Why You Should Use Medicine Balls in Your Cardio Workouts – Part 2

Last time, we looked at how medicine balls could help you build a strong, rugged, and “ripped” midsection, and how they could be used with some basic, simple exercises, to create intense and athletic versions of those same movements to get you into better shape that much quicker. This time, we’ll look at how to turn these into true cardio workouts, and how to create ‘super exercises’ that will accomplish as many as 3 different things at once!

Med balls can also be used to do some pretty intense exercises that just aren’t possible without them. For example, the Woodchopper (as described by Coach John Davies). Start standing upright, holding the med ball at your waist. Bring the medicine ball out to arms’ length in front of you, squat down, and touch the ball to the ground. Immediately explode up, jumping up into the air, and bringing the medicine ball to overhead. Land, reset, and repeat. Keep going until doom sounds like a good idea.

For amazing cardio, string together several exercises into complexes (like was mentioned with the abdominal exercises). Pick 3-5 exercises, and perform 5-10 reps of each exercise back to back without resting between exercises. Once you finally complete an entire circuit, rest 1-3 mins, and repeat. A sample complex might be:

– Woodchoppers x 10

– Pushups (both hands on medicine ball) x 10

– Med Ball Slams x 10

– Squats (holding medicine ball overhead) x 10

– Situps holding med ball x 10

Another great thing about med balls is how you can add different elements into one exercise, making an almost “super movement”. Let’s look at an example.

First, take the lunge. That is a pretty tough move. Let’s add a dynamic (explosive) – and in turn, cardiovascular – element, by turning them into jumping lunges. Doing these, you get into lunge position, jump into the air, switch feet in mid air, land, and repeat with the other leg. Now, add another element by holding a medicine ball. The exercise just got harder. But, let’s go a step further, by adding a med ball twist. Every time you land with the left foot forward, twist to the left so that you’re facing left, and the ball is pointed left. Every time you land with the right foot forward, reverse it.

Try that for 10-12 reps each leg and see if you’re not huffing and puffing.

In the last installment of this series, we’ll look at how med balls can help incorporate the much-needed mental aspect to your training.