15 Exercises That Start With M

15 Exercises That Start With M

Are you feeling stuck in a workout rut or just starting your fitness journey and unsure where to begin?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the endless array of exercises available, and sometimes simply choosing where to start can be a challenge.

You might wonder which movements will effectively target different muscle groups or how you can add variety to your routine while still making progress.

This article is designed as your ultimate guide through 15 dynamic exercises that all start with the letter “M.”

1. Medicine Ball Throw

Ready to add some dynamism into your workout with a hefty dose of fun? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the Medicine Ball Throw—a plyometric exercise that not only spices up strength training but also targets those key muscle groups.

How To Do:

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold the medicine ball with both hands in front of you at chest level.
  • Lower into a semi-squat position and then quickly extend your legs and arms to throw the ball forward against a sturdy wall or to a partner.
  • Catch the returning ball on its rebound or retrieve it if thrown without a wall or partner, preparing for your next rep.

Muscles Worked

As you throw that medicine ball with gusto, here’s the lineup of muscles getting a workout:

  • Anterior (front) deltoid
  • Core powerhouses (abs and lower back)
  • Gluteal muscles
  • Quadriceps
  • Calves


What’s in it for you besides feeling like an athletic champ? Here’s what:

  • Explosive Power: This motion creates an explosive force that’s great for sports or any activity that requires a sudden burst of strength.
  • Rotational Drive: As you twist and throw, you’re boosting your body’s ability to rotate powerfully—a key skill in many sports.
  • Stamina: Continuous throws will have you huffing and puffing, which means your stamina is getting a serious boost.
  • Core Stability: Your core is the command center for this move, ensuring each throw is as controlled as it is powerful.

2. Military Press

The Military Press is a powerhouse move targeting your upper body, specifically hitting your shoulder area to build those desired muscle peaks.

Unlike other shoulder presses, the military version emphasizes strict form with less help from other muscle groups, making sure the spotlight stays on your shoulders and triceps.

How To Do

  • First things first, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping a pair of dumbbells at your sides or barbell.
  • Now, hoist those weights up to your shoulders—palms daringly facing forward, elbows a perfect point down.
  • Push those dumbbells up, straight over your head, engaging your core and keep that back stalwartly straight.
  • Once you’ve reached your peak, control your descent back to your shoulders. That’s one rep

Muscles Worked

  • Deltoids: These cap your shoulders and are the stars of the show.
  • Trapezius: They’re pulling the backstage ropes, adding to that upper body grandeur.
  • Triceps: Not just supporters; they’re pushing you to those weighty heights.
  • Core: The unsung hero, your core keeps the performance balanced and controlled.

3. Monster Walk

The Monster Walk is a resistance training exercise that enhances your hip and glute muscles, and it can be done anywhere with just a resistance band—or even without any equipment.

How To Do

  • Begin by placing a resistance band just above your ankles, ensuring it has enough tension to provide decent resistance throughout the movement.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, engage your core, and slightly bend your knees to start in a semi-squat position.
  • Step out to the side with one foot, maintaining tension on the band, then follow with the other foot to return to shoulder width.
  • Continue these side steps for 10 – 15 reps on each side, focusing on keeping your movements controlled and lateral.

Muscles Worked

  • Gluteus Medius: Vital for hip stabilization, located on the outer edge of the buttocks.
  • Gluteus Maximus: The main extensor muscle of the hip.
  • Quadriceps: Front thigh muscles that help with knee extension.
  • Hamstrings: Back thigh muscles involved in hip and knee movements.
  • Hip Abductors: These muscles stabilize your pelvis when you walk or stand on one leg.

This exercise is a holistic approach to firing up muscles crucial for lower body strength.

4. McGill Curl Up

Ever heard of an ab exercise that’s gentle on your back yet fiercely challenges your core?

Meet the McGill Curl Up, your go-to move for a stronger midsection. Named after spine biomechanics expert Dr. Stuart McGill, this exercise tweaks the traditional curl-up for better safety and effectiveness.

How To Do

  • Lie flat on your back with legs extended.
  • Slide your hands, palms down, under the arch of your lower back for support.
  • Bend your left knee, placing your foot flat on the ground near your right knee.
  • Focus on engaging your lower abs as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor.
  • Maintain a lengthened neck and gaze forward, beyond your bent knee.
  • Hold the lifted position for a moment, then gently lower down.
  • Complete your set and then switch to bend the right knee.

Muscles Worked

  • Abdominals (Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis)
  • Lower Back Muscles (supports core engagement)


  • Boosts Core Stability: Provides a solid foundation for your body’s movement.
  • Encourages Core Endurance: Prepares you for holding postures and positions longer.
  • Reduces Spinal Stress: Minimizes compression, thanks to the leg positioning.
  • Prevents Back Injuries: Strengthens core muscles which protect the lower back.

5. Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose, or Tadasana, is a foundation for many yoga practices, offering several health benefits. This standing pose aids in developing balance and stability while enhancing mindfulness.

How To Do

  • Begin by standing with your feet together, big toes touching and heels slightly apart.
  • Press down through all four corners of your feet, feeling the earth’s support beneath you.
  • Engage your thigh muscles gently to lift the kneecaps, being careful not to lock your knees.
  • Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and draw your belly in lightly.
  • Open up your chest and roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears.
  • Extend your arms along the sides of the body with palms facing towards or touching the thighs, fingers active.
  • Mobilize energy through the crown of your head as if an invisible string were pulling you upwards to elongate the spine.
  • Focus on steady breathing to deepen body awareness and promote relaxation.

Muscles Worked

  • Calves – Keeping you stable and grounded
  • Quads – They work to keep your kneecaps lifted
  • Glutes – Help in aligning your pelvis
  • Core – Acts as your center of strength
  • Back – Works to keep your spine elongated

Mountain Pose serves not just your body, but your mind too, paving the way for a harmonious yoga practice and day.

6. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are like the Swiss Army knife of exercises—packing cardio and strength training into one dynamic move.

Whether you’re on the floor or using an elevated surface, this exercise is a powerhouse for core strengthening and calorie burning.

How To Do

  • Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, keeping your body straight and your feet together.
  • Drive your right knee toward your chest, maintaining your left leg straight and your hips even.
  • Now switch legs quickly, pulling your left knee to your chest as your right leg shoots back.
  • Keep the rhythm going, alternating legs while keeping your core tight and your back flat. Speed it up for an added cardio challenge!

Muscles Worked

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Core (abs and obliques)
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip flexors

7. Medicine Ball Russian Twist

Switching from the stillness of Mountain Pose, we turn up the intensity with the Medicine Ball Russian Twist. This dynamic exercise focuses on rotational movements to enhance core muscular strength and overall fitness.

How To Do

  • Sit on the floor or a bench with knees bent and feet flat.
  • Grip a medicine ball with both hands at chest level, elbows bent slightly.
  • Lean back a tad and lift those feet off the ground, finding balance on your tailbone. Engage those abs—they’re key here!
  • Now twist to the right, bringing the ball down to tap the floor or bench by your hip.
  • Swing it back across to the left, doing the same thing.
  • Keep the motion going, alternating sides, and maintain a straight back throughout.
  • Remember, you’re not just flailing side to side—the control and strength come from your core.

Muscles Worked

  • Obliques: Side performers that add definition.
  • Rectus Abdominis: Your front-and-center abs.
  • Transverse Abdominis: Deep core muscles that act as your stability guru.
  • Lower Back: Supporting act that keeps your posture in check.

8. Modified Push-Ups

Modified push-ups are a valuable addition to your workout routine, targeting multiple muscle groups while reducing strain on the body.

They provide an excellent option for building strength in the triceps and chest, enhancing core stability, and engaging shoulder muscles.

How To Do

  • Start in a traditional push-up position but rest your knees on the ground to reduce the weight your upper body has to lift.
  • Keep your spine straight from your head to your knees – a flat line indicates proper form.
  • Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart; this activates more of the chest muscles during the exercise.
  • Lower yourself by bending your elbows until they reach a 90 – degree angle, ensuring that your triceps work efficiently.
  • Push back up through the palms of your hands until arms are extended but not locked, keeping chest and core muscles engaged throughout the movement.
  • Perform repetitions slowly to maximize muscle engagement and build core strength over time.
  • Use modifications such as elevating hands on a bench or wall to decrease difficulty if needed, allowing you to maintain form without undue strain.

Muscles Worked

  • Chest – Your pectorals are the life of the get-together here.
  • Shoulders – They join in, stabilizing the movement.
  • Triceps – These guys straighten your arms with every push.
  • Core – Always invited, they work to keep your body in a straight line.

9. Medicine Ball Burpees

Medicine Ball Burpees combine the intensity of traditional burpees with the added resistance of a medicine ball to challenge your strength, coordination, and endurance.

This exercise is a dynamic mix of plyometrics, cardio, and strength training, making it a powerful full body workout.

How To Do

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball at your chest.
  • Squat down and place the ball on the floor in front of you.
  • Jump or step your feet back into a plank position, ensuring your body remains straight and your hands are on the ball.
  • Jump or step your feet back to the ball, then stand up and lift the ball over your head. For a challenge, add a jump and clap the ball at the top of the movement.
  • Lower the ball back to your chest and repeat for the desired number of reps.
  • Feel free to modify the exercise by omitting the jump for a less intense workout.

Muscles Worked

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Core
  • Back

This exercise really does get your whole body involved!

10. Machine Chest Fly

Looking to sculpt your chest and shoulders? The Machine Chest Fly is a stable exercise in many gym routines, designed to isolate and target your chest muscles efficiently.

How To Do

  • Sit on the pec deck machine, back against the pad, feet firmly on the floor.
  • Adjust the seat so the handles align with your chest.
  • Grasp the handles with your palms facing inward and elbows lightly bent.
  • Engage your chest, bringing the handles together in front, keeping your shoulders relaxed and back straight.
  • Return slowly, feeling that stretch across your chest.
  • Aim for your desired rep count.
  • Alternatively, you can perform this on a cable crossover machine, following a similar pattern of motion.

Muscles Worked

  • Pectoralis major: The muscle fan spanning across your chest.
  • Pectoralis minor: The smaller chest muscle underneath the pectoralis major.
  • Anterior deltoid: The front part of your shoulder.
  • Biceps: They play a lesser role, but still engage during the movement.

11. Mason Twist

Get ready to fire up your core with the Mason Twist, a dynamic exercise that targets your abs, especially those twisting muscles on the side of your abdomen, better known as obliques.

Whether you choose to add weights or rely solely on the power of your own body, this move is sure to amp up your core routine.

How To Do

  • Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Lean back slightly to create a V – shape with your torso and thighs.
  • Clasp your hands together or hold a weight in front of you for added resistance.
  • Twist your torso to the right, bringing your arms or weight alongside your body. Ensure you’re engaging your obliques as you twist.
  • Quickly reverse the direction, twisting to the left side. Your abdominals should control this motion throughout.
  • Keep alternating sides in a rapid but controlled manner. Your biceps and forearms also get involved as they work to maintain grip on the weight.
  • Aiming for fluidity, ensure each twist engages the entire core complex including lower back muscles that stabilize you during this weighted workout.

Muscles Worked

  • Obliques: Your side abs, the guardians of your waistline twists.
  • Rectus Abdominis: The front abs, dreaming of that six-pack showcase.
  • Transverse Abdominis: The deepest abs, your natural weight belt.
  • Lower Back Muscles: Supporting you so you can keep twisting and not just shout about it.

12. Medicine Ball Squat

Moving from the core-focused Mason Twist, we now explore the dynamic Medicine Ball Squat, combining lower body strength with coordination.

This powerful exercise not only tones your legs but also engages your upper body, making it an all-encompassing workout.

How To Do

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball in front of you at chest level.
  • Be brave and push those hips back, bending your knees to lower into a squat. Don’t forget: chest up, back flat like a tabletop!
  • Now, the fun part—press the medicine ball up over your head with your arms fully extended, embracing that power.
  • Bring the medicine ball back down to your chest gracefully and rise back up, squeezing those glutes as you stand.
  • Aim for a set number of reps and repeat this mighty sequence to feel the burn and the joy.

Muscles Worked

  • Quads and glutes
  • Hamstrings and calves

13. Modified Burpees

Modified burpees provide a less strenuous alternative to the traditional exercise. They maintain the benefits of full movement while lowering the impact on your joints.

How To Do

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower into a squat position and place your hands on the ground in front of you.
  • Instead of jumping back into a plank, step one foot at a time back into a plank position.
  • Hold the plank for a moment to engage core muscles.
  • Step your feet back to the squat position one at a time.
  • Stand up straight, then reach your arms overhead to complete one repetition.
  • Repeat this modified burpee for several reps, depending on your workout intensity.

Muscles Worked

  • Quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves
  • Chest, shoulders, and triceps
  • Core and back: Your abdominals, obliques, and lower back are constantly at work maintaining stability and control.

14. Medicine Ball Push-Ups

Looking for a full-body workout that spices up the traditional push-up?

Say hello to the Medicine Ball Push-Ups! Engaging your core, obliques, and abs while working on stability and strength, this exercise is a surefire way to add an extra challenge to your upper body routine.

How To Do

  • Find a medicine ball and place it on the floor.
  • Assume a plank position with your hands on the medicine ball, positioning it directly under your chest.
  • Keep your feet together, body straight, and core engaged as if you’re preparing for a standard push-up.
  • Now, bend at the elbows to lower your chest toward the ball. Remember, a tight core and flat back are your best friends here.
  • Push back up to your starting position, fully extending your arms.
  • Repeat for your chosen number of reps.
  • Want to up the ante? Try using two medicine balls, placing one under each hand, or for an ultimate balance test, position your feet on a ball as well.

Muscles Worked

  • Chest: You’re putting those pectoral muscles to work every time you lower and raise your body.
  • Shoulders: Your deltoids are getting a workout from stabilizing your body.
  • Triceps: Extending your arms to push back up is where your triceps come into play.
  • Core: Keeping a flat back and a tight core throughout is essential, giving your entire core a serious workout.

15. Medicine Ball Slams

Have you ever wanted to combine cardio, strength, and stress relief in one quick, heart-pumping workout?

Medicine Ball Slams are a dynamic and explosive exercise that engages multiple muscle groups. They provide a challenging full body workout that enhances both muscle activation and cardiovascular conditioning.

How To Do

  • Start by picking the right weight for your medicine ball; it should be heavy enough to challenge you but not so heavy that you can’t control it.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the medicine ball with both hands in front of your body.
  • Lift the ball above your head, fully extending your arms and engaging your core muscles.
  • Slam the ball down to the ground as hard as possible, bending at your hips and knees while keeping your back straight.
  • As you release the ball, follow through with your arms, ensuring you engage your lats and shoulders fully.
  • Quickly squat down to pick up the ball, using proper squat form to protect your lower back.
  • Immediately lift the ball overhead again, preparing for another slam.

Muscles Worked

Your entire body gets in on the action. The core, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves set your foundation.

As you throw the ball down, your chest, shoulders, and triceps jump to the occasion. And let’s not forget the back muscles that get a slice of the workout pie.


As you’ve explored a variety of M-themed exercises, you’ve equipped yourself with a versatile workout arsenal.

These movements target key muscle groups such as the core, including abs and obliques, and enhance stability, twist capability, and overall strength.

With these exercises, you’ve got the chance to mix up your routine, keeping both your muscles and your mind engaged. Thinking of how to slot them in your schedule?

Remember that fitness is a journey, not just a destination. So, have a laugh, challenge yourself, and mix things into your routine with these M exercises.

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