Medicine Ball Training Basics

Medicine ball for your health

If you work out at home, the medicine ball is a must-have, as it is a versatile and relatively inexpensive exercise tool.
They are available in different weights and sizes, some designs even having handles to give you a better grip.
Although they are quite heavy and good for weightlifting exercises, medicine balls are also perfect to throw around while training and improve speed and agility.

They are also very good for core exercises and improving your balance. Movements you perform in everyday life, such as picking up your toddler or running on the beach to catch that volleyball, require more than big muscles. You need coordination, speed, strength, agility, balance, accuracy and flexibility. A basic routine with a medicine ball will get you all of that and more.

Partner Training
Movement-based partner training is some of the best medicine ball training there is and it is also a lot of fun. It is an ideal solution for spending time with your spouse, friend, or family members while working out. Throws and tosses could be done from various positions to work different muscles. For instance, you can incorporate the ball in a sit-up movement, holding it above your head and tossing it to your partner as you are sitting up. Alternatively, you can toss and catch while both are moving, for speed and accuracy. You can also keep it on the ground between your spread feet and bend and toss it to your partner while you are straightening up.

Swiss Ball Combination
Using the Swiss ball and medicine ball together will work your balance and strength at the same time. Such a combination provides excellent back exercises. For instance, you can balance your upper back on the Swiss ball while holding the medicine ball and keeping your knees in a 90 degree angle to the rest of your body. Lift the ball above your head, move it to your right hand and bring your right arm parallel to the floor. Then repeat the motion, but move the ball to your left hand. After about five of these, you will already start to feel the burn. You can also do crunches on the Swiss ball while holding the medicine ball for extra resistance.

Other Exercises
For solo exercises, you can use the medicine ball in conjunction with many of the traditional exercises you are used to. Hold it while you are doing crunches; do the Turkish twist while holding the ball in front of you, or lie flat on your back and balance the ball on your legs while lifting them slowly. You can even get a cardio workout with the ball by tossing it high up in the air, catching it and then squatting, letting it bounce and catching it again. Repeating the whole procedure a couple of times will give you a full body workout. Be creative and you will find ways to use the medicine ball in the exercises you are already used to.

Choosing the Right Ball
Many people believe the heavier the better, but the opposite is true. A medicine ball should be comfortably heavy; remember that it is not a dumbbell. Training with this ball is all about the speed of a movement, with just enough resistance to challenge it. A medicine ball should be just the right weight to provide resistance in the movement, but not be heavy enough to alter the speed and structure of the movement. Four, six and eight pound balls are suitable for basic home training. Only use heavier balls when you do slower weightlifting exercises. Keep in mind that you need the right type of ball; you can`t just train with any hard, heavy rubber ball. The ball has to absorb the impact correctly for correct training, so have a look at the balls available at SportsBallShop for examples of suitable medicine balls.

29 May 2013 Posted in Fitness, Health, Weight