Great Medicine Ball Exercises
Need to spice up your exercise routine? Why try exercises with a medicine ball? A medicine ball is a type of exercise ball that is approximately 14 inches (35.6 centimeters) in diameter and comes in various weights ranging from 2 to 25 pounds (0.91 to 11.34 kilograms). Medicine ball exercises are an important tool for developing sport-specific power. There are many benefits to include it in your work out. So lets discuss the benefits and show you exercises you can do at home.
- Medicine ball exercises can help improve your dynamic flexibility and help increase your overall range of motion that in turn incorporate more muscle fibers in your muscle building routines, allowing you to build muscle faster.
- Helps to build muscle faster is by increasing your explosiveness.
- The medicine ball is an easy way to incorporate resistance training into your abdominal workouts.
- For those that want to burn fat, medicine ball exercises can easily be incorporated into a circuit training program. Many of the exercises are full body, explosive (plyometric) type exercises that raise the heart rate and allow you to enter the fat burn target zone.
- Finally, medicine balls are a creative and cheap way to add resistance to your home workout routines when no other weights are available.
Best Medicine Ball Exercises: Many personal trainers, fitness instructors and strength coaches are turning to the medicine ball as an vital part of their training programs. The following exercises can be used to provide a quick workout. Choose the appropriate difficulty level and aim to complete 12 to 15 repetitions of each exercise.
Pullover to Knees
- Beginning: Lie back with knees bent and hold the ball over head. Pull ball over to chest while keeping lower back on the ground.
- Intermediate: Lie back with knees bent and hold the ball over head. Pull ball over head to hips.
- Advanced: Lie back with knees bent. Pull the ball over head while sitting the body up enough to touch the top of the knees.
Partner Version: Sit-up Pass
- Sit with knees bent, facing one another, about 4 to 6 feet apart. The person with the ball lies back with ball overhead.
- Bring the ball overhead and throw the ball and contract the abdominals as you sit up.
- Aim for just above your partner's head. As the ball is caught, the partner lowers back to the ground.
- Continue to throw back and forth.
- Beginning: Lie back with knees bent and ball between the knees. Contract the abdominals and pull knees toward chest; lower feet back to the ground.
- Intermediate: Prop up the upper body on the elbows and continue as for beginner.
- Advanced: Leaning back on hands, continue as for beginner.
Partner Version: Oblique Throw
- Stand four to six feet apart, each facing forward.
- Holding the ball with both hands, bring the ball to side opposite partner and toss across the body.
- Continue to throw the ball back and forth.
- Begin with ball overhead
- Move ball in a circular motion as big as possible around your body.
Medicine Ball Push Up
- Position ball under one hand and perform a push up.
- Try doing one push up with hand on ground, pushing hard enough to catch yourself on the ball for next rep.
- Begin to roll ball across to opposite hand between reps if you want a bigger challenge.
- Complete throws with full extension of the arms
- Plant feet properly before beginning to throw the ball in standing exercises
- Always use the full joint range in the correct sequence in carrying out each exercise
- Do not sacrifice control for distance
- Should not take the ball too far back behind the head when carrying out overhead throws
- When picking a ball, ensure the knees are bent and the back is kept straight
- When carrying out exercises lying on your back, ensure the lower back always remains in contact with the surface
- Prior to a catch, ensure you:
- keep arms extended
- keep hands together
- keep eyes on the ball
- reach out to meet the ball prior to making contact
- do not attempt to catch balls thrown wildly
(Sources: brianmac.co.uk, build-muscle-and-burn-fat.com, acefitness.org)