The Best Athlete-Inspired Medicine Ball Circuit for Strength and Power

medicine ball workouts
Grooming by Kristy Strate for Ennis Inc. Location courtesy of Soho Strength Lab. Model wears shirt and shoes by Adidas; shorts by New Balance; tights by Under ArmourJustin Steele for Men's Journal

STRENGTH TRAINING is synonymous with lifting heavy. It’s effective, but it’s not the only way. You can get plenty strong by moving lighter weights at high velocity, says Ryan Hopkins, co-founder of Soho Strength Lab in New York City. This trio of no-slam medicine ball moves is proof. Borrowed from basketball conditioning workouts, you’ll maintain control of a six- or eight-pound medicine ball throughout to have you accelerating and decelerating in quick succession, thus recruiting more muscles. Do these to kick off a lifting day for muscle activation and strengthening.

Stab Step

Works the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hips.

Start with soft knees, holding a medicine ball in front of right pec, shifting weight in right foot. In a swift, fluid movement, step left foot to the side into a shallow squat, and snap ball to left pec, left elbow back. Reset and repeat. Do 2 or 3 sets of 6 reps per side.

Split-Stance Head-to-Hip
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Split-Stance Head-to-Hip

Works the shoulders, pectorals, torso, hips, and legs.

Start in a split stance, right leg forward, left leg back and knee off floor, holding medicine ball beside right cheek, to start. Snap ball to left hip. Reset and repeat. Do 2 or 3 sets of 4 reps per side.

Drop Squat With Fake Slam
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Drop Squat With Fake Slam

Works shoulders, lower back, butt, hamstrings, quads, and abs.

With feet hip-width apart, reach medicine ball overhead, standing on balls of feet, to start. Quickly drop into a high squat, medicine ball to chest. Reset and repeat. Do 2 or 3 sets of 6 reps per side.

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