4-Pound Medicine Ball Exercises

A 4-lb. medicine ball is appropriate for rehabilitative work, strength training and sports medicine. Usually made of vinyl or leather, medicine balls are made to withstand impact, which makes them well-suited for throwing, rebounding and plyometrics. A 4-lb. ball also works well for a beginner new to medicine ball training.

Leg Presses

A 4-lb. medicine ball is an appropriate weight to use for leg presses designed to strengthen one of the muscles supporting the knee joint, the vastus medialis. To perform the leg press, position the medicine ball between the inner thighs and squeeze while you extend the knees. Complete three sets of 12 repetitions.

Split Lunge with Ball Slam

Raise your heart rate and build quadricep, shoulder, core, hamstring, glute and calf strength by incorporating the medicine ball into a plyometric lunge. Assume a staggered stance—with your left leg forward and right leg behind you with feet approximately 2 1/2 to 3 feet apart. Hold your 4-lb. medicine ball over your head. As you bend your knees to create a lunge, twist your torso to the left and forcefully throw the ball to hit the floor outside your left knee. Jump up to switch leg position (now right leg forward, left leg back) while catching the ball and returning it above your head. Conduct the exercise to the right. Work your way up to 20 total jumps. A 4-lb. ball will likely prove challenging enough for this advanced exercise.

Medicine Ball Push-Up

The medicine ball push-up challenges your triceps and abdominals more than a traditional push-up. Kneel on an exercise mat and place your hands on either side of the 4-lb. ball. Extend your legs and form a plank position with your toes resting in the floor and your back creating a straight, rigid line. Lower your body toward the ball by bending your elbows; return to the start position. Beginners may perform this exercise on the knees. Complete 10 to 15 total repetitions and work your way up to three sets.

Torso Rotation

Torso rotations effectively train the rectus and transverse abdominus and use the muscles of the spine as stabilizers. To perform the exercise, sit on an exercise mat with your knees bent and heels firmly planted. Hold the 4-lb. medicine ball in your lap as you sit upright and contract your core muscles. Hold the ball against the middle of your torso and, while maintaining your upright position, rotate to the right. Keep the ball in the center of the torso throughout the exercise. Repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate sides for 10 to 20 repetitions. More advanced exercisers who seek greater abdominal challenge may lean back slightly and focus on bringing the elbows toward the floor as your rotate. A final progression involves balancing in a v-sit during the rotation.

About this Author

Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.