In previous posts, I’ve shared exercise equipment like the jump rope, ab wheel, BOSU and exercise ball. Fitness accessories can add creativity to your workouts and offer new challenges. The medicine ball is another great tool for your arsenal. They come in different weights, sizes and colors. Some even have handles. Like other fitness tools, doing exercises with the medicine ball become task-oriented. You think more about the movement and not just completing a set. Instead of doing the same old 10 repetitions on the leg press machine, for example, you can do Medicine Ball Side throws (see below). Now you’re focusing on throwing and catching the ball, twisting your body, shifting your weight appropriately, etc. So check out these three medicine ball exercises and let me know what you think.

Using a medicine ball or short step, get into a regular pushup position. Leave one hand securely on the ground and position the other hand on top of the medicine ball. In a controlled manner, perform a regular pushup. At full extension, take one hand off of medicine ball and place it on the floor. At the same time take other hand off floor and place it on top of ball. Repeat pushup. Be sure to inhale as you lower your body down and exhale as you press your body up.

Stand parallel to a wall with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold a medicine ball with both hands. Squat down while shifting your weight slightly to the outer leg. Then thrusting from hips, thighs and low back, toss the medicine ball against the wall. Carefully catch the ball in the standing side position and repeat. Be sure to exhale as you toss the ball and inhale as you catch it.

Facing a wall, stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart (or staggered). Hold medicine ball with both hands at chest height. Lift ball above and behind head, then throw the ball hard against a wall. This is like throwing in a soccer ball. Carefully catch the ball in a standing position and repeat. Be sure to exhale as you throw the ball and inhale as you catch it.