Medicine ball exercise is a surprisingly effective exercise for all ages and fitness levels. These exercise balls can be used for a light workout or a vigorous explosive workout. Medicine ball exercise offers a full body cardio workout including strength training.
The medicine ball, also referred to as an exercise ball or fitness ball, is approximately 14” in diameter and varies from 2 lb to 25 lb with a rubber surface making them easy to grab and keep hold of. This type of exercise equipment is considered to be one of the oldest forms, for it was specifically used for strength training and muscle conditioning; however, back in the time, these exercise balls were made from sacks or animal skins filled with sand or dirt.
The exercise ball is an extremely effective strength training device because of the many different directions it can be used. One can use it forward, backward, up, down or side to side, one can bounce, throw, pass, swing or rotate it; therefore, making the medicine ball especially popular with sport athletes, for many “in game” movements can be repeated and practiced.
When using a medicine ball for exercise, one main benefit is exercising the core or the abdomen, also known as, the body’s centre of power. Strengthening these core muscles is extremely important because they help support the spine, back and abs.
One can use medicine balls to build muscle, train for a sport, assist in rehabilitation, especially if one is restricted to a seat such as a wheelchair, improve coordination including hand-eye coordination or to simply accompany an existing exercise program.
In addition, the exercise ball is ideal when working with a partner, for they can be thrown or passed back and forth. If a partner is not available use a secure wall or a tilted mini-trampoline. There are many exercises one can do with a medicine ball, below only describes some of the more common exercises; however, there are many more. You can also experiment and create your own.
All exercises should be performed with your abdomen held in tight and remember to breathe. Do enough repetitions that feels right for you.
Medicine balls are inexpensive, take up little space, portable and offer a great workout. Choose a weight that suits your fitness level and intensity. Exercise with a partner for added motivation or include it in your existing exercise routine.
Enjoy the many advantages medicine ball exercise has to offer and stay healthy.
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