Medicine ball exercises have helped athletes train for thousands of years. The earliest documented use of them goes back 3,000 years when Persian wrestlers used them to build strength. Today, they can be found in nearly every gym. They work just as well as they did for the Persian wrestlers, working to build core, chest, arm and leg strength. Plus, many use medicine balls exercises to help them recover from an injury as a form of physical therapy. Here are a few basic medicine ball exercises for women that are great for both fitness fanatics and those just starting out on a new workout streak:
Lunge and Twist:
Work your legs, abs and back with the lunge and twist exercise. Hold a medicine ball directly in front of you and step your right foot forward one to two feet. Bend your knees until your left knee hovers a couple inches off of the ground and slowly twist your torso to the right. Twist back to center, stand and repeat on the left side. Aim for three sets of 10 lunges and twists.
You’ll need a partner for this one, but you’re basically playing a very slow, careful version of catch with a medicine ball. Toss from different positions, such as launching from your chest or under-hand. Be especially careful not to drop the ball on any toes while performing this exercise.
Get buff by using this medicine ball exercise to work your triceps. Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Lift the ball up over your head, holding it with both hands. Bend your elbows, lowering the medicine ball behind your head and lift straight up again. Continue this action of bending and straitening, keeping in mind, the slower you move, the better workout your arms will get.
Get your shoulders and back going with the figure eight. Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart and bend over. Slowly pass the ball between your legs, forming a figure eight around them. Pick up the pace. Next reverse. Try to keep it up for a full minute. Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid hyperextension.
Squat and Stand
For a full-body workout, try the squat and stand. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding the medicine ball at your chest. Squat down, place the ball in front of you and, while keeping both hands on the ball, shoot your legs straight out behind you. This position should resemble a plank position, except you’ll be balancing on the ball instead of placing your hands on the ground. Next, jump your feet forward, on either side of your hands and using your knees, not your back, stand up with the ball at your chest once more. Finally, raise the ball above your head, nearly straightening your elbows. Be careful not to straighten them all of the way, as this can put too much pressure on your elbows. Lower back to your chest and repeat. Start out with three sets of 10 and work your way up from there.
-“25 Must-Try Medicine Ball Exercises” Greatist
-“An Introduction to the Medicine Ball” FitDay
-Photo courtesy of Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net