If you’re looking for a simple form of exercise to help you tone your core muscles and increase your strength, balance, coordination and endurance and promote explosive power, medicine ball workouts fit the bill.
Medicine balls were one of the first fitness tools. Dating back to at least 1000BC, they were used by athletes in Ancient Greece, by Persian wrestlers, and by gladiators preparing for combat.
Fast forward to more recent times and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point has been using medicine balls as part of their training for over two hundred years.
MAIN BENEFITS OF MEDICINE BALL WORKOUTS
Inexpensive & Portable
A versatile training aid, Medicine Balls are useful for both indoor and outdoor training. This makes medicine ball workouts a great option if you are on a tight budget or if you’re looking for a simple and effective tool that will help you improve your fitness.
Usually associated with exercising the core – including the abs, back, hips and buttocks – there are also medicine ball workouts that focus on the upper and lower body muscles. So by varying the way you use the medicine ball, you can get a total body workout.
Regularly throwing a medicine ball will improve your hand-eye coordination, balance, and flexibility.
Develops explosive power
Medicine ball workouts are excellent for developing explosive power, that being the ability to exert the maximal amount of power in the shortest possible period of time. Explosive power will help even the most basic exerciser get the most from their workout and perform at their best.
A medicine ball is particularly beneficial in the rehabilitation of spinal, shoulder and knee injuries. A light weight ball can be employed early on, and a heavier one as the recovery process progresses.
Training partner friendly and fun
Group medicine ball workouts involve passing the ball back and forth between two or more training partner. Depending on how the passes are made, different muscle groups will be engaged.
To sum it up: The medicine ball for fitness is very versatile, can be used in many strength exercises in place of dumbbells and you only need ONE to get a great workout that combines both strength and cardio.
Here are just a few awesome medicine ball moves!
Beginners, go through this circuit two times, 30 seconds per exercise. If you’re more advanced do this up to four times and 45 seconds per exercise.
Squat and Raise - Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and toes turned out slightly.
Hold your medicine ball low and in front of you with straight arms.
Descend into your squat with the goal of touching the floor with your medicine ball.
As you come out of the squat raise the medicine ball over head with straight arms. Lower ball and repeat.
Soccer Taps - Place the medicine ball on the ground in front of you.
Shift your weight from side to side as you lift a leg up and tap the top of the ball with your toe.
Make sure you bring your knee all the way up so you hit the top of the ball and not kick it on the side.
Lunge and Twist - Hold your medicine ball at chest height, close to the body.
Take a forward lunge with the right foot, hold the lunge and twist to your right. Return the ball to center and then come out of the lunge to return to the starting position.
The lunge forward with the left foot, holding while you twist to your left. Return to center and then back to start.
Continue alternating sides.
Medicine Ball Push Ups - Get in push up position with a medicine ball under one hand and the other flat on the ground.
Perform a push up, then roll the ball to the other hand.
This can be done on your toes or knees, just keep your body straight and don’t engage your hips.
Medicine Ball Slams - Use a rubber medicine ball that will bounce.
Hold it high above your head then throw it forcefully down to the ground.
Keep your arms straight and focus on using your shoulders and back for the slam.
Check out my previous blog - my top 5 pieces of fitness equipment for on the go - for more awesome pieces of equipment you can use for your workouts!
Click on the link to see options for medicine balls - Medicine Balls.
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