They sound like they're old school and not for today's exercising. In the last few years, medicine balls (or weight training balls as some people know them) have seen a revival in studios and gyms across the UK. We've all seen a big increase in the number of medicine balls that have been bought for home gyms. Effective for training your body for sports and activities that are ballistic – i.e. that require movement. They now come in a variety of materials and designs.
A medicine ball looks a little like a basketball but will weigh anything from 2 to 25 pounds and can be a really useful form of exercise. You will also see them referred to as fitness balls and simply exercise balls. They tend to be used in what is called plyometric training-training that involved quick powerful movements. They tend to be used by sportspeople and also following surgery.
Some medicine balls have handles or rope grips to help you use them.
There are three main ways we highlight for you to use medicine balls. There are additional ways like flexibility or hand-eye co-ordination but the following are the most common.
Essentially this means that it can help build your abdomen and back muscles. The best way to use the ball for this is to work with a partner and literally throw the ball to and fro. To work the obliques you would throw slightly to the side.
By simply holding the ball when you are doing squats and lunges you increase the intensity of the exercise and improve your muscle workout. For triceps hold the ball over your head and bend your arms at the elbow lowering the ball behind your head. In this way they are similar to the way you would use a dumbbell.
Medicine balls are used a lot in rehab by physiotherapists to help after recovery from surgery typically on joints like the knees.
It all depends on what you want to achieve. If its strength training that matters to you then you should use a heavy medicine ball. The ball should also be proportionate to your size. The best way to judge this is to check that you are comfortable when you are exercising with the ball and that you remina in control.A bit of a given is to start lighter and build up.
Do also remember that medicine balls are not menat to build muscle mass they are really focussing on power, coreb strength and flexibility. So you will use them in short explosive movements so for this purpose a ball weighinh 6 or 8 piunds will do the job.
As medicine balls could be thrown around as part of the workout do take care. You also need to be aware that as the weight increases, the strain on your wrists increases.