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The Med Ball is a great piece of equipment that you can use to work on your power as well as your aerobic endurance. It is also a great way to get in a full-body, core-intensive workout.
However, unlike when you lift and you constantly want to be challenging yourself with weight, when you do Med Ball Exercises, more weight isn’t always better.
With Med Ball Drills, you want to use only as heavy a ball as you can while still being explosive and moving quickly. Explosiveness and power are more important than going heavy.
Even when you work on endurance, you don’t necessarily want to go super heavy. You want to use a heavy enough ball that you are challenged during the time you work, but also a light enough ball that you can keep moving at a consistent pace.
While lifting more weight to challenge your body is important, adding weight isn’t necessarily always the answer, especially with certain drills. The Med Ball is a great chance to work on your speed and explosiveness and even your reaction time. And going heavy and moving slowly because you are using too heavy a ball isn’t going to accomplish that.
When doing these 18 Med Ball Drills think explosive, quick and powerful and then think about adding more weight only if you can stay as explosive and power.
Or if you use some of these drills to build your aerobic base during your active recovery workouts, go light and think consistent movement. Only add weight if you can continue to work in that 65-85% of your max effort range. You aren’t trying to redline or burn yourself out during the endurance work!
18 Med Ball Exercises
Below are 18 Med Ball Exercises to work your entire body while getting your blood pumping.
Some of these Med Ball Drills should be done for only very low reps and short work intervals. Others can be used as both power movements and to build your endurance.
All exercises should be done starting with a light weight. It is a good idea to start with a weight that is, at max, 10% of what you can lift for that muscle group.
Chest Pass And Shuffle – This is a great full-body move that will work your chest, shoulders, triceps, legs and even your core. Plus the Chest Pass and Shuffle is great because it makes you work in two different planes of motion at once. And because you are moving quickly while your entire body is working, it really gets your heart rate up quickly.
While this move could be done slowly with a very light ball to work on endurance, it is best done as an explosive, power movement. If you are looking to make it an endurance move, simply doing the chest pass without the shuffle may be best.
To do the Chest Pass and Shuffle, hold a med ball in both hands at your chest and face a wall. You want to be far enough from the wall that you have room to extend your arms and pass the ball; however, you want to be close enough to the wall that it will bounce back to you and that you can catch and pass quickly.
Then throw the ball out from your chest into the wall and begin to shuffle laterally. To pass the ball press it straight out from your chest and extend your arms toward the wall. Drill the ball straight into the wall and then catch it and bring it back into your chest.
Shuffle one direction as you pass and then change directions and shuffle back as you repeat the quick passes. Keep the shuffles one direction short. You don’t have to go 50 feet to one side and then back. Room for 3-4 shuffles each way is more than enough. Make sure to stand up nice and tall and keep your chest pressed out as you pass and shuffle.
If you have a partner, you can do the Chest Pass and Shuffle together, passing the ball back and forth as you both shuffle the same way.
Rotational Throws – A great way to work on your rotational power and core strength is with Rotational Med Ball Throws. These Rotational Throws can be done by staying on the same side or by alternating sides. Both of these throws can also be done against a wall or with a partner.
If you are looking to work on explosiveness, reaction time and power, the Alternating Rotational Throws is a great choice. If you want to do more endurance, the Single Side Rotational Throws is better although both can be speed up or slowed down to fit either.
- Single Side Rotational Throws – To do Single Side Rotational Throws, start with your side to the wall and your feet slightly staggered. Make sure you are far enough from the wall to challenge yourself with the throws, but not so far apart that you can’t throw it quickly and directly into the wall. Holding the ball in both hands, bring the ball back toward the hip of your back foot. Then rotate open toward the wall as you throw the ball underhanded straight into the wall. Throw the ball as powerfully as possible, following through with your arms. Then catch the ball when it bounces back and swing it back toward your back hip. Rotate back toward your hip before again throwing it underhanded into the wall. Make the throws powerful and quick. Stay on that side until all reps are complete.
- Alternating Rotational Throws – To do Alternating Rotational Throws, start in a very slightly staggered stance with your side to the wall. Holding the ball in both hands, reach the ball back toward the hip of the back foot. Then, throwing it underhanded, toss it straight against the wall as hard as possible. As you throw, bring your back foot forward and switch to face the other direction and catch the ball, bringing it back toward your other hip. Then throw the ball against the wall and switch back to the first side. Keep rotating and alternating back and forth. The harder you throw the ball and the quicker you move, the harder the move will be.
Half-Kneeling Rotational Throws – With almost any of the Med Ball Throws, you can do them in a variety of stances. You can do them standing, kneeling, half-kneeling or even seated. A great Half-Kneeling Throw variation is the Half-Kneeling Rotational Throw. This isolates your core more and doesn’t allow you to use your legs as much.
While you may cycle through this one if you are doing med ball throws for endurance, this is a good one to use for working on power and core stability. Be explosive and quick for a few reps and then switch sides.
To do the Half-Kneeling Rotational Throw, set up with one side to the wall and place the foot of the leg closest to the wall flat on the ground. You should be in a half-kneeling position with your front leg up. You may need to open your front knee up slightly toward the wall. Holding the ball in both hands, bring it toward your outside hip.
Then, throwing it underhanded, rotate and throw it into the wall. Throw it as hard as you can rotating toward the wall as you throw. Follow through with your arms.
Catch the ball and reload, bringing the ball back outside your hip.
Make sure to engage your glutes as you throw to keep you balanced. Also, do not round forward. Keep your back flat and abs engaged as you throw.
Complete all reps to one side then switch to half kneeling on the other side.
Overhead Throw – Work your lats, triceps and core with this Overhead Throw. This Overhead Throw is a great one to use for your power or your endurance workout. Make it quick and more explosive for the Power work while maybe working on throwing it further during the endurance work. Either way keep it light!
To do Overhead Throws, hold a med ball in both hands and stand facing a wall. Step back away from the wall enough that you have to throw powerfully, but not so far back that the ball doesn’t come directly back to you or even reach the wall with force.
Then extend your arms up and back overhead. Your elbows should be slightly bent as you reach the ball back overhead.
As you throw, extending your arms forward and toward the wall, make sure to step forward with one foot to help propel the ball harder into the wall. You want to really snap your arms forward and feel your arms and upper back working as well as your core.
Catch the ball and step back, extending your arms back overhead.
You can then throw and step forward with the same foot or alternate feet.
Sit Up and Throw – While most of these moves are very core intensive, we all still enjoy doing the occasional crunch or sit up to really target our abs. However, the more bang for our buck we can get out of that sit up, the better! That is why the Sit Up and Throw is a great move.
This move targets not only your abs, but also your arms, lats and quads. While this move can be done as a power exercise, it is a great one for your endurance workouts if you want to mix in a little core work because you can move at a consistent pace and even throw it back and forth with a partner. Plus it doesn’t have to be super explosive to have benefit.
To do the Sit Up and Throw, sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Sit far enough from the wall or your partner that you won’t either bash yourself in the face, or your partner in the face, with the ball.
Holding the ball in both hands, lie back on the ground and extend the ball overhead on the ground behind you.
Then sit up and as you do perform an overhead throw, throwing the ball into the wall or to your partner. Do not sit up then throw. Throw as you sit up. And sit all the way up as you follow through with the throw.
Then as you catch the ball, lie back down, extending the ball back overhead. Try to move quickly, catching, lying back down, and then quickly sitting back up as you throw.
Beginners may need to stick with a seated overhead throw instead of including the full sit up.
Partner Russian Twists – A great rotational core move you can do with the med ball and a partner is the Partner Russian Twist. This is a great move to improve your core stability and rotational strength.
This move is best done during your endurance work as it is hard to be super powerful with the throws although you could occasionally use it for power work.
To do Partner Russian Twists, both partners should sit facing the same way with their sides to each other. Sit far enough away that you have to rotate and throw the ball, but not so far away you can’t pass it smoothly back and forth.
Both of you should start seated on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lean back in that seated position and lift your feet up off the ground. One person should be holding the ball.
The partner with the ball should hold it in both hands and rotate their upper body and arms to the outside of one hip. Bring the ball to the outside of your hip farthest from your partner then throw the ball to them.
Both of you should stay balanced on your butts with your feet off the ground as you throw and catch the ball.
When the partner catches the ball, they should rotate and bring the ball down outside their outside hip.
They should then rotate and pass it back. Keep passing back and forth until all reps or time is complete. Then face the other way and rotate toward the other hip, which is now your outside hip.
Try to stay balanced on your butt the entire time. Beginner may need to place their heels on the ground.
Also, make sure your abs stay engaged. Do not let your low back take over and start to feel this move.
Russian Twists – If you don’t have a partner but still want to work your core with the rotation of the Russian Twists, you can do a variation with just the med ball. This is another great exercise to add in during your endurance work or if you need a core exercise during a cardio workout.
To do the Russian Twist, balance on your butt with your knees bent and feet off the ground. Hinge back a little with your upper body and engage your abs.
Holding a med ball in both hands. Rotate your upper body and arms from side to side, touching the ball to the ground by each hip. Keep your feet off the ground the entire time and move as quickly as possible.
Make sure to fully rotate as you bring the ball outside each hip. Don’t simply move your arms and reach the ball. Actually rotate through your core.
Squat and Throw – If you want one move to work your entire body, the Squat and Throw is it. This is a great move to work your legs, core and even your shoulders and arms. Plus, because it is so full body, it will get your heart pounding with only a few reps.
While you can do this move for higher reps, it is best used as a power, explosive move where you throw the ball as high as you can as explosively as you can for only a few reps.
To do the Squat and Throw, hold a med ball in both hands at your chest and stand with your feet about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. You can stand facing a way to throw up at or you can simply throw up toward the ceiling.
Then squat down with the ball at your chest.
As you explode up out of the squat, press the ball from your chest throwing it as high up as you can. It is ok to explode out of the squat and jump as you throw the ball from your chest up as high as possible. Make sure that as you throw you extend your body and your arms up toward the ball.
Then catch the ball either straight off the throw or after a bounce on the ground and sink right back into the squat and repeat.
Do not round forward as you sink into the squat while holding the ball at your chest. This also doesn’t have to be a squat where you sink your butt all the way to the ground, but you do want to make sure to sit your butt back and down.
Throw the ball as high as you can. Add weight if you can easily throw it super high or as high as your space allows!
Underhand Throw For Height – A variation of the Squat and Throw is the Underhanded Throw For Height. While with both moves you want to throw the ball as high as possible, they both target different muscles to do it. The Underhanded Throw for height will really work your backside to allow you to throw the ball as high as possible.
This is another great move to use for your power work.
To do the Underhand Throw For Height, hold a med ball in both hands and set your feet between hip-width and shoulder-width apart.
Then hinge over at the hips, pushing your butt back and bending your knees slightly as you lean your chest over. Keep your back flat as you bring your hands back between your legs with your arms hanging down straight.
As you raise your arms up toward the ceiling to launch the ball, come quickly out of the hinge and jump up toward the ceiling. Full extend your body and arms up toward the ceiling as you release the med ball.
Land softly bending your knees as you land. You can either then either catch the ball out of the air and repeat quickly, hinging right back over or you can let the ball bounce and give yourself a second or two between reps.
Beginners should let the ball bounce so they can reset and perform the move explosively with proper form.
Slams – This is a great hinge med ball movement to strengthen your backside as well as your core and arms. It is also a great power move that can definitely help you release some stress after a long day.
When doing slams, it is best to use a slam ball or at least a ball that won’t bounce back. It is also important that you really follow through and slam the ball and that you don’t simply “drop” it.
To do Slams, stand nice and tall with your feet between hip-width and shoulder-width apart. Hold the ball in both hands.
Then reach both arms up back and overhead, fully extending your body and standing tall.
Slam the ball forward and down toward the ground, hinging over as you do. You will slam the ball and sit your butt back as your upper body leans over to follow through with the slam. Extend your arms toward the ground as you slam and don’t be afraid to bend your knees a little as you hinge over.
Then squat to pick the ball back up and stand back up, reaching back overhead. Do not just pick the ball up with your back. Squat to pick it up.
Move quickly and slam the ball as hard as possible.
If the movement isn’t explosive, you may be using too heavy a weight. You want this movement to be explosive and quick. It isn’t about how much weight you use.
Rainbow Slams – Rainbow Slams are a rotational slam variation that will really work your legs, back, arms and core. It is also a more advanced variation and requires a bit more mobility.
Just like the Slam, Rainbow Slams should be done for power not for high reps or endurance.
To do Rainbow Slams, hold a med ball in both hands and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
Raise your hands with the ball overhead and rotate to one side, pivoting your back foot. As you pivot, slam the ball down inside your front foot. Bend your knees and sink down as you slam.
Then, staying low, pick the ball back up and raise it overhead as you pivot to slam the ball down on the other side.
As you bring the ball up and overhead to slam on each side, you are basically creating an arch or “rainbow” over your head.
Make sure to pivot as you rotate from side to side. Also, make sure to use your legs to slam and also to pick up the ball. Don’t stand up and simply lean over, rounding your back to pick up the ball.
Move quickly, alternating sides.
Push Up Shuffle – Sometimes the med ball doesn’t have to move to be a useful piece of equipment. With the Push Up Shuffle, you will be the object moving over the ball as it stays still. By shuffling over the ball, you will work on the power of your upper body while also building core stability and strength. Plus the ball changes the angle of the move and helps isolate each side a bit more.
Beginners may need to perform either a basic Plyo Push Up or even a Push Up Shuffle by stepping over the ball while more advanced exercisers can do the full Push Up Shuffle.
To do the Push Up Shuffle, place a med ball on the ground between your hands. Set up in a push up position from your knees or toes with your hands at about shoulder height and your body in a nice straight line down to your heels or knees.
Then place one hand on top of the ball and the other hand on the ground. Perform a push up, dropping your chest close to the ground.
Quickly push back up to the top of the push up and as you do, jump your body over the ball, placing the other hand on top of the ball as you place the other hand on the ground.
As you land, sink into another push up and then explode back up and shuffle back over the ball.
Beginners can try the knee Push Up Shuffle or regress and simply step over the ball instead of performing a plyo shuffle.
Push Up Pass – Another great Push Up variation using a med ball is the Push Up Pass. This variation can be done for more reps and isn’t a power exercise like the Push Up Shuffle. By placing one hand up on the ball, you can target each side independently without adding in the extra challenge of the plyometric shuffle.
To do the Push Up Pass, place the med ball between your hands and set up in a push up position from your knees or toes. Make sure your hands are about at shoulder height and your body is in a nice straight line from your head to your heels or knees. Engage and brace your abs.
Place one hand up on the med ball and perform a push up, dropping your chest to about the height of the ball. Make sure that as you lower, your body stays in a nice straight line.
Then pass the ball to your other hand, rolling it on the ground. Place the other hand on top and perform another push up.
Make sure your body moves as one unit. You want to engage everything from your shoulders to your heels or knees.
Keep passing the ball back and forth and alternating push ups with your hand up on the ball.
Beginners may do this from their knees or may need to regress to an Incline Push Up without the pass.
For more Push Up Variations, check these out.
Med Ball Slam Burpees – If you want the ultimate power and cardio move, then you need to do the Med Ball Slam Burpee. This move will work your entire body and get your heart racing with the first rep.
This move is recommended for working on explosiveness and power using low repetitions. If your reps get too high, you risk getting so tired that your form breaks down and you end up hurting yourself while picking up the ball.
Also, for this move, like with the other slams, you will need a slam ball so that the ball won’t bounce back at you as you lower down into the burpee.
To do the Med Ball Slam Burpee, start standing, holding the ball in both hands. Choose a weight light enough that you can move quickly and slam the ball powerfully.
Reach the ball up overhead, extending your body as you reach your arms back and overhead.
Then slam the ball down as hard as you can into the ground, hinging over and sitting your butt back as you slam while following through with your arms. As you hinge over, bend your knees.
After slamming the ball, quickly place your hands on the ground and jump back into a high plank position. When you jump back, make sure to keep your body in a nice straight line.
Then jump your feet back in toward your hands so that you are squatting to pick up the ball. Pick up the ball and reach back overhead, extending your body and standing up nice and tall. Then repeat the slam and burpee.
Make sure to use your legs to lift and slam. Do not just round your back to pick the ball up.
Slam the ball as hard as you can each and every time. Do not simply drop the ball.
Beginners will want to use a lighter ball and may step back into the plank position instead of jumping back.
Check out more fun Burpee Variations.
ABC Plank – Planks are a great way to build core strength and stability. And when you add in a bit of instability and movement to the plank, you can force your core to work even harder.
You don’t need to hold planks for minutes at a time to really strengthen your core. Actually, you only need to hold long enough to write the Alphabet with this ABC Plank.
To do the ABC Plank, place a lighter med ball on the ground. Set up in a Plank from your forearms with your forearms on the ball. You can do the Plank from your knees or toes. Placing your feet closer together will make the move harder because you won’t have as wide a base to help you balance.
Make sure your body is in a nice straight line and your abs are engaged. Also, do not shrug your shoulders.
Then begin to draw the letters of the alphabet with your arms on the ball. The bigger you draw the letters, the harder the move will be because the more you will force your core to have to brace and stabilize.
Do not let your hips wobble all over or your butt go way up in the air. Also, do not let your hips sag. Your core may move a bit, but your goal is to keep everything as tight as possible.
Write all the letters from A-Z!
Rainbow Split Squat Jumps – Split Squat Jumps are a great lower body plyometric move. And when you add in the Med Ball Rainbow, you not only work your lower body but also your upper body and core.
This is another great power move to include in your routine.
To do Rainbow Split Squat Jumps, step one foot forward so you are in a nice wide stance. Hold the ball in both hands and bring it outside that front leg.
Sink into a deep lunge, bending the back knee down toward the ground as you bend the front knee. Bring the ball outside your front hip.
Then jump up and as you do switch your legs so that you land with the opposite leg in front. As you jump and switch legs, swing the ball up overhead and down outside the other hip.
When you land and bring the ball outside your other hip, sink straight into a lunge on the other side.
Then jump back into a lunge on the first side, swinging the ball in a rainbow overhead and down to the other hip.
Move quickly and try to get up off the ground. Get as deep in the lunges as you can as well. Make sure though that you don’t start to go forward, but land and sit back in the lunge a bit.
Beginners may not be able to sink as low in the lunge and may need to do more of a step back with a hop instead of a jump from lunge to lunge.
Wood Choppers – Wood Choppers are a great rotational, core-intensive, full-body movement. They are also one of the most functional movements out there.
These can be included as power moves or they can be included for higher reps, depending on the weight you use and the speed at which you do them. So depending on your goals, you can use this move for a few different purposes.
Beginners may be better served by doing a bit higher reps and not as explosive a movement until their core gets stronger and can decelerate a powerful rotational movement.
To do the Med Ball Wood Chopper, hold a ball in both hands and stand with your feet about hip-width to shoulder-width apart.
Then sit your butt back and sink down as you reach the ball outside one leg. Pivot your back foot as you reach the ball down. Make sure that as you sink and reach the ball outside your leg, you keep your chest pressed out. Do not simple lean over and round your back to reach the ball lower. Really make sure to sink your butt as you bend your knees.
Then bring the ball up and across your body to outside and above your other shoulder. You don’t have to reach the ball way up, but you do want to bring it outside your opposite shoulder. As you bring the ball up and across, pivot your feet and rotate. Make sure you rotate that back foot to keep your hip, knee and ankle in proper alignment.
Then lower the ball back down and across as you pivot and sink back down. Complete all reps on one side before switching. Move quickly, but controlled. You want to force your core to work to accelerate and then decelerate the rotation. If you get out of control going too quickly, you can hurt your back.
Include these 18 Med Ball moves in your workout routine either by using them before a strength workout or during your cardio workouts. You can add them in with movements using other equipment or do a completely Med Ball Workout like the one below!
Med Ball Workout
Try this Med Ball Power Workout.
Complete 6-8 rounds of each exercise. Rest 30-50 seconds between rounds of the move. Rest 1-2 minutes between each exercise. Go as hard as you can for the 15 seconds then try to fully recover before going again so that each 15 seconds is a max effort! 15 seconds may seem short but if you go hard each and every time it will add up!
15 seconds Push Up Shuffle
30-50 seconds Rest
15 seconds Rainbow Split Squat Jumps
30-50 seconds Rest
15 seconds Med Ball Slam Burpees
30-50 seconds Rest
15 seconds Alternating Rotational Throws
30-50 seconds Rest
15 secondsMed Ball Chest Pass and Shuffle
30-50 seconds Rest