Quick – think of three exercises starting with ‘M’.
Mountain climbers, muscle ups and ….
It’s not so easy is it?
I’ve been in the fitness industry my whole life and still struggle to get more than five. That’s why we’ve gone to the trouble of creating these best exercise lists starting with each letter of the alphabet.
So here we have an (almost) complete list of exercises that start with M.
Some of the best exercises that start with the letter M are:
- McGill Curl Up
- Medicine Ball Throw
- Military Press
- Monster Walk
- Mountain Climber
- Medicine Ball Russian Twist
- Muscle Ups
- Machine Chest Fly
- Medicine Ball Squat
- Medicine Ball Push Us
- Medicine Ball Burpees
- Martial Arts Kick
- Medicine Ball Crossover Step-Up
Whether you want to do the alphabet workout or simply inject some variety into your workout program, you’ve now got no excuses when it comes to the 13th letter of the alphabet.
In a few cases, we cheated here — lots of exercises can be done on a Machine or modified with a Medicine ball.
Still — behold the list, and why each exercise deserves a spot here!
1. McGill Curl Up
The McGill Curl Up is a variation of the standard crunch exercise that is stricter than the original. It does a great job of isolating the lower portion of the abdominal wall.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your legs out straight. Place your hands behind your lower back. Now bend your left knee and draw the foot in so it is alongside your right knee.
- Engage your lower abs as you curl up into a crunch position. Hold for a second and then slowly lower.
- Keep the neck long and the eyes gazing far out beyond your bent knee.
- Lower back
2. Medicine Ball Throw
The medicine ball throw is a functional, explosive movement. It adds the explosive power of a medicine ball to provide rotational drive that can help you build stamina and core stability. I
t can be performed alone or with a partner. If you don’t have a medicine ball you can use any type of weighted ball.
- Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest.
- Position your left foot behind you, heel raised, and, keeping your torso stable, raise the ball above your right shoulder.
- Bend the knee of your back leg, lifting your foot off the floor as you throw the ball forward. Throw the ball from your center. The abs should be engaged from start to finish, initiating the throw. Do not shift your weight back into your heels.
- Retrieve the ball and repeat on the opposite side.
- Anterior (front) deltoid
3. Military Press
The military press is one of the six fundamental strength moves. It is one of the best things you can do to develop strength and muscle size in your upper body. The main emphasis will be on the shoulders.
This exercise will help you to develop rounded, wide shoulders.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a pair of dumbbells in your hands at your sides.
- Engage your deltoids as you bring the weights up to shoulder level, with your palms facing forward.
- Brace your core as you press the dumbbells directly overhead.
- Lower under control and repeat.
- Anterior (front) deltoids
4. Monster Walk
The monster walk is a functional exercise that combines muscle activation through a complete range of motion with cardiovascular conditioning.
To make the exercise more challenging, wear ankle weights.
- Stand tall with your arms by your sides and feet shoulder width apart.
- Engage your core and legs and swing the right leg out in front of you (do not bend the knee).
- Reach the left arm towards the right leg and flex the right foot. Use a swinging motion in the legs and arms.
5. Mountain Climbers
The mountain climber exercise simulates climbing a steep mountain. It is a combination of cardio endurance, fat burning, and strengthening for the core muscles.
The exercise requires a lot of your body’s stabilizer muscles to work together to keep you balanced.
- Get down on the floor in the top plank position. Your palms and toes should be the only contact with the floor. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart, your body in a straight line from head to toe, and your feet about hip-width apart.
- Draw your left knee up toward your left elbow.
- Immediately kick the left leg back and repeat with the right knee.
- Continue alternating back and forth in a smooth, rapid movement.
- Keep your hips down as you do this exercise.
- Hip flexors
6. Medicine Ball Russian Twist
The Russian Twist is an effective exercise to target the obliques at the sides of your waist. Adding a medicine ball to the exercise increases resistance to make you stronger.
The suspended leg position also improves lower body stabilization.
- Sit on the floor and hold a medicine ball at your chest with both hands. Bend your knees and raise your feet until your shins are parallel to the floor. Lean back and engage your core to stay upright.
- Exhale and draw your navel to your spine. Use your core to rotate your upper body, bringing the medicine ball to your left side.
- Inhale and return to the center, then exhale and rotate to your right. Inhale and return to center again. That is one rep.
- Alternate rotating to each side for the required rep count.
- Lower back
7. Muscle Ups
The muscle up is an advanced calisthenics exercise that is great for strengthening the upper body. At the same, this move will strengthen your gripping power and boost your overall mobility.
The exercise essentially sees you moving from a pull-up to dipping action. This sees you working your shoulders through their full range.
- Stand under a pull-up bar and reach up to grab the bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip, placing your thumbs over the bar.
- Hang from the bar with extended legs, tight glutes and quadriceps, and an engaged core. Draw your shoulders down and engage your lats. Tuck your chin down.
- Pull yourself up to the bar quickly, leaning back a little and letting the legs move forward.
- Pull up so that your chest is above the bar. Now lean into the bar and push forward.
- Straighten the elbows to come into a top dip position.
- Lower under control and repeat.
- Latissimus dorsi
8. Machine Chest Fly
The machine chest fly, also known as the pec dec fly, focuses on the muscles of the chest and shoulders.
Using a machine allows you to operate within a safe and effective training environment.
Before you begin this exercise, it is important to position the seat correctly to best fit your body structure and desired arm path. This will minimize any shoulder discomfort during the exercise.
Your arms should be able to move easily between the midline and out wide at the sides, parallel to the floor, in a controlled flying manner.
- Set the weights and adjust the height of the seat. Sit down and take up a stable, comfortable stance with your feet flat on the floor and your back flat against the seat pad.
- Stretch your arms out to the sides and grasp the handles.
- Inhale and activate your abs and upper back muscles. Breathe out as you engage the muscles of your chest and shoulders to drive your upper arms across your chest toward your sternum; your arms will naturally straighten.
- Breathe in to engage your abs. As you exhale, engage the muscles of your upper back to assist in flying your arms back to the starting position, bending your elbows and keeping tension in your chest.
- Anterior (front) deltoids
9. Medicine Ball Squat
The medicine ball squat allows you to get the benefits of the resistance squat exercise without placing compressive pressure on your spine.
This is also a safer version than the standard barbell squat – if you are unable to complete the squat, simply drop the ball.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended out horizontally with a medicine ball in your hands. Shift your weight so that it is poised over the balls of your feet, towards your toes.
- Bend your knees so that they track above your ankles, and keep your heels down. You should feel the work in the quads and hamstrings. Go down to a parallel squat position.
- Push into the heels to return to the start position. Maintain an upright torso position throughout the movement. If you have a tendency to round your back use a slant board or wear weightlifting shoes with a 0.75 inch raised heel.
10. Medicine Ball Push-Ups
The push-up is the classic upper body strengthening movement. Adding a medicine ball increases the range of motion and introduces the element of instability to make the exercise more challenging.
- Get down on the floor face down and assume the top plank position, with your right hand resting on a medicine ball. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart, your body in a straight line from head to toe, and your feet about hip-width apart.
- Bend your elbows to bring your chest down toward the floor, stopping about an inch short of it.
- Push back to the start position.
- Now roll the medicine ball across to your left hand.
- Perform your next rep.
- Continue rolling the medicine ball back and forth as you complete your rep count.
11. Medicine Ball Burpees
The burpee is a challenging bodyweight exercise that works your entire body while also giving you a great cardio workout.
Adding a medicine ball provides an extra element of intensity.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a medicine ball held in front of you.
- Squat down and place the ball on the floor between your legs.
- Kick your legs back to go into a plank position.
- Immediately bring your feet back to the ball and jump up into the air to return to the start position.
- To make the exercise more challenging, perform a push-up after kicking the legs back to assume a plank position.
- Latissimus dorsi
- Hip Flexors
12. Martial Arts Kick
The martial arts kick develops balance and power in the legs and core. You should do these kicks in a repetitive, flowing motion.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold your fists at chest level.
- Pull the right knee into the body, engaging the core and hamstrings.
- Quickly kick the right leg out, turning the hips to face sideways and flexing the foot.
- After doing the standard kick for a while, advance to the roundhouse kick. Face forward in a staggered stance with your right leg open behind the left. In one move, strongly thrust the hips to the left side and kick your right leg out to the side toward the front, bringing your leg up very high.
- Front deltoids
13. Medicine Ball Crossover Step Up
The medicine ball crossover step up is a combination of agility, lower body strengthening, and cardio exercise.
You will need to set up two step-up boxes alongside each other with a distance of about six inches between them.
- Stand alongside the step-up boxes holding a medicine ball at your center.
- Lift your right leg across your body, placing it up onto the top of the box.
- Stand tall on your right leg, and step up.
- Bring the left foot to the second box.
- Cross the right leg down to the floor.
This article has provided you with a baker’s dozen worth of exercises starting with the letter M. Make use of them as you see fit, whether it’s to do letter-based fitness games and activities or simply to bring some variety to your workouts.
You can never go wrong with an Alphabet Workout if you’re looking to switch up your routine!
For more letter guides, check out:
Hope this helps!