Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMedicine Ball
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelAdvanced
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Alternating Medicine Ball Push Up Overview

The alternating medicine ball push up is a variation of the push up and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

The alternating medicine ball push up is typically done in an explosive fashion – and often seen performed by combat fighters as a form of conditioning.

The medicine ball used increases the range of motion slightly on the side it is positioned. This slight elevation will also provide a core challenge as you stabilize the body during the push up range of motion.

Alternating Medicine Ball Push Up Instructions

  1. Assume a tall kneeling position with both hands on a medicine ball, toes tucked, and knees under hips.
  2. Extend one leg at a time and assume a pushup position with the legs straight, feet wider than shoulder width, elbows extended, and head in a neutral position looking at the floor.
  3. Remove one hand from the ball and place it on the floor.
  4. Slowly descend to the floor by retracting the shoulder blades and unlocking the elbows.
  5. Descend until your chest touches the ball.
  6. Push back to the starting point by extending the elbows and driving your palms into the floor.
  7. Switch arms and complete another repetition.
  8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Alternating Medicine Ball Push Up Tips

  1. Your spine should remain rigid throughout the entire exercise, think of the push up as a moving plank.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abs before descending to keep the ribcage neutral.
  3. Keep the chin down and don’t look forward.
  4. Imagine you’re trying to push your thumbs together while completing the movement, this will improve activation of the pecs.
  5. Don’t allow the head to jut forward, the chest should touch at the same time as your nose.
  6. Think about trying to push yourself as far away from the floor as possible.
    • Ensure you push all the way through the floor at the top of the repetition and allow your shoulder blades to move around your ribcage.
    • Most folks cut the repetition short and don’t garner the full benefits as such.