- Choosing the Right Medicine Ball
- Intro Medicine Ball Exercises & Workouts
- Intermediate Medicine Ball Exercises & Workouts
- Advanced Medicine Ball Exercises & Workouts
- Training With Sand: Our Favorite Medicine Ball
The Right Medicine Ball For YouBefore you start training with a medicine ball, you need to choose the right one. Medicine balls come in different weights, sizes, and materials, so there're lots of options to choose from. You want one that's durable, safe to use, and versatile. For more experienced people (or anyone working out at home), we built the Sand Medicine Ball. It's the perfect addition to home gyms or your local GORUCK Club meetup. Because it's made with sand, our Sand Med Ball is more durable and safer to use in a variety of workouts (like heavy carries).
Pro Tip: Just because our Sand Medicine Balls are heavier doesn't mean you're not ready to use them. Check out the Sand Medicine Ball workouts below for some ideas on how to get started, or what you can look forward to.The size of the medicine ball should also be appropriate for the exercise you're performing. For example, if you're doing overhead throws, you may want a smaller, lighter ball that's easier to grip and throw. If you're doing squats or lunges with the ball, you may use a larger ball for a strength challenge. Pick up a medicine ball and perform some exercises. How does that weight feel? Adjust accordingly.
Medicine Ball Exercises for BeginnersOnce you've selected your medicine ball, start with some basic exercises to get familiar with how it feels in your hands, and while you move.
- Medicine ball squat: stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball in front of your chest. Squat down as low as you can, keeping your knees over your toes. Then stand up, pressing through your heels.
- Medicine ball lunges: stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding your medicine ball at chest height. Step forward with one foot, lowering your back knee toward the ground. Push back up and step back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
- Sand Medicine Ball carry: Pick up your Sand Medicine Ball, give it a bear hug, and go for a walk. You might walk down your driveway and back up, or carry it over more distance. You can go heavier with carries than other exercises, and they're great for core strength and back health.
- Medicine ball American twists: sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Hold the medicine ball in front of your chest and lean back slightly. Twist your torso to the left, bringing the ball to your left side. Then twist to the right, bringing the ball to your right side. For a greater challenge, elevate your feet and gently tap the ground on each side.
- Medicine ball holds: these are as simple as they sound. Hold your medicine ball overhead with one or two hands, or in front of your with extended arms. Stand in front of a clock and aim for one minute.
Intro Medicine Ball Workouts for BeginnersYou've got a few exercises down, now try the following workouts. Remember: go slow and learn how to hold and move with a medicine ball. These tools have been around forever, and you're going to see the results of learning to use them well. Before starting any medicine ball workout, warm up with a walk or some light bodyweight exercises. Always get a little sweat going before pushing yourself.
Beginner Workout #15 rounds: brisk, 5 minutes walk or ruck 20 medicine ball squats 30 second plank (standard) 20 medicine ball lunges 30 second plank (standard)
Pro Tip: Walking with weight (aka "Rucking") is our favorite warmup before strength training. Tap here to learn about rucking, and how to use it to torch calories and get strong.
Beginner Workout #25 rounds: brisk, 5 minutes walk or ruck 1 minute Sand Medicine Ball carry 30 second medicine ball hold (extended in front) 1 minute Sand Medicine Ball carry 30 second medicine ball hold (pushed overhead)
Beginner Workout #330 second plank (standard) 30 second medicine ball hold (extended in front) 1 minute Sand Medicine Ball carry 30 second medicine ball hold (pushed overhead) 30 squats 1 minute medicine ball hold (pushed overhead) 1 minute Sand Medicine Ball carry 1 minute medicine ball hold (extended in front) 1 minute plank (standard)
Intermediate Medicine Ball Exercises (Beginners and Up)After spending time with basic exercises, try some intermediate movements. As you get stronger, increase the weight of your medicine ball, or perform more reps.
- Medicine ball slams: stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball above your head. Slam the ball down on the ground in front of you, using your core and arms to generate power. Catch the ball and repeat. Try performing slams for one minute, then resting for one minute, then repeating.
- Sand Medicine Ball over-the-shoulder tosses: not only do these torch calories, but they're fun. Lift your Sand Medicine Ball and toss it over your right shoulder. Turn around to face your Sand Medicine Ball, pick it up, and toss it over your left shoulder. Repeat.
- Medicine ball Superman: lie on your stomach with the medicine ball in front of your head. Keeping your core engaged, lift your feet and knees while keeping your legs straight. Extending your arms like Superman, roll the medicine ball between your two hands, while keeping your legs lifted. This exercise might sound easy, but you'll see why we recommend it as a full body workout.
- Medicine ball squat and press: perform a squat, pausing at the bottom of the movement. With your legs bent, push the medicine ball away from your body 5 times. That's one rep. Shoot for 10-12 squats, pushing the medicine ball away from your body 5 times for every squat.
Intermediate Medicine Ball Workouts for Beginners and UpYou're getting stronger and have a good feel for training with medicine balls. Try the following workouts for a bit more challenge...
Intermediate Workout #15 rounds: brisk, 5 minutes walk or ruck 10 medicine ball slams 10 Sand Medicine Ball over-the-shoulder tosses (each side 10x) 10 medicine ball squat and press 1 minute Sand Medicine Ball carry
Intermediate Workout #25 rounds: brisk, 5 minutes walk or ruck medicine ball Supermans: 20 passes 10 medicine ball lunges 10 medicine ball American twists 10 medicine ball squats
Intermediate Workout #330 second plank (standard) 10 medicine ball squat and presses 30 medicine ball slams 10 medicine ball lunges 30 Sand Medicine Ball over-the-shoulder tosses (30x each side) 30 second plank (standard)
Advanced Medicine Ball Exercises (Getting Stronger)
After including the above exercises in your training program for a few weeks, you're feeling more confident with medicine balls. Now try some of the more challenging exercises and workouts below. If you're training at home and want to elevate your home gym, a Sand Med Ball (and the workouts in the next section) will give you even more versatility in your training.
- Medicine ball pushups: for core strength and shoulder stability, perform pushups with your hands on your medicine ball.
- Medicine ball burpees: burpees are tough enough, but adding a medicine ball to the challenge is a great way to test yourself. Perform the pushup portion of the burpee on the medicine ball (extra shoulder stability work) and instead of jumping, throw the medicine ball over your shoulder. Turn around and repeat, tossing your medicine ball over the opposite shoulder. Medicine ball burpees are a GORUCK HQ favorite for our Sand Medicine Balls.
- Medicine ball Superman holds: lie on your stomach with the medicine ball in front of your head. Keeping your core engaged, lift your feet and knees while keeping your legs straight. Extend your arms like Superman while holding your medicine ball. We recommend starting with a lighter weight than you think you'll want.
- Medicine ball lunges with a twist: stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding your medicine ball at chest height. Push your medicine ball straight out from your chest, extending your arms. Step forward with one foot, lowering your back knee toward the ground. At the bottom of the lunge rotate your torso and medicine ball toward your forward foot. Then return to center. Push back up and step back to the starting position, keeping the medicine ball extended in front of you. Repeat on the other side.
Advanced Medicine Ball Workouts
You're increasing the weight of your medicine ball and ready to try more challenging workouts. Check out the three we've put together below, and don't be afraid to create your own from these templates.
Advanced Workout #1Start with a 15 minute ruck, then perform 5 rounds of the following... 10 medicine ball pushups 20 Sand Medicine Ball over-the-shoulder tosses 10 medicine ball burpees 20 second medicine ball Superman hold
Advanced Workout #2Start with a 15 minute ruck, then perform 5 rounds of the following... 10 medicine ball burpees 10 medicine ball lunges with a twist 10 medicine ball American twists 10 medicine ball squat and presses
Advanced Workout #31 minute Sand Medicine Ball carry 10 medicine ball squat and presses 20 medicine ball burpees 30 medicine ball slams 20 medicine ball burpees 10 Sand Medicine Ball over-the-shoulder tosses 1 minute Sand Medicine Ball carry
Training With Sand: A Great Medicine Ball Workout for Beginners
The GORUCK Sand Med Ball is a great tool for beginners. Why? Well, carrying heavy things is one of the best exercises for a strong core and healthy back. That's why we make our Sand Med Ball heavier and bigger than typical medicine balls.
Don't be intimidated by the larger size: pick it up like you would a child and take it for a short walk. It's going to be a little awkward the first few times, but that's on purpose. It means your core, back, shoulders, and legs are adjusting to something new, something challenging.
After you've spent a few weeks bear hugging your Sand Med Ball and taking it for walks, you'll feel much stronger and healthier. Seriously. Then, when your walks start getting easier and longer, you can check out our guide on carrying heavy loads regularly for strength and conditioning.
Medicine balls are tools that have been around forever. We like getting strong and healthy (and having fun while we do it), so you'll find us using them every day.