Being a better runner always means that you have to do more than just run. Aside from your form, gear, and regular runs, you need to incorporate several toning as well as strengthening exercises to up your running game. Medicine ball exercises help you with better flexibility, coordination and core strength. Regularly working the medicine ball means that you will have a better-balanced body that is ready and prepared for your grueling running routes and training.

If you’re not a gym rat, and medicine balls are new to you, go for a 6 or 8 pound ball. Listed below are 3 different sorts of medicine ball exercises that aid your running.

High toss
Hold a medicine ball at waist level. Squat down by bending your knees but keeping your back straight. Throw the ball straight up by extending your arms straight up and jumping off of your feet. Throw the ball 5 to 7 feet above your head, let it ball bounce, catch and repeat.

Hay bale
Keep your feet hip width apart, drop the ball, bend down keeping the back straight, catch the ball with both hands and lift it over one shoulder as if you are throwing a hay bale into a barn, over your back. Repeat the same step; this time lifting the ball over the other shoulder. While lifting the ball over the shoulder, twist your body from the waist up.

Great for stretching (Image: LAFitness)
Great for stretching (Image: LAFitness)

V-ups
Lie flat on your back with your arms extended straight back. Grip the medicine ball with both hands. With slightly bent knees, lift both your legs and your arms toward each other. Try to touch the medicine ball to your feet or your elbows to your knees. Not only do you feel an intense burn after a few reps, but you work your entire body in a way unlike any other.

These three simple (and fun) medicine ball exercises will make sure you get a great workout, and in the long run really assist your running.

Main image: The Four Percent

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