Balls to the Wall!
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This killer medicine ball workout mixes cardio and resistance moves to help you build strength and blast fat—all while sculpting a tighter torso and flatter abs. A weighted ball is a great training tool because you can add it to almost any exercise to challenge your core stability and improve coordination. For best results, do this workout on two or three nonconsecutive days per week.
You'll need: A medicine ball (3-10 lbs)
Workout details: Do each move as quickly as you can with good form, moving from one exercise to the next with little or no rest in between. Once you've finished the last move, rest and repeat the entire circuit 1 or 2 more times.
Power Cross Chop
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Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, holding the medicine ball at your chest. Brace your abs in tight and twist your torso to the left. Allow your right heel to pivot off the floor and bring the ball up over your left shoulder. Quickly "chop" the ball down and across your right thigh, lunging as you pivot your left heel off the floor. That's one rep. Do 15 reps in a row and then switch sides and repeat.
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Hold the medicine ball at your chest and stand with your feet wide. Step your left leg out into a side lunge as you scoop the ball down and to the outside of your left thigh. Press through your right heel to straighten your right as you reach the ball up and overhead, quickly reversing the lunge and scoop to the right. (Think of tracing a figure-8 pattern with the ball as you lunge from side to side). That’s one rep. Do 15 reps total.
Split Pushup Knee Tuck
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Get into a pushup position with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Place your right hand on top of the medicine ball (if this is too tough, modify on your knees). Balancing on the ball, lower your body into a pushup. As you extend your arms, bend your left knee across your chest towards the ball. Quickly step your left foot back to the floor and repeat. Work up to 15 reps on both sides.
To make this move even more challenging, bring your feet closer together in your pushup position.
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Stand standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding the ball at your chest. Squat down and place the ball on the floor, keeping your arms extended. Shift your weight into the ball, pressing your hands on top. Quickly jump your feet back into full plank position, still balancing on top of the ball. Brace your abs in tight to help your balance. Jump your feet back in, landing in a squat. Quickly stand up and press the ball overhead. That's one rep. Try for 15 reps in a row.
Too tough? Try walking your feet in and out of your squat and plank position instead. Too easy? Add a jump when you stand and press the ball overhead.
Front Lunge Pass Under
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Hold the ball at your chest and stand with your feet together. Take a wide step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge. As you lower, pass the ball from your right hand to your left under your left thigh. Press through your left heel to quickly return to standing, grabbing onto the ball with both hands. Repeat on the other side. That's one rep. Do 20 reps in total.
Triceps Press Matrix
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Position yourself on your knees and hold the ball at your chest. Your knees should be slightly wider than your hips, toes pointed. Brace your abs in tight and lean back, keeping your spine straight (don’t let your back arch). As you bring your body back up, extend both arms overhead. Bend your elbows (keep them pointed forward) and lower the ball behind your head. Extend your arms back up. Quickly bring the ball back in front of your chest as you repeat the lean. Do 15 reps in total.
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Place the ball on the floor in front of you and lie facedown with your arms and legs extended into an 'X' shape. The ball should be close to your right hand. Extend your spine, lift your chest and thighs off the floor, and roll the ball under your right hand. Quickly roll the ball over to your left arm, catching it with your hand, and then pass it back to your right hand. Go back and forth, keeping your torso as still as you can while maintaining your extension, 20 times in a row.
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Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and hold the ball at your chest. Brace your abs in tight and lift your legs so they're almost making a 90-degree angle. Rotate your torso to the left and tap the ball on the floor just outside of your left hip. Pull the ball back into your chest and rotate to the right. That's one rep. Continue alternating sides each time for a total of 20 reps.
Weighted Boat Rock
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Sit on the floor like you did for the side-to-side slam and place the ball in between your ankles, holding onto it with just your legs. Reach your arms towards your feet, balancing on your buns. Keep your abs tight and shift your weight to the right, trying to lift your left 'cheek' slightly off the floor (your knees will turn a little as you rock). Quickly rock onto your left cheek, and lift the right. That’s one rep. Repeat as quickly as you can (without losing your balance) 20 times in a row.