width=300Besides a new workout outfit, pair of shoes or the latest club tunes, nothing perks up my exercise routine like a new tool to try out. Among my favorite dumbbell swaps? The medicine ball!

Mixing up your usual strength routine can have huge muscle-sculpting benefits. Besides helping weight work seem new and fun, a medicine ball targets your core more than traditional weights since you utilize varying ranges and planes of motion.

Here are three of my favorite exercises that you can try the next time you are at your workout facility or your well-stocked home gym!

Plus, how are you going to toss or bounce a hand weight? The options for exercises with a ball are nearly endless: throw back and forth at chest height with a partner or squat holding a ball and toss it above your head while jumping to show your creativity!

Medicine balls can also be included in circuit programs and many athletes enjoy the functional motion available from a ball that mimics their sport movements.

I enjoy adding medicine ball strength drills to my workouts about once each week, utilizing an eight-pound ball.

Reprinted from Dietsinreview