The personal trainer threw a round black ball at her, shouting “catch!” An “oomph” escaped the new member’s lips, before she powered up and threw it back to the waiting trainer. This might be a new form of exercise for the woman on the receiving end of this medicine ball, but it is far from a new tool in workout regimens.
WHAT IS A WEIGHTED MEDICINE BALL?
Medicine balls are weighted balls with a long history. First used over 3,000 years ago in Ancient Persia, soldiers used them to improve endurance and to help in training exercises before going into battle. Hippocrates also found them of use, and had them sewn out of animal hides for rehabilitation purposes. More recently, their image is linked to boxers and wrestlers strengthening their abdominal muscles, by having them dropped on their torsos. All of these uses are still valid today.
A typical medicine ball is usually made out of leather or vinyl, and often weighted with sand, although you can also find them constructed of rubber, neoprene, and other products. They can weigh from 2-25 pounds, depending upon who is going to use them and for what purpose, ie. Someone with smaller hands and less physical strength would have a lighter ball, vs. someone with larger hands and more core strength would be able to handle a heavier ball. Newer medicine balls are even being constructed with handles to improve maneuverability and overall handling.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A MEDICINE BALL?
So now that you have a medicine ball, what do you do with it? Well, there is an infinite array of uses for the humble medicine ball. Simple medicine ball exercises can be as easy as adding it to your morning sit-ups; Lie on the floor and hold the medicine ball above you while you perform your sit ups. If you have a partner handy, you could have them throw you the ball when you are upright, lower to the ground with it on your chest, then rise up again and throw it back to your partner. Either way, this is a simple exercise that you will feel in your core.
There are many more ways to incorporate the medicine ball into your workout regime though. Here at Premier Fitness Camp we work medicine ball workouts into our regular routine. We do this in many ways such as doing a spinal twist either sitting or standing, moving the ball from the left to right of your body. Squats, with it held out in front of you, help to focus your core muscles as well. Try adding in a stability ball or yoga ball to challenge you further; lie on your back on the stability ball with the medicine ball held above you as you perform crunches. Your abs will get the workout that you have been looking for. Don’t stop with merely holding onto your medicine ball though. An ideal way to increase your strength and endurance is by incorporating throwing it.
WATCH THIS VIDEO OF OUR PREMIER FITNESS CAMP GUESTS
DOING A ROCKIN’ MEDICINE BALL WORKOUT:
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