We’ve all seen the medicine balls at the gym. They’re usually on some kind of tiered shelf hidden in a corner, all by their lonesome. They vary in weight and size and can definitely be intimidating when you first pick one up.
I got my first gym membership eight years ago at the ripe age of twenty-two. I really liked running or using the stair climber, however after I got my cardio in I wanted to do something with weights but never seemed to know what to do. I would wander from machine to machine feeling like they weren’t doing much. I was intimidated by the free weights because there were usually surrounded by only really buff dudes grunting and sweating profusely. I definitely didn’t fit in with that crowd. This is when the medicine ball became my friend. My very first gym membership came with one free session with a personal trainer. I may not remember that guy’s name, but he handed me a medicine ball and, for that, I’m forever grateful.
After I had learned a couple moves and started seeing results, I looked forward to my time with that weighted ball. To this day, without fail, whenever you see me at the gym you can find me in a corner by myself, rocking out to some Usher and duking it out with my med ball.
This workout is great on its own or even better after a date with the treadmill. When done at a consistent pace, and with no breaks, it’ll even get your heart rate going. We’ve said it before but as Resource Girls we like things that are simple and to the point. No paper or notes on your phone needed.
For this full body workout just remember the word “SLAM!”
Start with some kind of warm-up. If you’re at the gym start with a half mile jog on the treadmill or a 500 meter row (read about proper rowing technique here). Then grab your medicine ball.
Not sure how much weight to start with? Go with something moderate at first, anywhere from six to ten pounds. Maybe even grab two different sizes your first couple of times so you can switch out if need be. Now you’re ready to start ballin’!
S – Squat
* Hold medicine ball at your chest and squat down.
For squat keep legs a little wider than shoulder width, feet forward, toes up, weight in heels and knees back.
Keep head and chest up to protect your back.
* When coming up from your squat, lift ball above head and extend one of your legs out to the side.
* Try 15 on each side.
L – Lift
* Lift ball over head and then slam on the ground, let the ball bounce back up to you, catch it and repeat.
* Keep legs slightly wider than shoulder width, don’t lock knees.
* Keep core tight to protect your lower back.
* Try at least 30 total, 50 if you’re feeling ambitious.
A – Abs
* Sit on the ground, holding the medicine ball in close to your chest (we recommend using a mat if you don’t have enough “natural padding”).
* Lift feet off of the ground while still keeping knees into chest.
* Keep head up and don’t twist or jerk your neck.
* Move the medicine ball from side to side to work your obliques.
* Try 15 on each side
For an added challenge bounce the ball on each side and catch it before switching to the next side.
M – Modified Push-up
* Start in a plank position with one hand on the medicine ball and one hand on the ground.
* Do ten push-ups with the ball on the same side and then switch to the other side. You could also do one push-up, roll the ball to the opposite hand and do a push-up and so on and so forth.
* To make things more difficult put both hands on the ball for a push-up or try balancing both feet on the ball while your hands are on the ground.
* Don’t be afraid to go to your knees if you have to. It’s better to start on your feet even if it’s only one push-up before you modify – you’re stronger than you think you are!
* Whichever modification you choose try doing 20 total.
Complete this circuit three times.
You can find medicine balls online or at any sporting goods store. This is a great workout to do outside or in the comfort of your own home. Most of the time the hardest part is getting started. We’ve done all the legwork for you, you just have to show up and remember the word, “SLAM!” Give it a try, you might just surprise yourself. Next thing you know you may just be walking into the gym straight ballin’!
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Cat has a lifestyle blog, The Resource Girls, with her best friend, Lauren. These Resource Girls survived their twenties as strong, successful, independent women in this crazy world. Check out www.theresourcegirls.com for their take on fashion, fitness, finance, food, and friendship. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter.