There are plenty of great exercises you can use medicine balls for, but most people don't realize you can also use them in your lower body training.
The medicine ball workout below is designed to specifically target all of the leg muscles in one short but intense training session.
The workout below is meant to be performed as a circuit. That means that all exercises are meant to be performed with no rest in between, only stopping once you finish your final med ball exercise.
Descriptions for the exercises can be found below. Here is the circuit:
10 per side
Choose a medicine ball weight that is challenging, but you are still able to complete all of the listed reps with. Too light of a ball won't give you much of a workout, while too heavy might make it tough to complete all the exercises with good form.
You can challenge yourself and add a little fun to your workout by timing yourself. This way, you can challenge yourself or a friend to see who can get the best time. You can also compare your time if you do the workout in the future. If your time is dropping, you are getting in better shape.
If you are fit enough, you can perform this circuit 2 or 3 times in a training session, taking a 4-5 minute break between circuits. If you plan to repeat it in the future you can switch it up by timing yourself and pushing to go faster, choosing a heavier med ball, or increasing the number of times you do the circuit.
This exercise is done holding the medicine ball with your arms reaching out directly above your head, with good posture and feet shoulder width apart. From there you drop into a deep squat position and use your legs to power you back up.
This might sound like an easy exercise, but even with a light med ball it can be very difficult. Overhead squats challenge you to maintain your balance and keep your core engaged through the entire movement.
This is like a traditional jump squat, except you hold the medicine ball tight to your chest with both arms around it, while maintaining good posture and a solid stance.
You then drop into a 1/2 squat position and explode up. The goal is to use your leg muscles to jump as high as possible and then land in the starting position. Only perform this exercise if you are strong and comfortable enough with plyometrics.
For lunge twist, you begin standing upright and holding the med ball directly out in front of you with both arms. Then, lunge forward with your left leg. When you are down in the lunge position, you twist the ball to the left as far as you can while maintaining good technique.
You then return the ball in front of you and return to the starting position. You then repeat going to the right side. This is a great exercise for not only engaging your quad and hamstring muscles, but also your obliques.
These are simply traditional jumping jacks, with the twist obviously being that you are holding a medicine ball. You begin in a standing position with good posture and holding the ball with both hands in front of your chest. Your elbows will be pointing down slightly.
From there, you perform a jumping jack. Rather than moving your arms around and up in a circular motion, you explosively shoot the ball directly up in the air and then return to the starting position.
This lift will engage your delts, triceps, and abs, but it will also work your leg muscles. It is a great finisher for the circuit because it is relatively easy, but the higher reps will really get your blood pumping.
Medicine balls aren't just for throwing and upper body workouts. They have a different feel, but are capable of replicating some of the same exercises you would do with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells. If you plan properly, you can get a really good leg workout from them.