of the best medicine ball exercises, to build a stronger more defined core. This movement can help improve the external and internal obliques, as well as improve your core stability, to build more strength in different compound lifts and overall functionality.
How To Russian Twist
- Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest.
- Raise your feet and legs into a low V position with your knees bent and heels lifted.
- Using your core, twist from one side to the next tapping the ball, as you rotate back and forth from each side.
2. Med Ball Bearhug Squat
The bearhug squat, is similar to a goblet or air squat, however as opposed to holding a kettlebell, you bearhug the medicine ball and squat. The med ball bearhug squat is a great accessory movement, to work on volume, as well as your perfecting your squat form.
How To Med Ball Bearhug Squat
- Grab the medicine ball, with both arms around it and interlock your fingers.
- Holding the med ball to your chest, between your arms, squat down.
- Once you reach parallel with your legs, pause, then reverse the movement and stand back up.
Med Ball Toss
The med ball toss has a few different versions, however, in general, you simply hold the ball, and use your shoulders to force or throw the ball against the wall. The most common variation is the lateral ball toss. Standing laterally with the wall, hold the ball and rotate to engage your obliques to toss the ball against the wall. Either movement will target your shoulders, core, and muscles in your upper body.
How To Med Ball Toss
- Grab a med ball. Holding the med ball with both hands, similar to the way you pass a basketball, tighten your core, and use the power in your shoulders to protect the ball against the wall.
Med Ball Thruster
The med ball thruster is one of the best total body med ball movements. It’s a compound movement and combines a squat with an overhead press, stimulating your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, as well as your core, shoulders, and biceps.
How To Med Ball Thruster
- Holding the med ball just below eye level, with feet shoulder-width apart, squat down.
- Once you are parallel, use your momentum, push through your heels, and overhead press the ball.
- Bring the ball back down to starting position.
Med Ball Cleans
Med ball cleans, is very similar to the traditional power clean, however as opposed to a barbell you’re using a med ball. This is a great accessory movement, to help improve movement patterns, as well as build more strength and mobility.
How To Do Med Ball Cleans
- Start from the power clean position, with the ball hanging in a low position above your knees.
- Slightly bend your knees, with your feet shoulder-width apart, power through your hips, and rotate your hands beneath the ball, while simultaneously going into a squat position.
- From the bottom of the squat, reverse the movement, stand back up, and rotate your hands back with the ball hanging above your knees.
Wall balls are one of the most popular med ball exercises. Wall balls are a compound movement, that can help build shoulder strength, wrist mobility, as well as lower body strength, and help improve your coordination. Often used in high-intensity functional training programs, this movement can drastically increase your muscular endurance as well as your power output and squat form.
How To Do Wall Balls
- Holding the med ball, with your hands on the sides and slightly beneath the ball, feet shoulder-width apart, squat down, and use your power in your shoulders, to throw the ball at a point on the wall.
- Power is generated through your hips, knees, and ankles (called, triple extension), from the squat position. As you extend through the movement, full hip extension is critical to remove the brunt of the weight from your shoulders.
- Make sure to use explosive movement throughout the entirety of the movement, to ensure the ball is propelled, with optimal energy,
- After propelling the ball towards the wall, let your arms drop down for a moment, before raising them again in the vertical position, to catch and absorb the ball.
- Going back to into starting squat position.
Full-Body Medicine Ball Workout For Weight Loss: Takeaway
The medicine is a highly versatile training tool, that can be used in a variety of different ways, to help your strength, power, and endurance. Implementing some of these medicine ball workouts, will no doubt improve your form as well as help burn more body fat and benefit your athletic performance.
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