The medicine ball (also called the weighted ball) is a piece of equipment that physiotherapists have used to perform physical activities for those who have mobility problems. Currently, it is found both in gyms and in fitness rooms.
Also, it is an accessory that is often used in schools to work on physical activities with students. It is a handy tool to work your whole body and varies in weight to find from 1 to 10 kg, and they can have different shapes such as with or without a handle, inflatables, etc.
They are used to give stability and tone. Logically, the greater the weight of the ball, the greater the effort. Next, we will analyze if using a medicine ball is a good workout, its benefits for functional training, and the different exercise types for beginners.
6 Benefits of Using Medicine Balls
1. Works the Full-Body Muscles Effectively
The medicine ball is an excellent piece of equipment widely used in both home and commercial gym. It provides excellent benefits to users and helps to work the whole body muscles to gain strength, cardiovascular endurance, and weight loss.
Medicine balls vary your training forms and mix up your exercise options, helping you unlock your overall body capability. “Medicine Ball Throws” and “Medicine Ball Catch” exercises will improve your hand-eye coordination, body balance, and overall flexibility.
2. Improve the Ability to Recover from Injury
In addition to being an excellent tool to work the stabilizing muscles of the core, it is also used in functional training, providing benefits in improving strength and prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. The particular parts that medicine balls help the most are the spinal, shoulders, and knees.
Patients are often advised to start with a medicine ball of low weight and, over time, increase it. Additionally, it is helpful to build fluidity and strength of the thigh or calf muscles by using a medicine ball.
3. Get Well-Defined Abs
The medicine ball allows you to intensely work the abdominals. It allows you to perform different movements and make your abdominal routine more bearable.
Among the different exercises that you can do with the medicine ball, the “Medicine Slam Ball” exercise will allow you to train your lower abs, hip flexors, and obliques, etc. During a slam, you have to contract these muscles through a full range of motion, which is great to build strength and endurance level.
4. Get Optimal Physical Preparation
Elite athletes increasingly use the medicine ball in their warming-up sections before any competitive training to develop speed and obtain more precise movements.
The medicine ball can be caught (“Medicine Ball Catch”), thrown (“Medicine Ball Throw”), pushed (“Medicine Ball Chest Pass”), or used in resistant training (“Medicine Ball Overhead Slam”).
Another advantage of a medicine ball is that it can be very well adapted to different sports exercises because it allows various body movements such as boxing, rotational movements, and javelin speed, among others.
Its multiple uses make it a versatile tool. Also, its use is common in CrossFit routines, a modality that takes the body to the limit.
5. Develop Your Explosive Power
Explosive power is the ability to generate maximum power in the shortest possible time. When you tense your muscles, the more energy you release, the stronger the force and faster you will produce.
You can develop your explosive power by doing the “Medicine Ball Slams” exercise (hold a medicine ball above your head and “slam” it to the ground), which will improve your arm, chest, and core strength effectively.
When you perform “Medicine Ball Slam” exercises, you should do a proper warm-up, as they are very explosive exercises that can lead to injuries.
The medicine ball also allows movements to be carried out in a similar way to a throw, namely “Medicine Ball Throws”, which is a plyometrics exercise and is used to improve arm & chest strength.
6. Improves Coordination and Balance
Working on balance and coordination gives your body more significant toning of all the intense muscles, essential to maintaining correct posture.
Thanks to the balancing exercise that medicine balls offer, coordination between the muscles are developed deeply. And you can strengthen the entire lower back and burn more calories.
Is Using Medicine Ball a Good Workout?
Undoubtedly, the medicine ball is excellent for developing a good workout routine since, having a therapeutic origin, it is a method for athletes to keep the muscles toned and active.
Since its creation, many have used it in their physical routines because, as we saw previously, it can bring us great benefits.
Its use is prevalent in passive gymnastics in which the person seeks to achieve the right muscle tone with little risk of injury or not worsen existing ones.
Thanks to its unstable nature, its handling requires particular work on the muscles of the extremities.
It is also a tool to improve the control of our body learning to maintain balance.
Its use provides elasticity, strength, and in some exercises, it is a means to develop excellent aerobic work to improve our cardiovascular system.
7 Best Medicine Ball Exercises for Beginners
Exercise routines have changed, thanks to the addition of medicine balls. This accessory allows for a wide variety of exercises that can be performed at home or in the office.
Also, it is excellent for both experts and beginners, are you one of them? Here we explain the seven best medicine ball exercises for beginners.
1. Close Grip Push-Up
We place ourselves face down, adopting the push-up position with our legs extended, and place the medicine ball at chest level. We place the hands in its lateral-superior zone with the thumbs pointing forward.
Maintaining the balance with the hands-on it and supporting ourselves with the tips of the feet on the floor, we make an extension of the arms, trying to keep the arms close to the body when we return to the starting position.
When going down, try to get your chest as close to the ball as possible.
With this exercise, a complete work of triceps, pectorals, and abdominals is carried out, in addition to working on balance.
Another alternative is to perform this exercise with your knees on the floor.
2. Mountain Climber
Adding a medicine ball to this exercise will test the stability and strength of your torso.
To start, you must face down, with both hands on the ball, your back straight, your abdomen tense, and your arms and legs extended, and the same initial push-up position.
Once there, bend your right knee to touch your chest while keeping the contralateral leg extended.
Then lower the right knee, and do the same procedure with the left.
Separate your feet until they are at the same level with your shoulders, knees semi-bent in a squat position and keeping your back straight, and you take the medicine ball with your hands to place it close to your chest.
Then the body should be lowered slowly, bending the knees until the thighs and legs are at a 90-degree angle, and the knees are parallel with the balls of your feet.
When finished, it is raised again until adopting the starting position.
This exercise is quite complete; it allows several muscle groups simultaneously, including the glutes, shoulders, legs, and abdomen.
4. Medicine Ball Balance
This exercise seems very simple, but the truth is that you will be able to work the muscles of the back, abs, buttocks, legs, and shoulders in a short time if you practice it daily.
Allow yourself to balance by standing on one leg and holding the ball above your head with both hands.
You only need 30 seconds to then hold the ball with one hand (it should be the hand opposite the bent leg) and extend it to the side for another 30 seconds.
Now balance with the other leg holding the ball with the opposite hand.
5. Squat to Press
Once the conventional squat movement is mastered, you can begin to perform combination exercises.
The same position as a regular squat should be adopted, as the medicine ball will only be held on the chest during the descent.
When raising the body to return to the basic position, the arms should be extended and brought over the head, holding the ball on both hands, then slowly lower them to the chest and repeat the movement.
This exercise will help you strengthen your abs and back. To make it a bit more complex exercise, we will add the medicine ball.
To do this, you have to lie on the floor, with your legs bent 90 degrees and your feet on the floor. Hold the medicine ball with both hands on your chest and sit up without dropping the ball.
Don’t forget to breathe properly and keep your back straight so you don’t injure yourself.
The extra weight of the ball will add a bit of difficulty to the exercise, so don’t rush and go slowly.
Lying on your back, lift your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Next, proceed to hold the ball with both arms extended and in front of your head.
Then lift your torso with your arms extended until the ball touches your toes.
After that, lower your arms until you return to the starting position (placing your arms over your head and on the floor with both hands).
Repeat the same procedure, always keeping your legs firm and elevated to work your abs.
You can complement your training session at home using medicine balls. They are affordable, portable, and versatile enough to provides a wide range of workout options. They are an alternative to other expensive fitness equipment and have become more popular over time.
They offer a wide range of uses, adjustable to different ages and physical capacities, and you can use them both to practice alone or as a couple.
Go ahead and change your exercise routines using a medicine ball; you will see that you will obtain excellent results in a short time.
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