Medicine ball exercises can help strengthen the arms and shoulders. (Image via Unsplash/Brendan Stephens)

5 Best Medicine Ball Exercises to Strengthen Your Arms

Medicine ball exercises are a popular form of workout that can be used to sculpt and tone the arms, shoulders, back, core, and more.

They're also a common tool used in physical therapy to promote stability and aid in recovery. As a popular piece of fitness equipment that can be used at home to enhance workouts, medicine ball exercises can help build strength and stamina while sculpting the upper body.


Best Medicine Ball Exercises

Try these five medicine ball exercise to target the arms and shoulders while also working the core and lower body:


1) Circle Squat

Circle squats are a great lower body exercise that can strengthen the glutes and hamstrings.


You will also get your heart rate up, making the medicine ball exercise a great addition to any cardio or strength-training routine. As circle squats are a low-impact medicine ball exercise, you can protect your joints while getting fit.

How to do the medicine ball circle squat exercise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and keep a weighted ball near your right hip.
  • Swing the ball over your head and to the left, stepping sideways with your left foot.
  • Bring the ball back to the right, allowing it to circle down between your legs as you squat.
  • The ball should be at the bottom of its circle just above the floor.
  • Return to standing by stepping back with your left foot, and repeat on the opposite side.

2) Wood Chopper

When you have a weighted medicine ball, you can do wood chops to target the abs and obliques.

To get more out of this core exercise, try this modified medicine ball exercise. It keeps the lower body stable as you twist, which means there's more emphasis on the core than just the upper body.

How to do the wood chopper move?

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball in both hands.
  • When squatting, send your hips back behind you as you maintain a neutral spine, and take the ball to the outside of your left hip.
  • Keep your knees and hips facing front as you stand back up, and swing the ball up and over to your right shoulder at a diagonal.

3) Squat and Swing

The squat and swing is a great medicine ball exercise that sculpts the entire body. It engages the glutes, hips, thighs, arms, and core as you move from side to side. Use a lighter medicine ball if you're just getting started or are still warming up. Move to a heavier one if you're ready for more intensity.


How to do the squat and swing move?

  • Stand while holding a medicine ball in both hands.
  • Step to the side into a squat, swinging the medicine ball between the knees.
  • Lower your hips till the thighs are parallel to the floor and knees are behind the toes.
  • Step back to start as you swing the medicine ball overhead. Repeat on the other side.

4) Tricep Extension

This medicine ball exercise is similar to traditional arm extensions with dumbbells. As you extend your arms, toss the ball to your workout partner. Explosive movements, like those involving medicine balls, are great for building arm and shoulder strength and hand-eye coordination. You can do this medicine ball exercise with a partner sitting across from you.

How to do the tricep extension?

  • From standing or seated, engage your abs.
  • Extend your arms overhead so that they frame your ears, and bend your elbows to lower the ball behind your head till the elbows form a 90-degree angle.
  • Squeeze the triceps to straighten your arms, and return to an overhead position.

5) Curl and Press

The medicine ball curl and press is a two-part move that targets the biceps, shoulders, and lats. While doing this medicine ball exercise, you will also work the abs as you maintain an upright spine.

How to do curl and press move?

  • Stand or sit straight, holding the medicine ball in your right hand.
  • Curl the arm up into a biceps curl while balancing the ball in your hand.
  • Push the arm up at the top of the movement, and bring it back down to its starting position.
  • Repeat the movements several times.

Wrapping Up

With so many medicine ball exercises to choose from, you can easily incorporate a medicine ball into your workout and use it to work multiple parts of the body.

While performing any medicine ball exercise, focus on proper form and technique to avoid injury both while performing the exercises and during everyday activities. Also remember that you don't need a gym membership or weights to get a good overall workout; you do have everything you need right in your home.

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