Medicine Ball Ab Exercises

Alwyn Cosgrove, a certified strength and conditioning specialist reporting for "Men's Fitness" magazine, notes that most people rely on traditional exercises that include crunches. He says that this is less than ideal if you’re trying to build a strong six-pack set of abs. By adding a medicine ball — a small, weighted ball that’s roughly 12 to 14 inches in diameter — you can boost your ab exercise regimen and achieve a toned midsection.

The Superman

Get abs of steel worthy of the "Man of Steel" himself with the Superman exercise, which comes recommended by Christopher Newport University. Lie on your stomach with your arms outstretched in front of you and your legs straight behind you — similar to how Superman looks when he’s flying. Grasp the medicine ball in your hands. Lift your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Hold it for five seconds, then lower yourself back to the ground. The university suggests doing three sets of 10.

Medicine Ball Crunches

The University of Kansas Medical Center advises enhancing traditional crunches by using a medicine ball. Get into the traditional crunches position — lie on your back with your feet on the ground, knees bent and hands up behind your head — and place the medicine ball in the crook of your knees. Squeeze your legs against the ball to hold it against your thigh. Lift your hips and shoulders off the ground in the traditional crunch exercise position, then lower yourself back down. Do three sets of 10.

Weighted Circle

The weighted circle exercise is one of the best for strengthening your entire trunk, reports Culver-Stockton College. Lay flat on your back with your legs straight and together. Put the medicine ball between your two ankles and squeeze your feet together to hold the ball in place. Raise your feet off the ground and draw a circle in the area. The bottom of the circle should touch the ground and the top of the circle should be 16 inches off the ground. The college recommended doing three sets of 12.

Medicine Ball Curl-Ups

Use a medicine ball to take traditional curl-ups to a new level, according to "Men's Fitness" magazine. Get into the traditional curl-up starting position: Feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at a right angle. Keep your back flat on the ground with your hands stretched above your head, holding the medicine ball against the ground. Sit up straight, pushing the medicine ball forward in front of your chest as if you were throwing it in front of you. Lower yourself back to the ground and do three sets of 15.

About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.