Medicine balls have a long history of being a useful piece of exercise equipment. The contemporary medicine ball has gone a long way from its humble beginnings as animal skins packed with sand, and it now provides a plethora of benefits to fitness enthusiasts at all stages of their fitness journey.
What Is a Medicine Ball?
A medicine ball is a weighted ball used for a variety of workouts. They’re made to assist athletes gain strength and coordination, improve their health, and recover from injuries. Rubber, vinyl, nylon, and leather are among the materials used to make medicine balls. They can weigh anywhere from two to 25 pounds and have a diameter of about 14 inches.
Benefits of Using a Medicine Ball
There is no single explanation for why people utilize medicine balls. They are used for a wide variety of uses, including:
Strengthening Your Body
You can add weight to already tough actions by raising circuits or sequences of movement with a medicine ball. Medicine balls can aid in the development of explosive power for usage in other exercises. By combining a squat and a ball throw, for example, you may improve the power of both your squat and your throwing technique.
In every athletic warm-up, a medicine ball is a must-have item. Athletes frequently use a medicine ball instead of a traditional ball, such as a basketball, to improve their speed and accuracy of repetitive movements. This method can be included into the workouts of fitness enthusiasts of all levels. Slowing down any movement with the weight of a medicine ball forces you to concentrate on the movement and improve your technique. Throwing and catching the ball against a rebounder or with a partner is a fun way to practice this at home. You’ll soon improve your coordination and flexibility, as well as your speed.
Developing a Total-Body Workout
The use of a medicine ball engages your core muscles in a powerful way. Regardless of the type of activity, the added weight will fire up your core, resulting in an effective full-body workout that will burn more calories and develop strength more quickly over time.
Medicine balls are an important instrument in the recovery of injured individuals. The balls provide an impactful yet mild technique to help your body build endurance after an injury or setback since they work the entire body without putting undue strain on your joints. Patients recuperating from knee, shoulder, and even spinal injuries sometimes use medicine balls. Always check with your doctor before starting physical activities throughout your recovery.
How To Use a Medicine Ball
Medicine ball exercises are a great tool for anybody wanting to improve their strength, general fitness, coordination, and flexibility. They are commonly utilized for athletes of certain sports and sports-related ailments. This flexible piece of gear may be utilized with or without a companion. Medicine balls are great for a number of workouts, including Russian twists, crunches, and lunges.
Because medicine balls add weight to your workout, it’s critical to focus on your form in order to avoid injury. Always begin with a full warm-up, as with any activity. Here are some more safety suggestions:
- Select a ball that has the right weight for your fitness level.
- To be sure you’ve picked the right weight, try one rep.
- Avoid arching your back or flaring your ribs.
- When picking up a medicine ball, always bend your knees and maintain your back straight.
- Before you begin any grounded workouts, be sure your lower back is contacting the ground.
Medicine Ball Exercises
You might be unsure what to do with a medicine ball, but there are plenty of useful workouts to try! Now that you’ve learned the fundamentals of medicine balls, try these eight introductory exercises with one:
1. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers provide full-body benefits regardless of whatever version you choose, but adding a medicine ball can help take your mountain climbers to new heights. To use a medicine ball to execute mountain climbers:
- Begin on your knees, holding the medicine ball in both hands.
- Lift yourself into a plank posture while keeping your hands on the ball.
- Take a moment to find your balance.
- Maintain a straight spine and neck while engaging your core muscles.
- Before putting your right knee back down, bring it up to your chest.
- Rep the action with your left knee as quickly as possible.
- For a 30-second set, repeat this action as rapidly as possible.
2. Medicine Ball Circles
Although medicine ball circles appear to be a simple workout, they will quickly burn your shoulders. Make the most of this workout by moving slowly and keeping your balance. To do medicine ball circles, follow these steps:
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the medicine ball held directly overhead.
- Inhale deeply and contract your abdominal muscles.
- Draw a circle with your medicine ball in a clockwise motion with your arms outstretched.
- Throughout the workout, keep your feet in position.
- To finish the action, your core should only rotate slightly.
- Rep this motion eight to ten times clockwise.
- To finish one set, repeat the exercise eight to ten times counterclockwise.
3. Overhead Squat
Overhead squats are meant to work your core by putting your stability to the test. You’ll get an extra advantage of working out your arms, shoulders, and upper back by adding the medicine ball for weight. Correct form and concentration are required for overhead squats. To do an overhead squat with a medicine ball, follow these steps:
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With your arms aligned with your ears, hold the medicine ball over your head.
- Engage your core.
- Bend your knees and drive your hips back to squat — think about sitting in a chair.
- Only squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Always maintain your knees straight over your toes and avoid bending inward.
- Return to the beginning posture by driving your heels into the floor and squeezing your glutes.
- To finish one set, repeat this 12 to 15 times.
The medicine ball slam is an excellent workout for developing strength, power, and cardio all in one. Use a bigger medicine ball to get the most out of this workout. To do a successful medicine ball slam:
- Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Directly over your head, hold the medicine ball.
- Bend your hips as though you were squatting.
- Maintain your arms outstretched and hit the medicine ball hard into the ground.
- Return to your starting position with the ball overhead after picking up the ball.
- Repeat 10 times to complete one set.
Make your basic push-ups more hard by adding a medicine ball to them. This workout will give you a great chest stretch as well as some chest strengthening benefits. Follow these methods to add a medicine ball into your push-up routine:
- Begin by performing a standard push-up.
- Place a medicine ball beneath one hand.
- It’s fine to rest your elbows in a wider position than a traditional push-up, but keep your spine and neck straight.
- One push-up should suffice.
- Switch the medicine ball to your other hand and repeat 10 to 15 times to complete one set.
6. Russian Twist
Russian twists are popular among athletes for their ab-burning properties, but adding a medicine ball takes this exercise to a whole new level. Complete the Russian twist using a medicine ball:
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle and your feet flat on the floor to begin.
- Engage your core as you pick up the medicine ball.
- To transfer the medicine ball to your right side, carefully rotate your body.
- Bring the ball to a complete stop when it is almost touching the ground.
- Return to the middle before repeating on the left side.
- To finish one set, repeat 10 times on each side.
A regular superman workout targets the glutes and lower back. This workout is difficult even without the medicine ball, but with it, you will quickly gain full-body strength. Follow these instructions to perform a superman with a medicine ball:
- Lie down on your stomach, arms outstretched.
- Point your toes toward the wall behind you while holding the medicine ball over your head.
- Throughout, keep your neck and spine straight.
- At all times, make sure your core is engaged.
- Squeeze your glutes and back muscles to lift your upper body and legs off the ground.
- At the apex of the motion, squeeze your muscles for a one-second pause.
- Repeat 10 times to complete one set.
8. Side Lunge
A great way to increase lateral mobility is to do a side lunge with a medicine ball. Follow these steps to conduct a side lunge with a medicine ball:
- Starting from a standing position with your feet around shoulder-width apart is an excellent place to begin.
- Hold the medicine ball at chest height.
- As always, engage your core.
- To the right, take a big, exaggerated step.
- Bend your right knee when your foot makes contact with the floor.
- Sit back into your hips, but keep your left leg straight, as if you were squatting.
- Drive your right foot into the floor to return to your starting position.
- Repeat the procedure on the opposite side.
- To finish one set, repeat 10 times on both sides.
Medicine balls, whether held or tossed, are a terrific way to add variety to your complete body workouts because they can be utilized to do a variety of exercises and engage muscles in new and creative ways.
Take a look at the following: The Rebounder allows the user to vary the workout to make it more fun and difficult. The rebounder’s tilt, which is utilized by pros, may be modified to suit any workout. It’s ideal for use at home or at work.
Circuit training, functional training, and other exercises benefit greatly from the use of the Rebounder.