There are many ways to use a medicine ball when you are trying to lose weight and get into shape. The beauty of these exercises is you can do them almost anywhere, at any time, and with the bare minimum of equipment. As most exercises that incorporate medicine balls are full-body exercises, they are great for working multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which is great for burning more calories and giving you an all-over workout.
Throwing a medicine ball is a very simple move, yet is great for toning the upper and lower body simultaneously. Here are a few throwing exercises that you can try.
1. Side Throws
Stand 90 degrees to a sturdy wall whilst holding a ball around waist height. Slightly turn your body away from the wall – almost as if you are trying to ‘hide’ the ball from the wall. Whilst twisting your hip, throw the ball against the wall and catch it as it bounces back to you. Repeat the move for 10 reps before turning round and throwing the opposite side.
2. Modified Hammer Throw
A similar move to the hammer throws you might see in track and field games, this uses the core muscles as well as the shoulders and arms to great effect.
Stand holding the medicine ball at hip level, knees slightly bent. Swing the ball around by transferring the weight from your right foot to your left and rotate your right ankle. The ball should come up from hip to shoulder height as you throw it behind you, extending your arms as you do.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and the medicine ball held in both hands above your head. Use your core muscles to pull the ball down and throw it hard into the floor while bending your knees and straightening your arms. It is also possible to complete this exercise using just one arm.
4. Knee Throw to Push Up
Get on your knees and hold the ball with both hands close to your chest. Throw the ball forwards while extending your arms and following through so your body falls forward. Catch yourself in the standard ‘push-up’ position. It is also possible to alternate this move by throwing the ball from an overhead position.
Similar to the ‘Modified Hammer Throw’ detailed above, you begin by holding the ball at your chest height, with more of your weight on your back leg, before rotating your body and throwing the ball upwards and away from you in a high arc.
6. Wall Throws
Stand around 6 to 8 feet away from a solid wall while holding a medicine ball over your head. Your knees and elbows should be slightly bent. Concentrate on your abdominals as you throw the ball towards the wall, aiming for a spot a couple of feet above the bottom of the wall.
7. One Step Wall Throws
A modification of the above move; this time begin by holding the ball at your stomach level before stepping forward with one leg whilst at the same time lifting the ball over and behind you head. Shift your weight onto your front leg and throw the ball hard – again aiming around 2 feet above the bottom of the wall.
8. Start Throws
Begin this throw by adopting the position of a sprinter in starting blocks at the beginning of a race. Holding the ball in both hands, crouch down and touch it to the floor whilst leaning forward and raising up on your toes a little. Push forward with your feet and at the same time raise the ball up to chest level and throw it forward as hard as you can. As your weight falls forward, sprint forward with it to avoid falling over.
9. Squat Throws
Hold the ball at chest height and squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Jump up quickly and throw the ball as high as you can directly upwards at the same time, extending your whole body.
A variation here can be achieved by holding the ball lower to the ground as you crouch. Then, in a more swinging motion, throw the ball overhead as you jump.
10. Over the Back Toss
Stand upright with the ball over your head before bringing it down to your knee level and crouching slightly. As soon as it reaches your knees, begin to throw the ball upwards and backwards over your head. This is a great move that uses many muscles in your body simultaneously.
11. Single Arm Throw
Using a ball that has a grip or handle, place it between your feet as you crouch down and grip it with one hand. Swinging the ball upwards using your legs, lower back and core muscles; try to keep it close to your body and throw it straight up instead of backwards.