There is medicine in those balls, but not the kind that comes in a bottle. This healing medicine of this ball came from the role it played in rehabilitation and sports medicine. The powerful medicine that is activated by the strength of your will and sweat just like it did almost 3,000 years ago in Persia when Persian wrestlers used bladders filled with sand for their training.
Today, medicine balls are generally made of leather, nylon, vinyl, rubber, and polyurethane (flexible synthetic material). Their weight ranges from 2 to 25 pounds. CrossFit athletes use a fitness ball that can weigh as much as 50 pounds. Size can range from 5 inches to 14 inches in diameter.
Many exercises are done with med ball work on how you leverage your body and how much speed you can generate. Since with wrong leverage and too much speed, your joints and tendons come under stress more than your muscles, it is a good idea to start light, between 2 and 6 pounds. If you are new to exercise, pay attention to how you control your pelvis and tighten your lower back as much as you pay attention to your abs. Your lower back must work with abs to get you a stable, safe and effective core workout. Start slowly, build strength over time and then add speed.
Most medicine balls are straightforward. They look like any sports balls, just heavier. There are some fancy designs with handles or rope. These variations are called slamballs, powerballs or tornado balls.
Below are four exercises you can do with a medicine ball.
Kneeling Partner Twist
- Kneel back to back with your partner. This removes your leg engagement and forces you to engage your core.
- Inhale and receive the ball.
- Exhale slowly as you twist and pass the ball off to your partner.
- Repeat for about 30 seconds one way and change direction.
Medicine Ball Crunch & Pass
- Sit on the floor and interlock your feet with your partner. If your feet are inside, switch after each set. How your feet interlock impacts how you use your core.
- Start by holding the medicine ball into your chest.
- Lower your body as you are holding the ball tight against your chest.
- Exhale and crunch. At the top of the crunch pass the ball your partner so that he can do the medicine ball crunch.
- Once he is done, receive the ball and lower your body. Repeat for about 15 repetitions.
- As an alternative, you can both do a crunch, one with the ball and one without and then switch.
Medicine Ball Wall Straight Bounce
- Stand about 2 feet away from a wall and as you get stronger move further away.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, and knees slightly bent.
- Holding a medicine ball in front of your chest with elbows down.
- Throw the ball with at the wall and catch it. Do 20 or 30 reps for warm up.
- Step further and repeat. As you step further from the wall, you are going to need to generate more force for the ball to bounce off the wall.
- Do this for time. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 6 sets is about 3 minutes and you feel it all over. Watch out for shoulder pain. Pain is a warning sign that you are doing something wrong. Stop.
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