This Medicine Ball Abs Workout Is Your Shortcut To A Six-Pack

Medicine ball abs workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

So we lied in the headline, there is no shortcut to a six-pack, but we do promise you that this medicine ball abs workout is a terrific way to challenge your core and will eventually result in a six-pack if you combine it with other abs workouts and eat healthily. A white lie at worst.

If you haven’t been using medicine ball exercises in your abs training to date, then you’ve been missing out, because the medicine ball is a tool you can use to challenge your core in a number of ways. Those include chucking the ball about, resting on it to create an unstable base during exercises, and just using it to add extra weight to a move.

To enjoy all those benefits you’ll need to add one to your home gym, and our round-up of the best medicine balls can help if you don’t have one already. Alternatively, hit the gym where you’ll generally find a variety of balls going largely unused while people queue for dumbbells and barbells. The fools. Once you have your medicine ball in hand, tackle this challenging six-move abs workout.


Medicine ball press-up

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 12

This six-move med ball circuit – of which you’ll do four rounds in total – kicks off with a tough variation of the classic press-up. Doing it with your hands on the ball works your core far harder than in normal press-ups, and you’ll work your chest, shoulders and triceps too.

How to do it Assume the press-up position but with your hands on the ball rather than flat on the floor. Engage your core, then bend your elbows to lower your chest. Press back to the top.


Medicine ball crunch

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 12

The classic crunch is great for working your upper abs, but this variation – where you hold the med ball against your chest then raise it high at the top of each rep – gives these muscles a far harder challenge.

How to do it Start in the standard crunch position with your back on the floor, your feet together and your knees bent. Hold the ball with your hands either side of it. Contract your abs to raise your torso, and then straighten your arms to lift the ball as high as you can.

Crunch with twist

Medicine ball crunch with twist

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Reps 12

The weight of the med ball makes this move more difficult because your upper abs and side abs need to be firing on all cylinders to lift your torso, then move it from side to side, then lower back to the start. Make it even harder by not letting your upper back hit the floor between reps.

How to do it The move is similar to the previous one, except at the top of each rep you rotate the ball, with straightened arms, to one side then the other, before returning to the start.

Leg raise

Reps 12

If you want a six-pack then it’s vital you don’t neglect your lower abs. Give them the attention they deserve with this move.

How to do it Lie flat on the floor with straight legs and the med ball held tight between your feet or ankles. Lay your arms flat by your sides. Raise your feet off the floor, pause, then raise them as high as you can while keeping your legs straight. Pause at the top, then lower them slowly. Don’t let your heels touch the floor in between reps.


Medicine ball throw

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Reps 12

This explosive move requires you to move your whole body powerfully and quickly to get your abs working as a single unit to encourage faster and more impressive growth.

How to do it Stand tall holding a med ball in both hands. Squat down, then powerfully push through your heels to jump high. As your feet leave the ground, extend your arms to throw the ball as high as you can directly overhead. Catch it, then go straight into the next rep.


Medicine ball slam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 12

Each circuit finishes with a set of heart rate-raising, core-crunching explosive med ball slams. The key here is to slam the ball into the ground as hard as possible: the harder you do, the more your abs are working close to capacity. Imagine you’re trying to make a hole in the floor (but don’t actually).

How to do it Stand tall with the ball in both hands. Raise it above your head, then slam it straight down into the floor in front of you. Catch it and repeat immediately.

Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.

With contributions from