It’s been a while since I posted a No Excuses Workout, and thought the focus of today’s post should be simple, interval-based and use my favorite piece of equipment…the medicine ball! Training with a medicine ball can be incredibly effective on all parts of your body! For the exercises below, a medicine ball that’s between six to ten pounds works best.

This is a cardio/strength workout. To keep things easy the cardio side of the workout will be running-based. Modifying the cardio part of the workout to an elliptical machine, stepmill or bike could work, too. Explanations of all exercises are posted at the bottom.

Circuit 1
10-minute warm; increase from easy to moderate pace
2-minute moderate/fast pace
MB Wood Chop (repeat 3 sets of 15 each side; 30 seconds rest between sets)

Circuit 2
1-minute moderate pace
5-minutes fast pace
MB W-Squats (repeat 3 sets of 15; 30 seconds rest between sets)

Circuit 3
1-minute moderate pace
4-minutes fast pace
MB Tricep Extension (repeat 3 sets of 25; 30 seconds rest between sets)

Circuit 4
1-minute moderate pace
4-minutes fast pace
MB Pullover (repeat 3 sets of 20 to 25*; 30 seconds rest between sets)

Wood Chop
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, abs engaged.
2. Drop down into a squat position with the medicine ball held down over the right side of your body.
3. Stand up, moving the medicine ball from the right side of your body up and across over the left side of your body – rotating through your torso.
4. Continue this motion from right (low) to left (high) continuously for 15 repetitions. Repeat opposite side.
Tip: Keep your knees over your toes. Keep your abs engaged.

W-Squats
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width-apart, arms straight, holding the medicine ball up over your left shoulder.
2. Drop down into a squat position, dropping the medicine ball down past the outside of  your left knee.
3. Stand up, reaching the medicine ball up directly over your head.
4. Drop down into a squat position, dropping the medicine ball down past the outside of your right knee.
5. Stand up, reaching the medicine ball up over the right shoulder. Repeat this  “W” motion 15 times.
Tip: Try to keep your arms as straight as possible when you push the ball up overhead. Keep as much weight over your heels as possible.

Tricep Extension
1. Seated or standing, holding the medicine ball, raise your arms directly overhead.
2. Bending at the elbow, drop your forearms down behind the back of your head, gently squeezing your elbows closer together.
3. Extend your arms straight. Repeat 25 times.
Tip: The only part of your arms that move during the exercise are your forearms.  As the medicine ball drops back, don’t let your elbows pull out, rather concentrate on squeezing them closer together slightly.

Medicine Ball Pullover w/ Crunch
1. Lie flat on your back, knees bent, arms straight holding medicine ball.
2. Pull the medicine ball overhead until it’s just over your knees
3. As you pull the medicine ball overhead, contract your abs and raise your shoulders off the ground, performing a crunch.
4. With arms straight and abs contracted, drop back. Repeat 20 – 25 times.
Tip: Try to keep your heels anchored into the ground. Try not to let your lower back arch off the ground too much. If this happens, you’re probably losing the engagement through your core.

Like working with a medicine ball? Then check out these exercises!

Want more tips like this? Traci D Mitchell is a healthy living and fitness expert. Follow Traci on Facebook. She’d love to see you there! Interested in working with Traci? She works privately with clients specializes in nutrition coaching and weight loss as well as functional fitness and personal training. All sessions are done via Skype or telephone if outside of Chicago. For more information, contact Traci here.

Looking for a simple way to get into great shape and eat right? Try Traci’s 40-Day Shape Up!

 

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