The medicine ball is known for other terms such as fitness ball, stability ball, med ball, or an exercise ball. Medicine balls are mostly used for health rehabilitation and strength training. They are beneficial to athletes who need to train and achieve explosive power for their sport and recondition their body and strength in case of injuries.
Weight and Make
Medicine balls have been around for thousands of years and yet are still relevant and effective today. This weighted ball is typically made of leather, rubber, nylon, vinyl, polyurethane, and other materials to make it durable and heavy. It usually weighs around 2 pounds to 25 pounds with a shoulder-width diameter in size. Medicine balls are filled with sand to provide the weight needed.
Benefits of Using Medicine Balls
Research studies have shown that one can improve their throwing skills in terms of distance when a medicine ball is used for resistance training for twelve weeks. At the same time, the medicine ball interval training can dispense the same amount of exercise load as intermittent running or cycling.
It’s fun to use a medicine ball as you can throw and catch it during training, unlike other gym weights. Medicine balls come in different weights and varying sizes, providing you with options for your exercises. You can utilize the medicine ball for almost all exercise positions and movements – standing, seated, lying down, and doing static or dynamic movements.
Medicine balls are also one of the safest gym equipment you can use. They have a low risk of injury, and they won’t damage the floor when you drop them on the ground, unlike the dumbbells and kettlebells. And because the med ball is also used for rehabilitation, you can be assured that your joints are stress-free as you work on action and power during training.
Choosing a Medicine Ball
Not all medicine balls are created equal. Aside from personal preference, you have to ensure that the weighted ball is suitable for the movement you’re performing and your capability to carry it. If you’re a beginner with this equipment, consider picking the weight that is heavy enough to make your movements a tad slower compared to your motion when you’re not carrying weight at all.
Weighted balls are fitness accessories that you can use to amplify your workout routine. So, it’s safe to say that you can use a medicine ball for a full-body workout. It’s a fun alternative to kettlebells and dumbbells to keep your abs, arms, shoulders, chest, back, leg, and glutes in shape.
Medicine Ball Workouts
Exercising with a medicine ball does not require you to be at a commercial gym. You can do simple exercises while at home or at the workplace when taking a break. Some exercises are done in a sitting position.
Exercises in Sitting Position
These medicine ball exercises can be performed either sitting or standing. But these basic movements only require the movements of your arms and shoulders. All you need is to prepare a stable chair to sit on.
Medicine Ball Exchange
This movement is perfect as a warm-up exercise for your arms and shoulders. It’s a simple workout, but it will surely get your heart rate pumped up. As you perform the ball exchange, you will also feel the burn in your abs, provided that you keep a proper posture while doing the exercise. Beginners are advised to pick a medicine ball around 4 to 6 lbs, allowing controlled and slow movements. As you progress your level of strength, you can use a heavier med ball.
Whether sitting or standing, make sure that your spine is upright and the core is engaged when you do this exercise. Hold the ball in your right hand, level on the side waist. Lift your arms simultaneously – the right arm to pass the ball to the left arm overhead. Return to the first position with the ball now in the left hand and continuously exchange the ball.
Medicine Ball Triceps Extension
This exercise is similar to the triceps extension you do with a dumbbell. It could be a more explosive movement if you throw the ball to a workout partner – something you can’t do with dumbbells. It’s a workout that is fun and builds strength in your shoulder and arms.
To do this workout, maintain a posture where your spine is upright while your abs are engaged. Hold the medicine ball with both hands with your arms fully extended, and the ball is positioned overhead. Lower the ball towards your back by bending your elbows, forming a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your triceps when lifting the medicine ball back again on the starting position.
Medicine Ball Exercises for your Chest and Back
Medicine Ball Rolling Push-Ups
Push-up is one of the difficult workouts in a training program. It’s not guaranteed that the medicine ball will make it easier, but it will certainly bring more challenges to the table as you use a medicine ball during this exercise. Keep your core tight and position right when performing this workout. Put the medicine ball on the floor and put one of your palms above it as you do the exercise. After one arm, roll the ball to the other palm and repeat the push-up.
There may be some point in your life you wanted to fly like superman. Well, except this exercise will not make you experience that. But you will surely build the strength that you aim for by doing this exercise. As starting position, lie facedown with your arms extended overhead like superman while both hands grabbing the medicine ball.
To begin the workout, slowly lift your arms and legs at the same time as high as possible, engaging your core and back muscles. Hold the position for a second, then return to the starting position.
Medicine balls offer fun but effective support for your fitness and health needs. It provides explosive power training to strengthen and develop your endurance as needed. It’s a safe alternative for other gym weights that you can throw and catch with a workout partner. You can slam it on the floor without worrying about injuries to you and your floor.
Aside from power and endurance, medicine balls can also help you with your hand-eye coordination. There are various exercises where you can use a medicine ball to work on your full body.