If you've been longing to refresh your at-home workouts with new fitness equipment, look no further than a medicine ball, or any ball, for that matter. Whether you have a soccer ball, volleyball or basketball on hand, this 20-minute ab workout will put the fun back into training your core.
Honing in on your core is important for improving your balance and stability so you can do everyday activities, such as lifting heavy objects off the ground and opening doors, easily. Rock-solid abs also aid in reducing injury and lower back pain.
Medicine balls come in a variety of weights, usually from 3 kg (6.6 pounds) to 10 kg (22 pounds). But even if you don't have one, using a basketball or soccer ball is good practice for focusing on form. If you're new to medicine balls, start with a lighter weight than you think you might need to avoid injury. Now let's get fired up with this 20-minute abs workout!
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Move 1: Reverse Medicine Ball Plank
- Start in a high plank position with your shoulders directly over your wrists and your legs extended behind you.
- Tuck your pelvis in to brace your core and keep your quads and glutes tight.
- Place the balls of your feet on top of the ball.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
If you have trouble doing this exercise in a high plank, modify to a forearm plank with your forearms shoulder-width apart on the ground. Once you build the proper core strength, you can progress to a high plank.
Move 2: Medicine Ball Bicycle Twist
- Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and hold the ball in front of your chest with both hands.
- Lift your head and shoulders off the ground.
- As you drive your right knee toward your chest, rotate your torso so that your left elbow meets your right knee. Extend your left leg in front of you at the same time.
- Return to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat on the other leg.
Move 3: Medicine Ball Flutter Kick
- Lie on your back pressed against the ground with your arms extended overhead, holding the ball with both hands.
- Lift your head and shoulders off the ground, and draw your abdominals in to stabilize your core.
- With your legs straight in front of you, lift them off the ground until they're at about a 45-degree angle.
- Keeping your legs straight, raise one leg as you lower the other. This is one rep.
- Return to the starting position after you complete 1 set.
This flutter kick exercise requires a great deal of core stability and strength to move your legs off the ground while keeping your torso still. If you are struggling to do this exercise with a ball, try the move without it and rest your arms and hands beside your body on the ground.
Move 4: Medicine Ball Mountain Climber
- Start in a high plank position with both hands on the ball and your legs and feet shoulder-width apart. Keep only the balls of your feet on the ground.
- Make sure your head, neck and back are flat, and keep your gaze on the ground.
- As if you are running in place, drive your right knee toward the ball, then extend it back out to the starting position. Next, drive the left knee toward the ball and then extend it back out. This is one rep.
- Continue until you complete 1 set.
Move 5: Medicine Ball Toe Tap
- Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead, holding the ball with both hands. Lift your legs off the ground toward the ceiling until they form a 90-degree angle.
- Engaging your abs, lift your upper torso off the ground to bring the ball toward your feet. Make sure to contract your abs as you perform the crunch. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed throughout the entire movement.
- Slowly roll your upper torso back to the starting position, bringing the ball back overhead. This is one rep.
- Continue until you complete 1 set.