There are three main types of medicine balls you’ll find at the gym: a Dynamax medicine ball which has a large diameter and bounces, a rubber slam ball which doesn’t bounce and a rubber ball with a good grip that does bounce. All three types of balls provide a great way to build rotational core strength and overall power, which is essential for traversing the rings in Kong, the bars in Funky Monkey: The Revolution, especially since we added a rotational element, and many more Tough Mudder obstacles. If you’re training at home, a medicine ball with a bounce is probably the better option because they tend to have better grip whereas a slam ball is more for the outdoor enthusiast who’ll throw it in the gravel.
Try these seven medicine ball moves to get stronger, burn fat and prepare for moving in all directions, which is Tough Mudder’s specialty.
Incorporate these exercises into your Tough Mudder workout routine by doing them for one round as a standalone core workout or picking a few and sprinkling them into your weekly routine.
1. Lunge With a Twist
How to Do It: Stand with feet hip width apart while holding a light medicine ball with arms straight out in front of your chest. Step forward with the left leg, getting into a lunge so the right knee is 1-2 inches off the ground and the left thigh is parallel to the ground. Once you’re low enough, rotate the ball towards your left side then bring it back to center. Now, explode up and return to the starting position. Alternate legs. So, next you’d step forward with the right leg and rotate ball to the right. Your arms stay extended in front of you throughout the movement.
2. Depth Pushups
How to Do It: Get in pushup position with hands on a hard medicine ball and elbows extended. Quickly remove your hands from the medicine ball and drop down so your palms land slightly wider than shoulder width apart, elbows bent and chest above the ball. Immediately explode up by doing a pushup and placing your palms on the medicine ball with arms fully extended. That’s one rep.
3. Medicine Ball Side Toss
How to Do It: Stand next to a wall with feet shoulder width apart, holding a medicine ball with arms fully extended in front of your chest. Keeping your core tight and arms extended out, rotate your core away from the wall then quickly turn back towards the wall as you toss the ball against the wall. Catch the ball after it bounces back. That’s one rep. Pivot your feet in each direction to aid with the rotating movement.
4. Medicine Ball Slam
How to Do It: Stand holding a slam ball (for example: Rage Fitness Slam Ball) with both arms overhead. Squat down as you throw the ball into the ground below you. That’s one rep. To repeat, scoop the ball off the ground, return it to overhead and throw the ball down again.
5. Medicine Ball Jump Shot
How to Do It: Stand holding a medicine ball close to your chest with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, tap the ball to the ground, then press the ball overhead as you jump towards the ceiling. The ball goes from the ground, to your chest then above your shoulders and jump as you press it overhead.
6. Medicine Ball Russian Twist
How to Do It: Sit on the ground with your feet on the ground at 90 degree angle holding medicine ball right in front of your torso. Twist towards your right, tapping the ball to the outside of your right hip, then twist the left, tapping the ball to the outside of your left hip. That’s one rep each side. For more advanced athletes, keep your legs straight and off the ground for the entire exercise.
7. Medicine Ball Ankle Touch
How to Do It: Lie on your back with your legs 2-3 feet apart and your arms extended overhead holding a medicine ball over the right shoulder. Sit up, bringing the ball diagonally across your body to the outside of the left ankle/knee. Both legs stay on the ground for this entire exercise. From the outside of the left ankle/knee, return the ball back across your body to above your right shoulder on the ground. Repeat for 5 reps then start with the ball over the left shoulder and tap the ball to the outside of the right ankle/knee.