Challenging your body in new ways helps it grow and change!
One way to add variety when you work out is to use a medicine ball. Medicine balls are weighted balls with weights between 2 and 25 pounds. Unlike fitness balls (large balls that you lie or sit on), medicine balls are small enough to hold in your hands while you exercise yet heavy enough to challenge your muscles like dumbbells. Plus, a medicine ball allows greater versatility and range of motion because you can throw it up in the air and toss it.
What are the benefits of working out with a medicine ball?
Build Explosive Strength
Medicine balls are ideal for building the explosive strength that’s so important for sports performance. Explosive strength is the ability to exert maximal force over a short period of time. You use explosive strength for jumping, leaping off the ground, sprinting, throwing and kicking. Plyometric exercises are among the most effective for building explosive strength. Adding a medicine ball to plyometric moves increases the challenge and calorie burn and recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers, the ones important for strength and power.
Increase Core Strength
You can use a medicine ball to add resistance to core and abdominal exercises. Hold a medicine ball when doing you’re crunches for more resistance. Work your obliques by holding a medicine ball while doing Russian twists. Add more resistance to toe touch crunches by holding a medicine ball. To do this, lie on a mat and extend your legs straight up in the air. Hold a medicine ball while crunching up and trying to touch your toes. Hold a medicine ball when doing V-ups to work your core and abdominals even more. You’ll find a medicine ball is the perfect way to add resistance when you’re doing core and abdominal exercises.