Med Ball Pushups (2)

Med Ball Pushups (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Med Ball Pushups are an excellent version of Close Grip Pushups that really emphasize the triceps. It’s a great exercise by itself or as part of a medicine ball circuit.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Medicine Ball Pushups including important coaching points, what muscles it works and a few alternative exercises.

How To Do Med Ball Pushups

Equipment Needed

  • Medicine Ball

Muscles Worked

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Grab a medicine ball and find an open spot on the ground.
  • Start on your knees and secure your hand placement on the ball first.
  • Use a neutral grip hand position with palms facing one another on each outer edge of the ball.
  • Now, lift the knees off the ground and raise up into a pushup starting position.
  • Lower yourself down, keeping the elbows tight to the body as you descend.
  • Lower down until the top of your abdomen (just below the sternum) touches the ball.
  • Drive back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat until all reps are completed.

Coaching Points

Perhaps the most important part of the entire lift is getting the proper hand placement on the ball. Don’t be afraid to experiment slightly with what hand position feels best as it may change slightly depending on the type and size of the medicine ball you are using.

Keeping the elbows tight to the body is key here to make sure that the focus stays on the triceps.

Benefits of Med Ball Pushups

Here are some potential benefits of utilizing Medicine Ball Push-ups in your training program:

  1. Increased strength: Medicine Ball Push-ups can increase upper body strength, particularly in the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
  2. Improved stability: The unstable surface of the medicine ball requires you to engage your core and stabilize your body during the exercise, which can improve overall stability and balance.
  3. Enhanced coordination: Medicine Ball Push-ups can improve coordination and balance as you work to maintain proper form and alignment on the unstable surface of the ball.
  4. Increased cardiovascular endurance: Medicine Ball Push-ups can also provide a cardiovascular challenge if done at high volume and/or as part of a circuit.
  5. Variety: Medicine Ball Push-ups provide a new challenge and can add variety to your workouts, which can help to prevent boredom and keep you motivated.

Med Ball Pushup Alternatives

Don’t have a medicine ball? Want to vary up your arm routine? Whatever the reason you may need one, here are a few alternatives to Med Ball Pushups that you may be able to try out.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a medicine ball, you can always just do Close Grip Pushups. You’ll lose some of the additional balance benefits that Med Ball Pushups provide, but it’s still a very effective exercise.


Dips (1)

In my opinion, Dips are the king of all triceps exercises so if we’re talking about an alternative for a movement that focuses on the chest and triceps, Dips will almost always be my number one suggestion.

If you’re serious about building strength and size with your chest, shoulders and triceps – find a way to incorporate Dips into your training program.

Floor Press

Floor Press is an excellent exercise that focuses on the chest and triceps and can be done with not much more than a barbell and some weight plates.

It’s basically Close Grip Bench Press done on the floor. Lay on your back on the floor, use a close grip and lower the bar until your triceps lightly touch the floor and then drive back up.

Like with any Bench Press movement, make sure to have a spotter for Floor Press.

Dumbbell Skull Crushers

If you’re working with dumbbells, Dumbbell Skull Crushers will be one of your best options for an alternative to Med Ball Pushups.

Remember to use a neutral grip style setup (palms facing each other), keep the elbows high and bring the dumbbells just beside the ears at the bottom.

More Links and Info

If you’d like to check out even more exercises for growing your biceps, triceps and forearms then head over to the Arm Farm section of our Exercise Library.

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