Exercise of the Week: Rotational Medicine Ball Lift/Chop

 In Mobility & Movement Blog

Luke Lewitzke

Certified A.C.E. (American Counsel on Exercise) Personal Trainer

Weight and Lifestyle Management Specialist











The Rotational Medicine Ball Lift/Chop is going to work the entire body, but primarily the Obliques, Transverse Abdominus, and Spinal Erectors in the Core, the Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, and Calves in the legs, and the Anterior Deltoid in the shoulder. The Obliques and Transverse Abdominus are engaged in stabilizing the spine as the weight transitions through the movement. The Spinal Erectors are working to help extend the spine as you stand up. The Glutes and Hamstrings are primarily working on stabilizing the hips in the downward chop movement while the Quadriceps and the opposite Calf are working to provide power on the upward lift. The Anterior Deltoid of the shoulder is working on lifting and extending the weight up and away from the body.

Performing the Rotational Medicine Ball Lift/Chop

  • You can perform this exercise with no weight or holding a dumbbell or medicine ball (like pictured) but start with no weight.
  • Stand tall, holding your hands or object at your waist with your right foot just slightly in front of your left foot but with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Sit down into your hips as you reach your hands or object over your right foot.
  • Push into the ground and slowly extend up, rotating your torso, hips, and feet, lifting your hands or object up to your left shoulder.
  • Repeat the motion up to 10 times before switching your feet positions and moving the other direction.
  • Start small with the squat and rotation and reach and gradually increase.

Muscles Worked



A regression for the Rotational Medicine Ball Lift/Chop is to perform the movement kneeling on one knee with the opposite foot out in front. This will take the lower body out of play for the most part to help protect the lower back or knees. Just remember to lift the ball or weight up over the front leg and down towards the down knee.


  • Don’t perform the Rotational Medicine Ball Lift/Chop if you experience any pain in the lumbar spine while rotating your torso and hips.
  • Don’t perform the Rotational Medicine Ball Lift/Chop if you experience pain or discomfort in your shoulder as you lift the weight.