How to do medicine ball push-ups perfectly

Add variety to your routine, try medicine ball push-ups

If you only use medicine balls for throws, slams, and weighted crunches, it may be time to expand your thinking. Why not add them to push-ups?

Once you’ve perfected the standard push-ups, you can use these tools to master a next-level push-up variation known as the medicine ball push-up.

Follow these tips to do the medicine ball push-up exercise correctly — you’re sure to give your triceps, shoulders, chest, and core muscles a new challenge.

Medicine Ball Push-Ups: Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Set up in a push-up position with your hands elevated on a medicine ball. Place the medicine ball directly under your chest with your hands on either side of it.
  • Because this push-up variation can be hard on the wrists, Cristian Flores, CSCS, a strength and conditioning coach in New York, recommends keeping your hands in external rotation on a medicine ball—point your thumbs toward your head and draw your fingers out to the side (your forearms). away from the ankle)
  • Spread your legs for balance.
  • Prepare for push-ups by bracing your core, squeezing your glutes, and tucking your chin away from your neck (avoid double chins). “You must keep your abs very tight to prevent your lower back from sagging,” says Flores. “Squeezing your glutes helps keep the spine neutral [position]”
  • Once you’re in position, bend your arms and lower your torso toward the medicine ball. Keep your elbows at your sides and your head down.
  • Pause once within a few inches of touching the medicine ball to your chest. Then, push yourself back to the starting position.

Once you’re strong enough to do medicine ball push-ups, increase the challenge by lifting one leg off the floor, or doing plyo medicine ball push-ups.

Benefits of medicine ball push-ups

Any push-up variation — including medicine ball push-ups — will build isometric core strength. How?

Force your core muscles to maintain tension to complete the exercise.

You will create a balance between both sides of your body by raising your arms over the medicine ball.

“These push-ups challenge your less dominant side to produce the ball at the same rate as the dominant side to stabilize the ball,” explains Flores.

Try medicine ball push-ups in place of regular push-ups during your next workout and feel the burn!

Muscle medicine works by pushing up the ball

Anatomy of chest muscles  chest muscles

Like the standard push-up, the medicine ball push-up primarily targets three major muscle groups:

  • The pectorals (your chest muscles) add arms toward the center of the body.
  • The deltoids (your three-headed shoulder muscles) help propel the upper arms forward.
  • The triceps (the three-headed muscle at the back of your arm) extend the upper arms.

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