If you’ve ever tried CrossFit or seen weightlifting in the Olympics, you’re aware of Olympic lifts like cleans and snatches—killer exercises for working a lot of muscles and building power. But moves like these can be difficult to learn and even dangerous to do if your form isn’t perfect.
Fortunately, you can build the same athleticism and get lean using a medicine ball—a timeless workout tool that will never go out of style. Try this full-body med-ball workout to safely build power and uncover your abs—see results in just 21 days.
DIRECTIONS: (Scroll through the slideshow for images) Have on hand two medicine balls of different weights and bounces (see specifics, below). Perform the workout once a week, on a separate day, as a supplement to your regular weight training. Rest two to three minutes between sets, except for the paired exercises (4A and 4B, 5A and 5B). Superset these lifts, resting after the second one. So you’ll do a set of A, then a set of B immediately, then rest. Repeat until all sets for that pair are complete.
Sets: 5–6 Reps: 3–5 Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ball at chest level, with your elbows underneath it. Squat as low as you can while keeping your back flat. Explode upward, throwing the ball as high as you can. Allow the ball to hit the floor, pick it up, and reset.
*For exercises 1–3, use a ball that weighs 15–25 pounds and doesn’t bounce. Perform these moves outside if possible, so you have room.*
REVERSE SCOOP THROW
Sets: 5–6 Reps: 3–5 Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ball at arm’s length in front of you. Bend your hips back and lower your torso toward the floor while keeping your lower back in its natural arch. Explosively extend your hips and throw the ball overhead and behind you. Walk to the ball and begin the next rep.
SIDE SCOOP THROW
Sets: 3–4 Reps: 3–5 (each side) Stand with legs staggered and your left foot forward. Bend your hips and knees slightly and hold the ball at arm’s length. Twist your torso to the left, shifting your weight to your left foot, then throw the ball across your body to the right as if you were throwing something heavy into the back of a truck.
Sets: 4–5 Reps: 4–6 (each side)Stand with your left foot forward. Squeeze the ball with both hands and twist your torso to the right, winding up. Explosively throw the ball straight in front of you as if you were shot-putting. Walk to the ball and repeat on the other side.
LUNGE AND OVERHEAD THROW
Sets: 5–6 Reps: 4–6 (each side) Hold the ball overhead and lean backward until you feel a stretch in your abs. Step forward and throw the ball at a wall. Make sure you’re back far enough that the ball can bounce before you catch it.
Sets: 4–5 Reps: 4–6 (each side) Face the wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ball at arm’s length and twist to the right. Explosively throw the ball at a wall and catch it after it bounces off the floor once.
SPRINT Sets: 4–6 Reps: Run 25–40 yards On a treadmill or track or outdoors, run at up to 90% of your top speed. Rest as needed and repeat.