Unless it proves actively harmful to your health, no piece of fitness equipment ever goes completely out of fashion. Even now people mount penny-farthings for events and purchase chest-expanders from questionable TV adverts.
The medicine ball is another old school piece of kit that remains just as useful as it ever was, even if it’s ditched the heavy leather look for a sleeker style. Medicine balls have come a long way from the brown leather spheres of old – and any home gym would benefit from the addition of one of the modern versions that can be used for a wide variety of exercises, especially as part of a HIIT circuit.
Browse medicine balls on amazon.co.uk (opens in new tab)
One great way to incorporate this throwback weight into your gym routine is the medicine ball crunch. As you’ve probably guessed, the medicine ball crunch is a great core workout, and your abs will certainly feel the strain of a full set. It’ll also improve the strength and flexibility in your arms and shoulders, and if you opt for a little throw and catch, your co-ordination should benefit as well.
RECOMMENDED: Medicine Ball To The Wall Power Workout
How To Do The Medicine Ball Crunch
Start on the ground, with your knees bent and the medicine ball held against your chest. Extend your arms out above you in a straight line. Keep them straight as you perform a sit up, and then reach back as you come down, so the medicine ball touches the ground behind your head. Repeat, for three sets of 15 to 20 reps, or whatever interval you’ve set for circuit training.
RECOMMENDED: Crunch Exercises for Building a Six-Pack
If you want to get a little spicy with your sit-ups, locate a wall and bounce the medicine ball against it as you come up and catch it before you head back down. You’ll probably want to use a lightweight medicine ball for this one, or even just a football, unless you’re not especially attached to your security deposit.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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