Scenario A: With limited training time, all benches, Squat racks, barbells or dumbbells are unavailable in a cramped weight room. Scenario B: You’ve plateaued after performing several repetitious workouts stalling progress and need new exercises.
Either scenario can frustrate athletes and non-athletes alike.
The solution: Grab two handy (and often underused) medicine balls and try the following diverse and intense full-body med ball exercise superset combinations ideal for:
- Developing sports performance-enhancing size, explosive power, endurance, balance and strengthening upper- and lower-body and core muscles.
- The exercise combos require minimal space.
- Portable med balls are also ideal for outdoor training in parks or fields.
- Also, if traveling on vacation or business, be sure to pack one or two balls so you don’t miss any workout time—especially if there’s no accessible gym!
- One moderately-heavy (70-80% RM) med ball
- One lighter med ball (50-60% RM)
- Water bottle
- Exercise mat (optional)
- Timer (optional)
- Hydrate before, during and after workouts.
- Do a dynamic upper- and lower-body warm-up.
- Finish with upper- and lower-body cooldown static stretches promoting greater range of motion and flexibility.
- Vary the sequence of the exercise combos each workout.
- Perform workouts on non-consecutive days for adequate recovery.
- Sets/Reps: Advanced workout: Do 2×10 supersets (some exercises are timed instead of performing reps). Otherwise, perform 1×10 of each combo superset if short on time and are squeezing the workout in between sports practices, for example.
- Rest between combo supersets: 30-45 seconds (hydrate if needed).
- Rest between different combo exercises: 60 seconds.
Med Ball Exercises
Single-Leg Squats/Overhead Ball Throws
Use the heavier ball for this balance-boosting and lower/upper body/core-building combo.
- Hold the ball at shoulder level and with your right foot airborne.
- Slowly lower into a Squat position.
- Explosively throw the ball overhead while simultaneously rising from the Squat position.
- Catch the ball and repeat.
- After 10 reps, repeat with the left foot off the floor.
Jog in Place/Ball Slams
This combo blends lower-body endurance with upper-body power.
- Hold the lighter ball with the arms extended at chest level and jog in place for 60 seconds.
- Without rest, slam the ball down 10 times (continuing with the ball held at chest level).
Wall Sits/Single-Leg Ball Roll-Ups
This combo requires the lighter and heavier med balls.
- First, place the lighter ball between your middle back and against a wall while holding the heavier ball close at chest level.
- Slowly descend into a parallel Squat position.
- Hold the position for 30-60 seconds while alternately pressing the ball out and back for simultaneously strengthening the legs, chest, shoulders and arms.
- Immediately lay the heavier ball to the side.
- Take the lighter ball and face the wall, placing it at shoulder level against the wall.
- With your right foot airborne, roll the ball down with your fingertips into a Squat position and then rise while rolling the ball up as high as possible (you’ll end up on your toes).
- Continue rolling it up and down nine more times. S
- witch with your left foot airborne and repeat for 10 reps.
Excellent combo for building lower and upper body size, endurance and balance.
Feet-Elevated Prone Plank/Seated Ball Rows/Twists
- Assume a Prone Plank position with both feet atop one ball and your hands atop the other one.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds.
- Immediately go into a seated position with your knees slightly bent and your feet atop the light ball and lean slightly back while holding the heavier ball with an underhand grip and your arms extended at waist level.
- Slowly pull toward your waist, rotate the ball from side to side, and return to start position.
- Repeat nine more times.
You’ll feel your shoulders, arms, and core burning after this combo. Keeping your feet atop the ball during the Prone Planks and Seated Rows/Twists further intensifies the exercises!
Ball Chops/Ball Push-Ups with One Foot Airborne
- Assume an athletic stance while holding the lighter ball near your left shoulder and ear.
- Explosively drive the ball downward across your body toward your right ankle while bending at the knees.
- Slowly return the ball upward to start position and continue for 30-60 seconds.
- Immediately switch and repeat driving the ball down from your right shoulder/ear to the left ankle for 30-60 seconds.
- Immediately go to a Push-Up position with your hands around the light ball and the right foot airborne while doing 10 Push-Ups, quickly followed with 10 Push-Ups with the left foot airborne.
The combo exercises particularly target core, lower- and upper-body endurance. And, with one foot off the floor during Push-Ups and your hands atop the ball makes Push-Ups more challenging by utilizing core stabilizing muscles.