When’s the last time you got to name an 80-pound kettlebell after your boss and hurl it into a concrete wall? Or crash a 45-lb plate into the ground chanting, “Cut me off? I’ll cut you off!” Then you can see the beauty of a med ball workout.
Even the ancient Greeks knew the benefits of banging around a weighted leather training ball—not just for safely working virtually every muscle in the body and building power but also for the sheer joy of getting out occasional anger or frustration at the gym without worrying about decapitating any shirtless meatheads taking selfies.
Guys often forget to include a power component in their training programs. Power, for those who flunked physics, is the ability to express force over time—or, for our purposes, the ability to complete a weighted movement rapidly (and, occasionally, angrily).
That’s where medicine ball training comes in. Tossing a med ball in different directions trains your body to generate power without applying the brakes. You don’t have to slow down at the end of the range of motion like you do when using weights—you can just let the ball fly. On top of that, it’s easy to learn and helps improve explosiveness immediately.
The result: A body that performs and a lean six-pack inside of a month. Also, research from Evolution and Human Behavior found that throwing a med ball engages the cerebellum and posterior parietal cortex of the brain—meaning, it can improve your attention span and ability to concentrate.
Plus, what other resistance workout lets you beat the living shit out of something without hurting yourself (or anyone else)?
How it works
Have on hand two medicine balls of different weights and bounces. Do the workout once a week, on a separate day, to supplement your regular weight training. Rest two to three minutes between sets.
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.