Medicine ball exercises add variety to women’s workout routines. If you are a woman, you also strengthen your joint-stabilizing muscles, especially when you throw and catch the medicine ball. Women may have weak stabilizing muscles if they use machine weights too often. Use progressively heavier balls to boost the intensity of the exercise, increasing the bone and muscle-building effect. Exercise with a partner to do even more exercises.
Squat Jump With Medicine Ball Toss
This exercise combo is a compound exercise that works your shoulders, triceps, glutes and quads. Perform this exercise by holding a 5 lb. medicine ball at the level of your chest with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, squat down and immediately jump up as you toss the ball above your head. Next, catch the ball as you land back into a squat; repeat for 10 reps.
Lunges With Medicine Ball Rotations
Lunges with medicine ball rotations activate your leg muscles and your abdominals, especially your obliques. Do this exercise down a hall or in an open aisle at your gym. First, hold the medicine ball at waist level. Then, step out with your right leg into a lunge as you twist toward your right side, moving the medicine ball in an arc over your right thigh. Next, stand up and lunge with your left leg forward, twisting toward your left side. Complete 20 total lunges per set. Maintain an erect trunk throughout the exercise by sucking in your navel toward your spine.
Lying Medicine Ball Passes
Medicine ball passes activate your abdominal, pelvic and hip flexor muscles, helping to reduce incontinence, a common condition in women. Do this exercise lying on an exercise mat placed on the floor. Use a large medicine ball so you can securely hold it between the inner border of your knees or calves. First, extend your arms above your shoulders and your legs above your hips, placing the medicine ball between your legs in a comfortable position. Then, contract your abdominal muscles as you lower your extremities toward the floor, almost straightening your body. Next, draw your extremities together to pass the ball to your hands. Continue to pass the ball between your arms and legs for 10 passes to your hands. Ensure your lower back remains on the floor throughout this exercise.
Medicine Ball Throws
Work with a partner to do medicine ball throws, engaging your pectorals, anterior deltoids and your triceps, which are common flabby areas on women. Position yourselves first by standing five feet apart. Then, hold the ball at chest level and throw it to your partner in a chest-to-chest pass; your partner throws the ball back to you. Next, each of you must take one small step backward and pass the ball again. Continue taking steps backward until one of you is no longer able to catch the ball. When you begin the exercise again for the remaining two sets, use a heavier ball and start five feet apart.
- Equal But Not The Same, Considerations for Training Females; C.H.E.K. Institute
- American College of Sports Medicine: Physical Activity and Bone Health
- Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise