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Your weight room workouts have given you a killer set of muscles, so your game this season is on lock, right? Not so fast. If you're neglecting to train your core, your sports performance will be lackluster, and you will be more prone to injury.
Weak core muscles can ruin a season. The "perfect medicine" is to strengthen this important area with a medicine ball workout. (Your core isn't just your abs.)
Using a moderately heavy medicine ball (around eight to 12 pounds), perform the following core-building exercises in your next workout and guarantee yourself a standout season. (Learn why the med ball is such a great tool.)
Standing Side Chops
This non-traditional exercise effectively targets the oblique, quadricep, hamstring and hip muscles.
Sets/Reps: 1x10 per side
- Assume athletic stance holding med ball overhead near left ear
- Bend knees and hips and explosively drive ball down and across body toward right ankle
- Pause one second and quickly return to start position
- Repeat holding ball near right ear and directing it toward left ankle
Elevated Plank With Feet On Medicine Ball
An advanced version of the Plank, this works the upper and lower abdominals and the middle and lower back muscles
Sets/Duration: 3x30-60 seconds
- Assume plank position with forearms shoulder-width apart, toes of left foot on center of med ball and other leg raised in air
- Keeping back straight and abdominal muscles tight (resisting lower back from sagging), hold position 30 to 60 seconds
- Repeat with other foot on ball for 30 to 60 seconds
- Place both feet on ball for 30 to 60 seconds
Supine Ball Rollups On Legs
This lengthening move targets upper abdominal muscles.
- Lie on back holding medicine ball on chest
- Raise legs straight up
- Raise shoulders and use fingertips to roll ball up legs to top of feet, then slowly back down to chest
Leg Raises Toward Medicine Ball
Strengthens the lower abdominal muscles and eliminates that lower belly.
- Lie on back with legs raised
- Hold medicine ball with arms extended above chest with ball close to feet
- Slowly lower legs halfway, then slowly raise them back toward ball
Walking Side Lunges And Ball Twists
One of the best exercises for strengthening the obliques, quadriceps, hamstrings and hips—all the muscles you need in your sport, whether for turning quickly on the football field or basketball court or for performing sudden twists and turns as a batter in softball or baseball.
Sets/Reps: 1x6 each side
- Assume athletic stance holding med ball with arms extended at chest level
- Step laterally to right while simultaneously rotating ball across body to right
- Bring ball back to start position while bringing left foot back close to right foot
- Continue lunging laterally to right five more times
- Reverse by lunging and twisting to left
Want more core workouts to add to your rotation? Check out these winners: