You’ve just purchased your first medicine ball to add to your growing home training arsenal, and you want to incorporate some of the best of the virtually unlimited number of abdominal exercises this tool can add to your routine. The ab workout below, which we suggest performing with a partner, is a highly effective introduction to the world of med ball ab work. It offers a brutal mix of both dynamic and static strength endurance exercises – coupled with a classic full-speed power move – that will work your core like never before.

When it comes to ab training, a quality rubber or leather medicine ball is the wisest purchase you’ll ever make. Properly applied, the right medicine ball can make just about any ab exercise harder – and more beneficial to your program. You can throw it, rotate with it and use it to safely add resistance to exercises with which you’ve previously only been able to use your own bodyweight. Best of all, you can find the med ball you need for less than $50 at your local sporting goods store.

Picking the Right Ball

Choosing the “right” medicine ball for your purposes is all about exercise technique. The ball should make your ab exercises challenging without forcing you to compromise your form too early in a set. For most beginners, this entails purchasing a med ball weighing between four and 12 pounds, depending on your strength level and training experience. Most quality ab work requires you to perform a relatively high number of repetitions, so you’ll want a ball that doesn’t throw off your technique until you’ve managed to accrue at least 8-10 reps on any given exercise.

The ab workout below should be performed at least once a week. It’s best to work your way through it with the help of a partner, but it’s possible to perform variations of the catch-and-throw exercises against a wall, if necessary. To properly execute the around-the-world catch and throw, assume the top position of a crunch, with your upper torso at approximately a 45-degree angle to the floor, and tension in your abs. Have your partner move from side to side, lightly tossing you the ball as you statically hold your position, catch the ball and throw it back.

Six-Pack Shredding Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Sit-up Throw and Catch 3 10 45s
Skywalkers 3 15 45s
Around-the-World Catch and Throw 3 30 45s