A Medicine ball is one of my very favorite pieces of equipment for power workouts. Tossing and throwing the ball and jumping with it makes me faster and develops my power. I also love to mix some sprints to my workouts.
It's not that medicine balls are anything new to fitness world, they have actually been around for a long time. They just seem to be making a comeback, probably thanks to CrossFit.
Medicine balls come in various sizes and weights. Bigger medicine balls like this are good for wall ball shots, but for many other moves they might be uncomfortably big. For example the moves where you hold the ball above your head and toss it, it's better to use ball that is smaller in size, like this one.
It's also covered with rubber, which makes it easier to grip.
What is a Power Workout?
As said, I use my medicine ball a lot for my power workouts. Power training uses multi-joint movements. It's important to do the movements quickly, by putting a lot of power into them.
The first reason why power exercises are useful for those who are interested in fat burning is that multi-joint power exercises put more muscle groups into work.
The more muscle groups at work, the greater the energy expenditure.
Second, because the movements are done quickly, the heart rate will be elevated. That also means greater energy expenditure.
You won't be able to do power workouts for too long, because your heart rate is very high. It's also not healthy because power work is high intensity work.
But the good thing is that you get in a great workout with using minimal time!
I love to incorporate power exercises into my workout for several reasons:
1. They are very functional. Think sprinting, jumping, tossing and throwing – all the things that you actually do in real life too.
2. They make you faster. You can react faster when you have good power skills. For example, in long distance running you will be able to pick up the speed when getting closer to the finish line.
3. Power is useful in so many other sports. Think playing tennis or volleyball – you better have some serious power in your serve.
4. They make a great interval workout. You can alternate strength exercises with power work, or throw in some spurts into your long steady-state walks or runs.
5. They are awesome cardio workout. A lot of people want to develop their cardio but they don't like running.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, because running is not the only way to do cardio. Power workouts serve a great cardio workout too.
6. They are great calorie burners, helping you to get and stay lean. Fat loss comes easier by incorporating power work into the workouts.
7. Power work gives you the chance to release some emotions… we all have those moments, right?
Some people kick their boxing bags when they have some emotions to release. Throwing a medicine bal has a similar effect. Put all your frustration into those throws!
Medicine Ball Power Workout
I've put together two fun medicine ball routines that work on your power, agility and speed. Here's part 1. Be ready to get the heart rate up!
For this workout you need a medicine ball. Anything from 6-12 lbs is great. Choose the right weight according to your fitness level and keep in mind that you should be able to move it quickly for 30 seconds.
You will also need a wall to throw the ball against to.
The workout consists of 6 exercises. You will work 30 seconds before taking 10 seconds break and moving on to next exercise. Repeat the same routine 3-5 times.
Here's the breakdown of the moves:
1. Sit Ups with Medicine Ball Toss. Lay on your back. Hold the ball on your chest. Come up just like in a regular sit ups, but throw the ball in the air. Keep repeating for 30 seconds.
2. Medicine Ball Squat Jumps. Start with half squat position. Hold the ball in your arms and touch the ground with the ball. As you jump up, extend your arms. The jump should be powerful! Repeat without any breaks for 30 seconds.
3. Medicine Ball Push Up + Burpee. Come into a plank, holding hands on the ball. Do a push up – that's quite a bit harder than a regular push up, because maintaining your balance on the ball is way harder. Once you have don the push up jump the legs in under your chest, jump up and throw the ball up against the wall. Repeat for 30 seconds.
4. Medicine Ball Slams. Stand up, holding the medicine ball in your hands, arms extended up. Powerfully slam the ball on the ground. Use all the power from your arms and core! Repeat 30 seconds.
5. Wall Ball Shots. Holding the ball on your chest level, do a squat. As you come up, throw the ball up against the wall. The directions should be up, not so much forward, so make sure you stand close enough to the wall. Move quickly for 30 seconds.
6. Medicine Ball Toss Behind the Back. Stand up with your back facing the wall. Hold the ball in your hands and throw it behind the back over one side. The movement should be powerful and fast. Work hard for 30 seconds. Next round toss over the other side.
Hope you enjoyed the workout! It definitely gets the heard beating and is awesome for conditioning and strength work, without taking too much of your time. Depending on how many rounds you do, you probably end up working 12-15 minutes.