Medicine balls are a fun alternative to weights for both resistance training and cardio. They generally range from 2 to 12 pounds and can be used to tone your upper body, lower body and core. They can also help improve range of motion, coordination, and flexibility. Try these moves for a killer “ball busting” workout: This killer medicine ball workout mixes cardio and resistance moves to help you build strength and blast fat—all while sculpting a tighter torso and flatter abs. A weighted ball is a great training tool because you can add it to almost any exercise to challenge your core stability and improve coordination. For best results, do this workout on two or three nonconsecutive days per week.
Workout details: Do each move as quickly as you can with good form, moving from one exercise to the next with little or no rest in between. Once you’ve finished the last move, rest and repeat the entire circuit 1 or 2 more times.
Power Cross Chop: Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, holding the medicine ball at your chest. Brace your abs in tight and twist your torso to the left. Allow your right heel to pivot off the floor and bring the ball up over your left shoulder. Quickly “chop” the ball down and across your right thigh, lunging as you pivot your left heel off the floor. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps in a row and then switch sides and repeat.
Figure 8 Scoop: Hold the medicine ball at your chest and stand with your feet wide. Step your left leg out into aside lunge as you scoop the ball down and to the outside of your left thigh. Press through your right heel to straighten your right as you reach the ball up and overhead, quickly reversing the lunge and scoop to the right. (Think of tracing a figure-8 pattern with the ball as you lunge from side to side). That’s one rep. Do 15 reps total.
Split Push-Up with Knee Tuck: Get into a push up position with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Place your right hand on top of the medicine ball (if this is too tough, modify on your knees). Balancing on the ball, lower your body into a pushup. As you extend your arms, bend your left knee across your chest towards the ball. Quickly step your left foot back to the floor and repeat. Work up to 15 reps on both sides. To make this move even more challenging, bring your feet closer together in your pushup position.
Balancing Burpee: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold the ball at your chest. Squat down and place the ball on the floor, keeping your arms extended. Shift your weight into the ball, pressing your hands on top. Quickly jump your feet back into full plank position, still balancing on top of the ball. Brace your abs in tight to help your balance. Jump your feet back in, landing in a squat. Quickly stand up and press the ball overhead. That’s one rep. Try for 15 reps in a row. Too tough? Try walking your feet in and out of your squat and plank position instead. Too easy? Add a jump when you stand and press the ball overhead.