It’s amazing what a tool the size of a soccer ball can do for your upper body and core.
Get yourself a medicine ball and get to work—right in your living room, for a stronger body and core, shapelier shoulders and arms, and a lower body fat level.
Welcome medicine ball press-ups into your home!
Anybody can do these. The level of difficulty is determined by body position. Thus, beginners can work with a medicine ball, yet so can advanced trainees. Medicine ball press-ups primarily work the triceps, but also recruit the shoulders and core (lower back and abs).
The standard medicine ball is about the size of a soccer ball or volleyball. The weight does not matter when it comes to press-ups; just make sure that the ball is adequately inflated; a mushy ball won’t work as well.
How to Do Medicine Ball Press-ups
Stick to the basics; there’s no need to get fancy or funky here. Keep either both feet or both knees on the floor, and place both hands on one ball. Variations exist regarding how much the ball is under the chest. Some people prefer it pretty far under, while others prefer it below their face. For maximum results, the rep range should be eight to 15.
Beginning. With knees on floor, place hands on the ball; think of this as a “knee pushup,” except that you’re pushing off the ball. Do not bow down to the ball with your butt up in the air. Rock your pelvis forward and keep an arch in the lower back, and lower yourself to the ball. If you don’t really feel the work going on in your triceps and shoulders, your body position is incorrect. Remember, do not bow down as if worshipping a statue.
Intermediate. Perform the exercise with knees off the floor, and focus on good pushup form: the body forms a straight line like a plank of wood; stomach does not sag; shoulder blades do not jut out; head does not jut forward.
If you can complete only five or six reps; this is fine; do the rest with knees on the floor. When you can complete 10-12 reps, you may want to consider advanced training. However, if you’d rather wait till you can complete 15 reps, that works also.
Advanced. If you can do 12-15 clean reps, consider yourself advanced with medicine ball press-ups. This level means you can complete solid sets with your feet elevated. The perfect elevation tool is a 12-inch exercise stool.
Set the ball the appropriate distance from the stool. Place hands on the ball, then one foot on the stool, followed by the other, and begin pressing. There is definitely a balance component here, but it’s intimately linked to how strong and efficient your arms, shoulders and core are. Make sure your body is as straight as a board.
Two to three sets with 60-90 seconds in between, once or twice a week with the rest of your upper body training, are ideal for great results.
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This post was written by Jillita Horton. Jill is a college-degreed certified personal trainer who specializes in fitness and medical writing. She has written hundreds of online articles about fat loss, muscle building, cardio exercise and body transformation, and has ghost-written for numerous fitness sites. To get a great medicine ball, order one at here at IntenseFitnessWorkouts.com.