Medicine ball crunches are easily added into a circuit training routine.
Circuit training is a workout style that uses both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Aerobic exercises elevate your heart rate, improve your cardiovascular system and include exercises such as walking, marching and cycling. Anaerobic exercises are strength-training movements. A medicine ball circuit uses the medicine ball as the resistance tool for the strength-training stations.
Before you begin your circuit workout, you need to select the right amount of weight for your medicine ball. Medicine balls come in a variety of weights, sizes and materials. Many are made of leather or vinyl. Some are made of rubber, so if you have a latex allergy, select a different material. The weight of the balls are typically between 1 and 50 pounds. Select a medicine ball that lets you complete your exercises with good form and slow movements. Too light of a ball and you will speed through the exercises. A ball that is too heavy will lead to poor form.
A circuit training workout uses a set amount of time for each movement. You set up your workout to alternate an aerobic exercise and a medicine ball exercise. For example, march in place for 60 seconds and then do a medicine ball situp for 60 seconds. Always begin your circuit with a warm-up of approximately five minutes. Use full-body movements such as dancing or walking to prepare your body for the medicine ball circuit.
Your aerobic exercises can be sport-specific movements such as dribbling a soccer or basketball, sprinting or jumping rope. You can also select exercises to improve your general fitness such as jumping jacks, marching in place or climbing stairs. Choose approximately eight to 10 different aerobic movements for your circuit workout.
You'll alternate your aerobic exercises with medicine ball exercises. Spend the same amount of time doing each exercise. Choose approximately eight to 10 different medicine ball movements. Include such motions as medicine ball pushups, trunk rotations, wood chops, lunges, overhead presses, overhead extensions and ball slams.
A circuit training workout saves you time. Instead of performing your cardiovascular exercises and then your strength-training work, you complete the workout at one time. You'll improve your heart health, strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination and reaction time. Another benefit is the medicine ball circuit workout is not limited to indoors. You can perform your circuit outside. You will need a day of rest in between your circuit workouts as time for muscle recovery.