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Mix-and-Match Workout: Medicine Ball and Stability Ball

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If you’re looking for unique, minimal-equipment workout to incorporate into your regimen, look no further. This 30-minute workout designed by Jim Ryno, owner of Iron House home gym design in Alpine, New Jersey, trains nearly every major muscle group in the body using a combination of medicine-ball and stability-ball movements — easy on the joints but tough on the muscles. 

“Training with a medicine ball allows you to minimize unwanted stress on your body while also increasing workout volume,” Ryno says. “Due to their dynamic nature, medicine balls allow you to challenge a wide range of muscles through multiple planes of motion, leading to greater athleticism and increased strength and power.”

The stability ball provides an unstable surface for enhanced training while also engaging the smaller, assisting muscle groups that don’t always get worked with traditional abdominal and core moves.

Check out more installments of the Oxygen Mix-and-Match Workout series!

The Workout

Equipment needed: 

  • Medicine ball (10 to 14 pounds)
  • Stability ball

Perform the moves in each superset back-to-back with no rest in between. Rest one minute between rounds and supersets, and complete two to three rounds of each. 

For the first superset, be explosive. These two exercises are intended to be intense and train the fast-twitch muscle fibers for increased power.

Exercises Sets Reps
Medicine-Ball Lying Chest Throw
— superset with —
Medicine-Ball Squat to Overhead Press
3 20

15-20
Medicine-Ball Overhead Chop
— superset with —
Medicine-Ball Lunge With Twist
2 15

12 (each side)
Stability-Ball Ab Transfer
— superset with —
Stability-Ball Plank
2 12-15

30 seconds
Seated Medicine-Ball Overhead Extension
— superset with —
Stability-Ball Glute V-Raise
2 15

15

Intensity Tip: For a challenging dose of calorie-burning high-intensity interval training cardio, do 30 to 60 seconds of calisthenics between supersets, anything from jumping jacks to jumping rope to running in place. 

Medicine-Ball Lying Chest Throw

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Lie faceup with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor and hold a medicine ball at your chest. Explosively throw the ball straight up over your chest as high as possible and catch it as it descends. Repeat right away.  

Tip: Start with a low toss and increase the vertical height as you gain confidence in your skills. 

Medicine-Ball Squat to Overhead Press

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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball with both hands at your chest, elbows down. Kick your hips back and bend your knees, squatting down to parallel or below. Explosively stand back up and use that upward momentum to extend your arms and reach the ball overhead. Go right into the next rep.

Medicine-Ball Overhead Chop

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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball with both hands overhead. In one smooth movement, bend your knees and lower the ball to the right side, touching it lightly to the floor just outside your foot. Stand and return to the start, then repeat on the other side. 

Medicine-Ball Reverse Lunge With Twist

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Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands, elbows bent. Take a large step back with your right foot and bend both knees to lower into a deep lunge. Pause at the bottom and rotate your shoulders and torso to the left. Return to center and step back to the start. Continue, alternating sides. 

Stability-Ball Ab Transfer

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Lie faceup with your legs extended and hold a stability ball with both hands overhead on the floor. Simultaneously lift your legs and torso off the floor and pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Lower your legs and torso until the ball touches the floor, then pass it back again. Continue, back and forth. 

Stability-Ball Plank

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Assume a plank position with your hands on a Swiss ball, about shoulder-width apart and palms aligned under your delts, legs together with your toes on the floor. Your body should be straight from head to heel. Hold this position, flexing your core to keep your hips from collapsing, for 30 seconds. Once you master the move, start working toward 60-second holds, increasing in five- to 10-second increments over time.

Seated Medicine-Ball Overhead Extension

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Sit on a bench or chair with your feet flat for stability and your spine aligned. Hold a medicine ball with both hands directly overhead, elbows straight. Keep your upper arms in place as you bend your elbows to lower the ball behind your head. Extend them to return to the start. 

Stability-Ball Glute V-Raise

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Lie facedown with your hips on top of a stability ball and your hands on the floor in front of you. Open your legs into a V, then slowly raise them as high as you can without arching your lower back. Pause briefly at the top, then lower slowly to the start. 

The Oxygen Mix-and-Match Workout series is designed to be used exactly how it sounds: “Mix” any or all of these workouts into your schedule however you want, “matching” them to whatever equipment you have at home (dumbbells and a bench, resistance bands, medicine ball, bodyweight only, etc.). 

Because all mix-and-match workouts hit more or less the whole body (upper and lower), you can cherry-pick these routines without having to worry about favoring any particular muscle group and causing imbalances. Beginners can do two or three mix-and-match workouts per week; advanced individuals can do up to four or five weekly. Take at least one rest day after every one to two sessions for proper recovery.

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