Medicine balls are portable, fun tools for training exercises ranging from balance and coordination training to power training. They look like basketballs made out of either leather or rubber, and they come in weights between 2 to 20 pounds. You can use a medicine ball to provide resistance for situps, which strengthens your outer abdominal muscles. You can do these exercises by yourself or with a workout partner. Develop a steady rhythm between your breathing and movement as you do situps so that you do not fatigue too early or strain your back.
Medicine Ball Situp
Lie on your back on the ground with your feet on the ground slightly apart. Hold the medicine ball with your arms fully extended so your biceps are close to your ears.
Exhale and sit up to bring the medicine ball toward your knees. Do not move your lower body.
Inhale and lower your body back on the ground with your arms full extended. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Medicine Ball Situp With Rotation
Lie on your back on the ground in the same position as the previous exercise.
Exhale and turn your torso to your left as you sit up. Bring the medicine ball toward your left knee.
Inhale and lower your body back to the ground. Repeat the situp by turning toward your right and bringing the ball toward your right knee. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Power Medicine Ball Situp With Partner
Lie on your back on the ground with your feet on the ground slightly apart. Hold the ball in the same position as the standard situp.
Exhale and sit up quickly, throwing the ball at your partner who is standing facing you about 3 to 4 feet from your body.
Catch the ball after your partner tosses it back to you. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
- Athletic Body in Balance; Gray Cook
- Athletic Development; Vern Gambetta
- Use a heavier ball if you are training for strength and short-duration power. Otherwise, use a lighter ball if you want to train for speed and endurance, suggests physical therapist Gray Cook, author of "Athletic Body in Balance."
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.