The Best Medicine Ball Workout of All Time

Fit, shirtless man holding medicine ball
Justin Steele

The medicine ball has been around forever, but most guys don’t know what to do with it, besides holding it against their chests during situps. Even a light ball can deliver an intense workout that burns fat and builds athletic power. Enter the best medicine ball workout of all time.



How it Works

The med ball can be used to replicate various Olympic weightlifting exercises, and it makes performing them much simpler. These burn calories and build speed, which is helpful if you’re interested in being competitive in backyard pickup games. In fact, the med ball is probably the most useful tool for developing explosive strength because it’s meant to be thrown as hard as possible.

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When you toss it, you teach your body to accelerate without braking itself for safety. Imagine a bench press done explosively—your shoulders must slow it down at the end of the range of motion or they risk getting torn out of their sockets by the speed. The ball allows your body to “let go” safely because, well, you actually let go. A med ball can also be used to create an unstable surface, such as by doing pushups on it. The dome shape forces you to stabilize your body more or risk taking a spill, and that means more activation of the abs.

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Perform the exercise pairs (marked “A” and “B”) as supersets, so you’ll complete one set of A and then B before resting. Repeat until all sets are complete and then go on to the next superset.

Medicine Ball Full Body Workout

The Best Medicine Ball Workout of All Time

1A. Clean and Press

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 0 sec.
Hold the ball and stand with feet shoulder width. Bend your hips and knees and lower your body with arms extended until the ball is just above knee level. Explosively extend your hips and knees as if jumping, shrug your shoulders, and raise the ball to shoulder level. Squat down as you “catch” the momentum of the ball. Stand up and press it overhead. That’s one rep.

1B. Situp and Throw

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 60 sec.
Hold the ball with both hands in front of your chest and sit on the floor. Anchor your feet under something sturdy for support, and lie back on the floor a few feet away from a brick or concrete wall. Explosively sit up and throw the ball into the wall and then catch it on the rebound. If you have a partner, you can throw the ball to him instead and let him throw it back

2A. Mountain Climber

Sets: 2 Reps: 20 (each leg) Rest: 0 sec.
Hold the ball with both hands and get into pushup position on the floor. Drive one knee up to your chest and then quickly drive it back while you raise the opposite knee.

2B. Close-Grip Pushup

Sets: 2 Reps: 15 Rest: 60 sec.
Get into pushup position on the floor, resting your hands on the ball. Keeping your body straight and your core braced, perform a pushup on the ball.

3A. Bulgarian Split Squat

Sets: 2 Reps: 10 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.
Stand lunge length in front of a bench holding the ball with both hands at arm’s length overhead. Bend your left knee and rest the top of your left foot on the bench behind you. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.

3B. Seated Knee Tuck

Sets: 2 Reps: 10 Rest: 60 sec.
Sit on a bench and squeeze the ball between your feet. Extend and elevate your legs out in front of you and extend your torso so that your body forms a straight line. Hold on to the bench for support. Crunch your torso forward and bring your knees to your chest.

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