Kick-ass Personal Trainer Kim Ingleby shares some of her best medicine ball moves in this full-body workout
The beauty of this quick medicine ball circuit is that it gets harder as you do!
There are three options for each exercise – tone, blitz and hardcore. Choose the option that’s most suitable for you and work towards the next level.
Kim recommends the following size medicine ball: first-time user 1-3kg, regular user 3-4kg experienced user 4-6kg, Perform this circuit two-three times a week after a short warm-up for best results.
Sets: 2-3 sets
Reps: 15-20. Or, for a different challenge, try 30 seconds per exercise.
Rest: 20 seconds between sets.
MOVE 1: The Squat
Legs, calves and bum
Make sure your knees are in line with your ankles. Place weight evenly through your feet and push up from the buttocks. Head up, body strong.
1. Tone: Basic Squat
Alternate from narrow legs to wide legs to target all those leg and hip muscles – great fat burning too.
2. Blitz: Squat with Medicine Ball Chest Press
Holding the medicine ball to your chest, press it out in front of you as you squat down. Remember to activate your lower core muscles. If you can coordinate everything, move from wide to narrow squat.
3. Hardcore: Squat with Medicine Ball Wood Chop
In a deep squat, take the medicine ball from your left foot diagonally across the body to your right side as you push up, so the ball moves from low to high. Alternate. This can be done from narrow and wide stance. Looking for a challenge? Add a jump as you come out of the squat!
MOVE 2: The Press Up:
Arms, chest and core
Make sure your arms are in line with your shoulders and elbows so, as you press down, there is no pressure on your elbow or shoulder joint. Ensure your lower back and hips are level and strong. Keep your feet uncrossed to allow the pelvis to be level.
1. Tone: Half Press up
Half position with your knees on the mat, make sure you shoulders, hips and pelvis are in line, breathe in as you go down, out as you come up.
2. Blitz: Moving Full Press Up
As above, make sure your body position is strong and you activate your lower core muscles for support. Do one full press up with the legs narrow, then move the legs wide. This will challenge the body in different ways giving quicker results.
3. Hard Core: Single Leg Press Up
As above but add in a single leg lift. Make sure the hips remain level at all times. Perform 2-3 on each leg, alternating. To make it even more challenging take the lifted leg out to the side as your go into press up position.
MOVE 3: The Glute Bridge:
Buttocks, lower back, legs
Make sure your hips are balanced as your raise up and down, with your knees in line with your hips and your feet pointing straight forwards. As you do this focus on lifting from your buttocks. Keep your buttock muscles switched on as your lower down. To begin with this exercise is most effective performed slowly.
Tone: Gluteal Bridge
Lying on your back, feet slightly further out than your hips, lift up and down. If you knees fall out to the side, roll a towel up and grip it between your legs as you raise and lower – this will activate your inner thigh muscles too.
Blitz: Gluteal Bridge and Medicine Ball Extension
Lie on your back holding the medicine ball over your chest as you lift and lower.
Hard Core: Gluteal Bridge with Medicine Ball Overhead Extension
As you lift into a gluteal bridge bring the medicine ball over your head. As your lower, bring the medicine ball back over your head. Make sure there is no pressure on the lower back.
MOVE 4: The Scissor:
All abdominals, lower back
Make sure your back is strong on the mat and your lower abdominals are switched on, shoulders and head relaxed. If you feel your back arching, choose an easier option or pause for a rest before starting again.
Tone: 90 degree Leg Scissor
Lying on your back, lift your legs to 90 degrees – or as high as you can. With your arms wide, palms up, scissor your legs, breathing all the time. Do as many as you can in 60 secs.
Blitz: Moving Scissor Legs
As above, but with your hands by the side of your body, palms up – scissor the legs while moving them down to almost floor level (or as low as you can go with your lower back remaining strong) and back up again. Repeat as many as you can in 60 secs.
Hard Core: Moving Scissor legs plus Holding Chest Press Medicine Ball
As above, but now you are holding a medicine ball with extended arms above your chest. Really concentrate on activating your lower core muscles so when you scissor the legs down you have the support there. This is a challenging exercise so make sure you can do the Blitz option before you try.
Don’t forget to cool down and stretch!
Model, Frankie Holah. Photographed at Gymbox Farringdon.