The Best Medicine Ball Exercises
Medicine ball exercises are an awesome way to get a great workout, no matter what your fitness goal is; that much is for sure. In order to really make the most fo them though, it;'s always a good idea to do a little homework before you use them.
They have a range of benefits you can take advantage of, and they help in ways you wouldn't imagine. you can use them instead of the things like dumbbells, or use completely unique exercises with them. The ball is in your court (so sorry).
To get the ball rolling (that's 2), let's take a look at why medicine balls and their exercises are so useful.
Medicine Ball Benefits
The first thing when looking at medicine balls and their practicality is the variation of sizes that they have to offer. Each of them have their own benefits after all.
The standard weight range of the balls is between 2Kg and 10Kg. It's still possible to find others, probably not easily. The balls tend to be one general size and only really vary in weight. Generally, they're about the size of the width of your shoulders.
Not only are medicine balls varying in size, but they're versatile too. Each of the different sizes we mentioned above has a different effect on your training. Heavier balls might be easier for lifting exercises, whereas the lighter balls might be just the thing you need for ab exercises and throwing moves.
There are tonnes of different medicine ball exercises out there, but we'll go onto that below. even on top of that, there are new twists on old exercises like Russian twists which make medicine balls just a generally awesome little tool to have. Don't write them off.
One particularly awesome feature of medicine balls is the styles of training they offer you. Here, we mean power training. A lot of the exercises that come with heavier balls are just what the doctor order for power moves.
What we mean by this si that they're perfect for plyometric training. the use of twitch muscle fibres to create a huge amount of power instantly and launching weight. That comes with slams and throws in particular.
Another common use aside from increasing stopping power is also one of the most common uses in fighting and other sports.
These balls can be used as impact replication to various muscles groups like the abs during boxing training. that helps to train resistance and impact damage control and improve performance to reduce any injury. On top of that, it's used for generally making the abs firmer and harder as they get used to resisting impacts.
This is one of the prime examples of where varying weights can be beneficial. It's easier to start smaller and gradually increase the weight of the medicine balls, however, it also makes the exercise accessible to people of multiple sizes and body types. It's not only the die-hard trainers that get to benefit.
Reaction time & Coordination
So outside of the strength and general physical aspects of medicine ball exercises, it's important that we not how effective they are for training you mentally too.
Medicine ball exercises are some of very few that help you to train your reflexes, reactions and mentality. you train to dodge or block the ball from hitting you, and that's an awesome way to get a new kind of workout only really seen elsewhere in boxing. It's not all about power.
These are just some of the biggest benefits that balls have to offer. As well as all of this, they're still, of course, another form of weight equipment. you can do a lot of other typical exercises with similar results to boost your progress.
One thing we will say though is to be careful of injury. It's easy to drop the ball here and land yourself a very painful injury. Keep vigilant.
Medicine Ball Exercises
Now that you've seen all of the awesome ways an exercise can help you in your training, it's important to know what you can do to get the most of them too. We did look over some of the exercises as we explained the benefits above, but now it's time to dig a little deeper.
These are some of the best:
Medicine Ball Slams
Pick up the ball and throw it onto the floor with as much force as possible,. this is as plyometric as it gets!
Medicine Ball Throws
A close second (and ideally done with a partner), medicine ball throws are an awesome partnered exercise where you get a great power move from all of your upper body as you throw and catch the ball.
Medicine Ball Wall Catches
This one is a little different, it's less about the throwing and more about your reflexes here. As you catch the ball, you need to make sure you are absorbing the weight and that's a great way to work pretty much every muscle in your body (plus this mental training we mentioned!)
these are an awesome way to work your obliques (actually one of the best!). you need to lay on the floor, contract your abs and raise your torso, and then turn your body side to side with the ball in hand.
these are a combination fo the point above, plus lunges. that means it's a core and a leg workout at the same time. It's great.
Squats are just one of those exercises that you can do with pretty much any equipment you can find. Medicine balls are no different. As far as medicine ball exercises go, it's not one of the best, but it's a useful one to know about.
Shoulder presses are another staple exercise you can do with anything. The awesome thing is though, you're hitting all three areas of your deltoid in one exercise.
Tricep Extensions / Skull Crushers
this one is either stood up or flat out. hold the ball firmly and simply flex to straighten your arms above your head. It's way more effective than you might think
Last but not least is the bicep curl. It's always good to find new ways to mix up the classics, and this is no exception.
These are just a few of the biggies out there, but if you get inventive, you'd be amazed at what you can do!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.