7 Medicine Ball Exercises to Build Your Core Muscles

by Chris Pruitt

Medicine ball training is one of the most efficient training routines that develop over-all strength, balance, stability, and speed. One of the highlights of medicine ball routines are the medicine ball core exercises. Medicine ball exercises that target the core focus on rotating movements, which implement torso rotation and develop rotational power of the torso which is a vital physical aspect of almost all kinds of sports today. Medicine balls come in different weights such as 5 pounds, 10, 15 and 20 pounds. However, it is important to start with the lightest weight possible when performing medicine ball exercises for the first time.

Performing medicine ball exercises for your core may not be as intimidating as reading an article about benching or squatting 300 pounds of iron. However, take note that having a strong core is essential for most lifts such as the squat, bench press or the pull-up and all types of rowing movements for the back. In fact, when you begin to read an article about benching 300 or 400 pounds of weight, one of the tips is that you train your core with dedication.

The core delivers the force required for the limb to lift weights and help maintain the stability and balance of the body when you lift weights. Without a strong core, you won’t be able to lift anything heavy or keep your body in a neutral position during rows or squats. It is also essential when doing pull-ups, pushups and dips. Pay attention to your core when you feel a plateau, when you can’t lift heavier weights or when you can’t perform a repetition of more than your body weight and eventually your gains will peak.

Perform these exercises after your workouts or as a single session. Do the exercises 3 days a week, using 10, 20 or 30-pound medicine balls. Perform an exercise for 20 repetitions in 1 set and as a circuit, perform the exercises in succession without resting in the order shown. Then rest for 45 to 60 seconds and repeat the circuit again.

#1 Medicine Ball Circles

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball above your head firmly grasping the ball at the sides. Without having to bend your elbows, rotate the arms in a counter-clockwise motion.
  2. Imagine drawing imaginary circles in front of your body for ten repetitions. Reverse the move to clockwise, and repeat ten more repetitions.

#2 The Chopper

  1. Just as the above point mentioned medicine ball exercises, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, grasp the medicine ball and extend your arms above your head.
  2. Now, bend forward and mimic the motion of throwing the medicine ball backward in between the legs while maintaining hold of the medicine ball. Then quickly reverse the movement to the starting position with the same intensity. Repeat for 20 reps.

#3 Medicine Ball Russian Twist

  1. Stand while holding the medicine ball in front of your chest with your arms extended and straight. While pivoting your right foot, and holding your arms straight and the ball at the same time, rotate your torso to the left as far as you can.
  2. Reverse the movement. Afterwards, pivot with your left foot and rotate your torso to the right. That is one repetition.

#4 Medicine Ball Squat To Press

  1. Stand while holding a medicine ball in front of your chest while maintaining more than shoulder width distance of your feet. Squat down, bend your knees and push your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  2. Simultaneously drive your heels to the floor and forcefully push your body back to the standing position as you press the medicine ball over your head, then lower the ball back into the starting position.

#5 The Medicine Ball Sit Up

  1. Grab a medicine ball and lie on your back down on the floor. Then bend your knees to a 990-degreeangle, and then place your feet flat on the floor. Hold the medicine ball firmly against your chest.
  2. The next step is to raise your body as with a classic sit up while maintaining hold of the medicine ball and then return to the starting position. That is one rep.

#6 Sitting Medicine Ball Twists

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight while holding a medicine ball with your hands just inches above your lap.
  2. Twist your torso to the left and out of the medicine ball behind you. Then twist to the right and pick the medicine ball behind you and return to the starting position. Test one repetition. Do a total of ten repetitions and then repeat but this time, rotate to the right and do the same method for ten more repetitions.

#7 The Medicine Ball Exercise Pike

  1. Start this exercise by lying on your back and raising your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Grasp and hold the ball above the top of your head while keeping your arms straight.
  2. While maintaining the stability of your elbows and legs lift your torso and arms until they touch your toes. They should not move and remain stationary. Lower yourself back to the starting position and that is one rep.
  3. Try to maintain constant tension in your abs to retain the strictness of the movement.


Medicine ball core exercises are efficient exercises that train the core which is essential in all exercises for the lower and upper body. A strong core generates more power and stability throughout the body that can only be achieved with the help of the exercises discussed above. When performing these exercises for the first time, it is best to seek an assistant or a workout partner to watch your form and execution and to avoid injury. It is also advisable to start with a light medicine ball weight for beginners. Medicine ball core exercises are great workout additions that help build over all fitness. In addition, with a strong core developed by the medicine ball, you’ll be confident and give all your best at every game in any sport you play.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.