Cross-training with medicine ball exercises is an effective way to develop strength, agility and increase power for various sports. It can also add variety to an athlete's workouts or be used as part of a circuit-training regimen. Medicine ball exercises can be tailored to closely match the movements of many sports.
Figure of Eights
Figure of eights is a simple medicine ball exercise that strengthens the arms, shoulders and calves. This is a useful muscle-conditioning workout for cross-training athletes. Start by holding the medicine ball with extended arms over the right shoulder. Bring the medicine ball down toward the left foot in one motion. Do this by bending your knees slightly, then stand back up and raise the medicine ball straight up over the left shoulder. Next bring the ball down again, but this time toward your right foot. Imagine the continuous motion of movement as if you are making "figures of eight." Return to the starting position and repeat.
Toe touch is an effective cross-training exercise that focuses on abdominal mucsles. For the starting position, take the medicine ball and lie on your back. Raise both legs so they are straight and toward the ceiling. Next, straighten your arms while holding the ball above your head. Lift both arms and torso until the ball touches your toes. Keep your elbows straight and do not move your legs. Feel your abdominal muscles contract. Go back to the starting position and repeat.
Target your arms and abdominal muscles by doing slams with medicine balls. Start by standing with your knees slightly bent with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ball over your head, then slam it down on the ground with force and catch the ball on the first bounce. Raise the ball and repeat. This is an efficient cross-training exercise that conditions and strengthens the core muscles while also improving coordination and balance.
Article Written By Rona Aquino
Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.