If you’re going to have just one piece of fitness equipment make it a medicine ball. Nothing provides as much versatility or challenge. This short med-ball session targets all of your muscles (OK, most of the major groups), but with the bonus of having you fight through the pain when they’re zapped—to give you the muscular endurance to finish any ride or run.
Time: 25 minutes
Equipment: Medicine ball
Body Parts Worked: Upper, lower, and core
How to Do It: Complete as many reps as you can of each exercise in 1 minute. Rest 20 seconds in between each move.
Pushups: Do them with your feet on the ball.
Side slalom jumps: Lateral jumps over the ball.
Ball slams: Raise the ball over your head, then slam ball down to the ground in front of you (best used with a soft ball so the ground absorbs the force and doesn’t bounce back).
Alternating lunge presses: Press the ball above your head while rising from each lunge.
Mountain climbers: Do them with your left hand on the ball for 30 seconds (and right hand on the ground), then your right hand on the ball for 30 seconds (and left hand on the ground).
Squat throws: Holding ball at chest level with both hands, throw it straight up as you explode up from a squat.
Ball crunch: Perform a regular crunch while holding the ball straight up over your head. While crunching up, keep the ball pointed toward the sky.
Slow squat: Hold the ball over your head. Take 3-5 seconds to lower yourself into a squat and 3-5 seconds to stand up. Keep the ball over your head for the entire minute.
Throw and chase: Hold the ball between your legs with both hands. Hinge at your hips to squat and thrust up, tossing the ball underhand as far as you can. Run after it and throw from the new spot.
Pushups: Do them with your hands on the ball.
About this Series
The Wicked Wednesday Workout is designed to help you break up your week with a high-intensity, total-body workout of strength and endurance that uses minimal equipment—to help better prepare your body for the randomness of your weekend at play.
Ted Spiker, who has designed and led backyard and neighborhood workouts for his friends for the past three years, is a journalism professor at the University of Florida who specializes in health and fitness writing. He recommends you pick up a scrap truck tire to add more variety to your workouts.