10/09/2012 11:56 EDT

Medicine Ball Exercises: 5 Ways To Work The Equipment Into Your Routine

There's no question that gyms tend to have a lot of "stuff" in them — between cardio machines and group exercises classes, the sheer amount of fitness being thrust at you when you walk into a club can be completely intimidating.

But there are also a ton of little pieces of equipment that can help you out that you may never have considered, possibly because no one explained how they work, and possibly because they kind of look scary.

In this week's How To, Anna Renderer from FitSugarTV shows five exercises using a medicine ball that can easily be incorporated into a gym routine that work everything from the abs to the arms. While yes, it may feel a bit awkward at first, and it can take some time to find the right weight for you, the medicine ball is pretty fantastic way to get a ton of resistance training in without necessarily heading into the weight room.

The medicine balls, those weighted balls that look like something between a soccer ball and a basketball, are often ignored at the gym thanks to their "athletic" look. Sometimes shown in terrifying movie sequences where the muscled protagonist bulks up heftily, medicine balls can actually work for anyone. Coming in weights from two to 25 pounds, these versatile (and easy to store) balls rely on a combination of weight and stability exercises to strengthen almost every muscle in the body.

And heck, if slamming down that hefty ball onto the ground isn't the best way to get rid of some of your extra stress, we're not sure what is.

Do you have a favourite exercise with the medicine ball? Let us know in the comments below!

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