• Photo for Medicine Ball Tosses—Up and Side
    Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith

Medicine Ball Tosses—Up and Side

by RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

Guys who can't throw balls will hate this exercise at first, but that's part of the point. The medicine ball up and side tosses not only give your whole body a workout, they also provide coordination and balance training so lacking in many modern-day gym-training programs.

Muscles Worked
Full body

Starting Position
Stand on a gym mat holding a medicine ball holding a medicine ball between your hands. Bend your knees into a squat position and sit your butt back as if you are about to throw the ball over your head (you are). Tilt your head back and look up toward the ceiling (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, push up into a standing position while simultaneously throwing the ball up above you into the air (see Photo 2).
  2. As the ball comes back down, catch it high and drop back into the squat position again. You have completed one repetition of the up tosses. Do 12 total then move on to the side tosses (see Photo 3).
  3. To do the side toss, stand approximately three to four feet away from a solid wall, facing perpendicular to the wall, with your right side closest to the wall. Pivot your upper body to the left and drop your right-knee down; your right heel may come off the floor. Keep your arms straight as your pivot and allow your arms to follow the arc of your upper body. Lower your upper body slightly as you pivot, so that the medicine ball ends up behind and slightly above your knee (see Photo 4).
  4. When you have reached the back of the pivot reverse the motion, turning your body toward the wall and straightening your legs as you throw the ball at the wall (see Photo 5).
  5. When the ball bounces off the wall, catch it and use its weight to reverse motion and begin pivoting your body and arms back around your side again. Try to keep your arms extended and elbows just slightly bent throughout the motion. Complete 12 reps total then reverse sides and do another 12.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.