Medicine balls are the real old-school pieces of training kit. You associate them with dusty boxing gyms and trainers who claim to have sparred with Henry Cooper. Well, they’ve lasted the distance – the medicine balls, not the coaches – because they’re an effective training tool.
They’re particularly good for explosive movements and exercises that challenge your core, and this workout is a mixture of those two types of move. The abs moves work because you’re moving in an unstable position. That’s why some of the rep counts are low – you only do six press-ups per circuit because they’re deceptively tough.
The explosive exercises, such as the slam, will develop power while also doing a good job of releasing stress. Just try not to scream too loudly as you throw the ball to the floor.
How to do the workout
Do the six exercises in order, sticking to the rep counts detailed, without resting until you finish all the reps of the sixth and final move of the circuit. Rest for two minutes, then repeat the circuit. Do three circuits in total. As you progress you can add another circuit.
1 Squat press
Reps 10 Rest 0sec
Hold the ball with both hands at chest height. Squat down as low as you can, then stand back up and press the ball directly overhead until your arms are straight. Lower it back to the start position, then go straight into the next rep.
2 Rotating lunge
Reps 5 each side Rest 0sec
Hold the ball with both hands above your head. Take a big step forwards,bending both knees until your back knee is bent at 90°. As you lunge, rotate your torso in the direction of your leading leg. Return to the start and repeat on the other side.
Reps 6 Rest 0sec
Place both hands on the ball, then raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Do a press-up, ensuring that your elbows do not flare out to the sides as you lower. If you can’t do a single rep, perform the move on your knees. .
Reps 10 Rest 0sec
Hold the ball with both hands at chest height. Raise it overhead, then explosively slam it down in front of you. Catch it as it bounces and repeat the move. Aim to do each slam as forcefully as you can and keep the tempo high.
5 Russian twist
Reps 10 each side Rest 0sec
Start in the top of the crunch position, holding the ball in both hands. Rotate to one side and then the other, keeping your abs engaged. That’s one rep. If you want to make the move even more challenging you can raise your heels slightly.
Reps 6 Rest 2min
Start on your knees with both hands on the ball. Make sure there is tension on your abs, then slowly roll the ball forwards to lower your torso to the floor. Reverse the movement back to the start, then repeat the move. It’s important that as much of your bodyweight as possible is over your arms rather than your knees. This forces you to keep your abs tensed, so you work them harder.
Photography: Glen Burrows. Model: Jack [email protected]