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Every gym in today’s world will have a rack of medicine balls available for an ab workout. They probably fade into the background when you go to the gym, because there is already a weekly routine that you stick to on a regular basis. But there are plenty of reasons why you should not be neglecting your core these days.If you want to truly round out your body for optimum performance, then you need to be doing these 9 Medicine Ball Ab Workouts for Maximum Core Strength.
- Medicine Ball Ab Workout: Basics of the Core
- Why is Strengthening the Core Muscles Important?
- Best Medicine Ball For Any Ab Workout
- BCG Medicine Ball–Slam Ball
- BCG Medicine Ball–Soft Medicine Ball
- BCG Medicine Ball–Rubber Medicine Ball
- Ab Workout Using Medicine Ball
- 1. Russian Twist
- 2. Overhead Medicine Ball Slam
- 3. Woodchopper With Medicine Ball
- 4. Reverse Medicine Ball Plank
- 5. Medicine Ball Toe Touch
- 6. Medicine Ball Crunch With Pullover
- 7. Crunch Throw
- 8. Side Wall Medicine Ball Throw
- 9. Straight Arm Medicine Ball Sit-Up
Medicine Ball Ab Workout: Basics of the Core
Core strengthening, core training exercises and core muscles are all talked about in the fitness community. But it’s important to understand that the core is more than just your abs, and if you can see your six pack or not.
The core muscles of your body play a very important role in stabilizing, preventing injury, balance, and can make you an overall better athlete. This is why its so important not to neglect the core muscles, and to not only focus on one area of the core, like the abdominal. In fact, weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance, poor posture and back pain.
The core of your body is made up of muscles that are stabilizers and movers.
For instance, stabilizers would be your pelvic floor, internal obliques and the lumbar areas. Movers would be external obliques, latissimus dorsi, hip abductors/adductors and Rectus abdominis (abs).
For the full list of stabilizer and mover muscles look here.
Why is Strengthening the Core Muscles Important?
As athletes, core training is important for performance and optimal movement when exercising and participating in sport activities. There are also benefits that extend to everyday life.
More and more every day many of us have long commutes and sitting in an office all day long. Most of our day is spent in a sedentary state. In fact, 25 to 35 percent of American adults are inactive!
This has not been good for our waistline or the muscles that surround it. Even if you are staying on top of your diet and tracking calories daily, there is still the strengthening aspect of your core that needs to be addressed.
Another benefit of core training, is that elusive six pack that everyone wants. A medicine ball ab workout alone won’t get you there, but if you are already sticking to your diet, incorporating these exercises to your workouts could get you to the promised land. All you need to get started is a medicine ball.
Need more workout ideas? Check out these Guardian-Elite Fitness training plans:
Full Body Circuit Training Workout Plan
Push-Up Workout Routine: Best Chest Workout Using Bodyweight
30 Minute HIIT Workout: Ultimate Full Body Home Workout
21 Resistance Band Exercises For a Toned Body
Best Medicine Ball For Any Ab Workout
There are plenty of options for medicine balls out there. It’s important to know the difference before you go out and get your own. Typically, the best medicine ball weight for an ab workout will be anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds. You can get a variety if you would like.
There are three main categories of weighted medicine balls:
BCG Medicine Ball–Slam Ball
A slam ball is generally used for throwing type exercises, as it’s made form a thicker rubber material. Of course, slamming a slam ball makes sense, but there are plenty of other exercises that can be done too.
Slam balls are also used as for dynamic resistance or weight training that can add a cardio element to the workout as well.
Make sure you are getting the slam ball you want though. Some do not hold their shape and are filled with sand or gel, while there are others that have a thick rubber shell that hold their shape.
BCG Medicine Ball–Soft Medicine Ball
Soft medicine balls can be made from leather or other soft material. These balls are not necessarily made for throwing or slamming, as the material can tear.
The soft medicine balls are good for stationary exercises with a weighted ball.
BCG Medicine Ball–Rubber Medicine Ball
Rubber medicine balls are great if you want to the ball to have some bounce and durability. Most rubber medicine balls will have a textured grip too, so when you are working out with one, they won’t slip in you hands if you’re working up a sweat. They can also be used for indoor and outdoor activity, which is a bonus.
Ab Workout Using Medicine Ball
Below are the 9 best medicine ball ab workouts for anyone new to using a medicine ball. Most of these medicine ball exercises can be done alone, but you can customize as needed for a medicine ball ab workout with a partner too. Each medicine ball exercise will show how to use the medicine ball for each ab workout.
1. Russian Twist
The Russian twist using a medicine ball will work your full abdominal, along with the obliques. The twisting motion will not only work to tone your core, but also to improve the strength of your stabilizing back muscles. This is a great exercise to hit multiple areas through out the core of your body.
As you get stronger and more confident, up the weight of the medicine ball to keep progressing.
2. Overhead Medicine Ball Slam
The overhead medicine ball slam is not only great for your core, but it’s really a total body exercise, as it works multiple muscles through out the full movement of the exercise. Plus as a bonus, it’s satisfying to slam the ball into the ground!
As you slam the ball on to the ground, you will engage your abs, glutes and upper back. This is a great medicine ball ab workout for beginners.
3. Woodchopper With Medicine Ball
When performing the medicine ball woodchopper, as you lift the ball above your head and into the downward motion, you will engage and heavily use your abs as well as the obliques to control the motion of the medicine ball.
Do this for both sides of the body for the full benefit of the exercise.
4. Reverse Medicine Ball Plank
Think the standard plank will tear up your abs? Try this reverse medicine ball plank for an extra challenge. Placing your toes on the medicine ball as you plank, will force your body to balance and you will use your core muscles to do this.
Make sure to use a rubber medicine ball that will hold it’s shape when performing this exercise.
5. Medicine Ball Toe Touch
As with all of these exercises, the focus is the core, but there is also the added benefit of hitting other muscles as well. This ab workout on the medicine ball will add a workout to your chest, neck and shoulders too. You will definitely feel the burn in your abs too!
6. Medicine Ball Crunch With Pullover
The medicine ball crunch with the pull over is very similar to the toe touch, except for in this exercise the standard crunch movement is added to focus in on the abs. The weight of the medicine ball works the stabilizing muscles as well as the shoulders.
7. Crunch Throw
The crunch throw with the medicine ball will not only work the abs, but also use the chest and shoulders during the throwing motion.
Activate and engage your abs as you perform the exercise for the full benefit of the crunch throw.
8. Side Wall Medicine Ball Throw
Start light to master the proper form with this exercise. Once you have the correct movement down, the side wall throw is really meant to target the obliques using the weight and force of the medicine ball.
The wall throw will also focus on the shoulders and chest area as you throw the ball against the wall.
9. Straight Arm Medicine Ball Sit-Up
Performing the classic sit up will work your abs, but also holding a weighted medicine ball straight out over your head as you perform the sit up will add the extra challenge to the exercise that will work additional muscles as well as your abdominal area.