In parts of the country, it seems as though winter will never end. What feels like a cruel joke by Mother Nature is made doubly worse when seeking any ounce of motivation to exercise. Leaving the warmth of your home to traverse the elements can be hard enough, let alone adding a sweaty workout to the mix.
If you don’t want to leave the comforts of your home to exercise, the good news is that you don’t have to. The even better news is that you also don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to get the full-body living room workout that you crave.
Cue the medicine ball.
A medicine ball is a weighted, firm ball that is used in exercise. This is not to be confused with an exercise ball, which is typically filled with air and large enough to sit on. Just the opposite, a medicine ball is more similar in size to a basketball, but can vary slightly. Medicine balls also come in a range of weights.
You’ve probably seen a medicine ball before, and maybe even used it to tone your abs and obliques. Medicine balls are awesome core developers, but they can work more than just your midsection. Give the following exercises a try in an interval routine, and see how working out at home can be just as good as going to any gym.
Ball Bounce Squats: Standing with your feet hip-distance apart, hold the ball with two hands in front of your chest. Squat low with your weight in your heels, and hold the position as you bounce and catch the ball three times before standing again.
Ball Balance Lunge: From a standing position, step out to the side into a lunge position making sure that your knee stays in line with your toes. On the straightened leg, place your foot on top of the medicine ball. Straighten the bent leg so that you are standing tall, and then sink back into the lunge. You’ll be working stabilizing muscles in your core and lower body while also getting benefits from the lunge. Repeat on both sides.
Med Ball Burpees: A regular burpee starts from a standing position and is done in four movements:
- Drop into a squat position and place your hands on the floor.
- Lower your body quickly to the floor, so that you are lying flat with your hands beneath your shoulders.
- Return your feet back to the squat position.
- Stand and jump while clapping your hands overhead.
To add the medicine ball, complete the same movements, but hold the ball in your hands. When you go to the floor, your hands and weight will be on the ball in a plank position. When you stand and jump, raise the ball overhead.
Pop-Up Push Ups: In a push-up position (on knees, if needed), place the medicine ball so that it is in line with your chest and your hands are on the outside edges of the ball. Lower your chest until it touches the ball. As you return to the starting position, pop your hands off the floor and onto the center of the ball. Lower your body to the ball. As you push up, pop your hand off the ball and back to the floor. This is one rep. If this is too challenging, scale back by walking your hands, one at a time, on and off the ball.
Upper Thrust Sit Up: Lay flat on the floor with your legs out straight and holding the medicine ball with both hands at your chest. Sit up to a seated position and extend the medicine ball with straight arms overhead. Lower the ball to your chest as you lower your upper body back to the floor.
Medicine balls offer limitless ways to burn fat without getting bored. Purchase a few in different weights and sizes, and you’ll have all you need to keep your workouts going at home.
What is your favorite exercise to do at home? Share with us in the comments.