Incorporating medicine ball ab exercises into your fitness routine can help get the defined abs you want without doing traditional crunches, and using a medicine ball adds variety to your workout.
Medicine Balls for Exercise
Although new exercise equipment is constantly introduced, don't forget about some of those items you may have left behind in the school gym. While not the newest trend, medicine balls are still a great way to help you get in shape. If you're the type who's not crazy about lifting weights in a repetitive fashion, you can still get the defined muscles you want with a medicine ball. However, these heavy balls aren't just for sculpting your arms - you can use them to help define your midsection, too.
If you're new to medicine ball exercises, start with a weight that's comfortable for you to lift. This weight will vary, usually between two and twelve pounds. Starting out with a weight that's too heavy may lead to injuries, so it's best to start light and work your way into heavier weights.
Different Medicine Ball Ab Exercises
Here are just a few ways to use a medicine ball to help get the ripped abs of your dreams. Perform reps of eight to twelve in each set.
Don't worry, you don't have to lie on the floor for this exercise. You'll need a large exercise ball and a medicine ball.
- Lie on your back across the large ball, knees bent and feet planted on the floor.
- Keep your lower back centered on the ball.
- With your arms straight and elbows loose, lift the medicine ball while contracting your abdominals. You should lift your upper body as much as you would in a standard crunch.
- Return to starting position and repeat.
You might want to practice with a lighter medicine ball than you'd normally use until you're comfortable with the movement in this exercise:
- Lie on a mat on the floor.
- With arms and legs stretched straight out, hold the medicine ball in your hands.
- Contract your abs and lift your head and shoulders, while also raising your legs straight into the air.
- Put the medicine ball between your feet and lower yourself to the starting position, but keep your feet a few inches above the floor.
- Repeat step three, but this time, place the medicine ball back into your hands.
- Lower yourself to the starting position and repeat.
Sit with Twist
- Sit on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on floor.
- Hold the medicine ball out in front of you and recline your back at about 45 degrees.
- Twist your body to the right, lightly touching the ball to the floor.
- Without pausing, twist your body to the left, again lightly touching the floor with the ball.
- Perform several repetitions -- one twist to each side counts as one rep.
- Keep your lower body still during this exercise.
- Reclining back more adds more of a challenge.
Crunches with Toe Touch
- Lie on your back on the floor.
- Raise your legs straight into the air.
- Hold the medicine ball straight above you. Your legs and arms should point toward the ceiling.
- Exhale and lift your shoulders from the floor. Try to touch your feet with the ball.
- Hold for a count of one and lower yourself to the starting position and repeat.
You may need a partner for this exercise, but you can also perform it alone.
- Sit on the floor, knees bent and feet flat.
- Recline back until your back is about halfway between the floor and the upright position.
- Have your partner toss the medicine ball to you while you maintain your position.
- Throw the ball back as hard as you can.
- Raise the ball over your head before tossing it back to increase the challenge.
- To perform this exercise without a partner, throw the ball straight into the air and catch it, while maintaining your lower body position.
Effective and Varied
Getting the washboard abs you've always wanted is possible without doing standard crunches. You can perform a variety of effective medicine ball ab exercises, which may seem more like play than working out. Having a good time while you workout is the best way to get in shape because you won't get bored with it.