When you think of fitness accessories, the stability ball probably springs to mind well before the medicine ball. This classic piece of equipment isn't limited to stuffy, retro weightlifting gyms, however. Medicine ball exercises offer full-body engagement while challenging your core stability and balance. In a world overflowing with crunches and crunch variations, the wood chopper -- also known as the wood chop or diagonal chop -- presents a refreshing alternative ab workout.
Plant your feet a little wider than shoulder width and point your toes slightly out. Bend your knees just a bit. Grasp your medicine ball with a hand on either side.
Raise the medicine ball out to one side, diagonally over your head, until your arms are fully extended.
Rotate your torso and bend your upper body slightly forward at the hips as you bring the ball down to your opposite hip, moving it diagonally across your body. Squat slightly so that the ball ends up just below your hip. This motion mimics a lumberjack chopping wood. Hold for a brief count and return to your starting position. You have just completed one rep.
Switch sides for each set to ensure a balanced toning workout for the abs and hips.
- Keep your abs tight and your spine straight throughout this exercise. This helps promote core engagement and spinal stability.