Do you know that you can improve your core strength with the use of a single small piece of readily available item of equipment? To show you what I mean, the medicine ball is ready-to-use whenever you want it and you can incorporate its easily adaptable exercises for both men and women? On top of that, you don’t have to be an expert and it’s great for beginners who may wish to train in the comfort of their own home. Okay, so what is a medicine ball? Well, believe it or not and contrary to what some people think it does not contain any medicine inside sorry folks. In brief, the weighted ball can be used for different exercises to improve your strength, overall fitness and co-ordination. It is used by many athletes not only to gain fitness but also to help with rehabilitation following a sports injury hence, its current name. Its use as a workout tool dates back almost 3000 years when it was used by Persian wrestlers but back then they used animal bladders filled with sand for their training.
Today, medicine balls are surprisingly affordable especially if you’re on a shoe string budget. They are generally made of leather, vinyl, rubber or some other synthetic material and come in a range of different weights from 2 to 29 pounds. However, some cross fit trainees sometimes use a medicine ball that can weigh as much as 50 pounds, the standard size being 14 inches down to 5 inches in diameter but again they come in various sizes to fit your particular needs. Most balls are round but some manufactures offer handles or hand grips imbedded in the balls design for a better grip which allows you to swing the ball further away from your body. Other variations include, power balls, tornado balls and slam balls. Beginners should start slowly with a light weight medicine ball maybe up to six pounds, gradually moving upwards in weight as you develop abdominal strength, core stability and more experience working out with the medicine ball doing the varied exercises for your individual needs.
Having a strong core is important for combatives or martial arts training because it allows you to do any combative moves more efficiently as the core muscles connect the upper and lower body and as such acts like a sturdy chain enhancing balance, power and stability and has a direct relation to how your whole body functions as most actions originate from within your core, a weak core will have a direct effect on how well you perform your movements. By doing medicine ball exercises you will help build strength in your abdomen and back.
There is a wide range of exercises you can do such as holding the weighted ball while doing squats, crunches, medicine ball push-ups and raising the ball over the head and lowering it back to chest height the start position (military press), to name just a few. Doing medicine ball exercises translates to the strength of effort you use in every movement, plus, it also teaches your body to react to abrupt stimuli changes if you exercise with a partner particularly useful if you train in combatives or martial arts. Other moves like torso rotations, and wall throws can also help hand- eye co-ordination and ability to quickly change direction. Studies have shown that the medicine ball can help a person generate maximal power and improve athletic performance so you see; it has a proven track record. In short, the varying motions work different parts of the body simultaneously and freedom of movement as previously stated, will allow you to tailor the exercises according to your needs.
Most important, make sure you warm up thoroughly 5-10 minutes to avoid injuries unlike some beginners who choose not warm-up before they start working out with the medicine ball and thus, end up injuring themselves in the process. Don’t you be one of them you need to understand that you must first prepare your body and mind for the strenuous activity to come by starting slowly with a little static stretching of your muscles and limbs maybe include a little light cardio exercise to increase your heart rate and body temperature but don’t try to run before you can walk remember, if you are injured you can’t train so it doesn.t make any sense to go at it too hard right from the start it’s counter-productive, be patient and you will make progress your body will tell you when you’re ready to progress further.
The good news, medicine ball exercises are not complicated but you need to choose the right size and weight for you to start out with depending on your fitness levels to avoid any repercussions later, last but not least, before you start any exercise program make sure you are physically able to do so or seek the advice of a medical professional beforehand additionally, if you’re seriously interested I would advise you to refer, delve into books on how to train with medicine balls as well as, the many types of exercises you can perform with it plus, the correct techniques to use, there are many such publications available to choose from by doing so you’ll also discover the many benefits of adding to your training program the time-tested medicine ball.
All in all the medicine ball is a great piece of kit it’s inexpensive and you can do a wide range of functional movements with it to help improve your fitness level, strength and flexibility. There you have it, so are you ready to work out with a medicine ball? If the answer is yes, it’s time to sweat a little bit remember, you learn by doing, victory want come to you unless you go to it.