Medicine balls range in weight and don’t take up a lot of space, making them perfect for any workout.

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If you tend to be in a time-crunch when it comes to working out, you’re probably all about full-body workouts for strength training. And for good reason — a lower time commitment is especially beneficial for those with busy schedules, as well as athletes involved in other sports such as running, cycling or triathlon, says Amber Harris, CPT, CFSC, a certified personal trainer and certified functional strength coach in Overland Park, Kansas.

“Full-body workouts involve movements that include every muscle group and movement pattern in a single workout,” Harris tells “They also tend to be less time consuming, as you won’t need to work out as often as opposed to split-body training.”

When you perform full-body workouts, you can limit strength training to two to three days per week, Harris says. If you happen to miss a workout, you can still expect to see progress because you’re hitting all the muscle groups during each session, she explains.

One versatile piece of equipment for full-body workouts is a medicine ball, which can be used for many different movements, Harris says. They typically range in weight from 2 pounds to upward of 100 pounds, and don’t take up a lot of space.

A 15-Minute Medicine Ball Workout

This workout, created by Harris, consists of three rounds of five exercises. Do each exercise for 40 seconds, then take 20 seconds of rest between each exercise. Rest as much as needed in between rounds. Harris recommends doing this workout two to three days per week.

1. Medicine Ball Squat to Overhead Press

  1. Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball at chest height.
  2. Bend your knees as you push your hips back to lower toward the floor. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Lower down as far as comfortable, or until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  4. Reverse the motion by pressing through your heels to return to standing.
  5. Extend your arms straight up and press the medicine ball overhead.
  6. Return to the starting position and repeat until 40 seconds are complete.
  7. Rest for 20 seconds.

2. Medicine Ball Alternating Single-Leg Hinge

  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball straight out in front of you.
  2. With a slight bend in your right knee, hinge at your waist, allowing your torso to fall forward, and extend your left leg behind you. Keep your back straight, your core engaged and your hips and shoulders square to the floor.
  3. When your torso is parallel to the floor, return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat the movement on the opposite leg.
  5. Continue alternating legs until the 40 seconds are complete.
  6. Rest for 20 seconds.

3. Weighted Medicine Ball Dead Bug

  1. Lie flat on your back with both arms reaching straight toward the ceiling, holding a medicine ball in both hands.
  2. Lift your feet off the ground so your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Keep your lower back in contact with the floor through the entire duration of the exercise.
  4. Slowly and with control, extend both arms and your left leg away from each other.
  5. Lower your limbs as far as you can while keeping your lower back on the ground. Fight the impulse to arch your back by tightening your abs, pressing your bellybutton down to anchor your lower back to the floor.
  6. Exhale as you return both arms and your left leg to the starting position with the same slow, controlled movement.
  7. Continue alternating which leg you extend until the 40 seconds are complete.
  8. Rest for 20 seconds.

4. Modified Medicine Ball Push-Up

  1. Start in a high-plank position on your knees, your right hand on top of a medicine ball and your left hand on the floor.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your chest all the way to the floor (or as far as you can go).
  3. Push back up, keeping your back straight and your hips level the entire time.
  4. Roll the medicine ball to your left hand and repeat.
  5. Continue alternating which hand is on top of the medicine ball until the 40 seconds are complete.
  6. Rest for 20 seconds.

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your core engaged.
  2. Bring the medicine ball overhead with your arms fully extended.
  3. Hinge at your hips, keeping your arms extended and slam the ball hard into the ground.
  4. Bend your knees to pick up the ball and return to start.
  5. Repeat until 40 seconds are complete.
  6. Rest for 20 seconds.


“Don’t perform slams with a medicine ball that bounces, as it could hit you in the face,” Harris says.

The Best Medicine Balls to Use for a Workout

Harris recommends the following medicine balls, which come in a variety of weight and sizes.

1. Perform Better Dynamax Medicine Ball

This medicine ball comes in weights ranging from 4 to 30 pounds.

2. Perform Better Extreme Zig Zag Jam Ball

When you’re ready for a bigger challenge, this medicine ball comes in weights ranging from 4 to 100 pounds.

This is a more affordable and easily accessible medicine ball, though it has less options on the weight, Harris says.

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