A Guide To Medicine Ball Training

Submitted by: Kya Grace

Traditionally, medicine balls were one of the four pillars of fitness training, the others being dumbbells, the wand and the Indian club. These are used in weight training, balance enhancement and muscle strengthening.

What is a medicine ball

Medicine balls are basket ball or football sized balls, typically filled with different shock absorbing materials like sand, steel shots or even some gels with a leather, vinyl or rubber covering. They may or may not bounce depending on their stuffing. Their weight ranges from 2 to 25 pounds. Some variations of the ball include a handle or an attached rope. You can make a make-shift medicine ball at home by compacting a football or basketball with sand. However, it is advisable to use professionally calibrated balls.

Uses of the medicine ball


These balls are mainly used for building up core strength. They are used in various exercises like squatting, lifting, throwing ahead, behind and above the head, catching, punching etc. Muscle specific exercises can also be performed using medicine balls. These are very effective while doing crutches and other exercises that focus on developing abdominal strength. Plyometrics usually include medicine ball training. All sportsmen use these balls since they require substantial muscle power. The balls provide high intensity and explosive workout which works excellently for strength training. Medicine balls are a useful aid for rehabilitation from injuries. They can be used by both men and women.

How to use the medicine ball

Before you start using the ball, make sure that you are well warmed up. If your fitness schedule includes cardio workouts, then finish the medicine ball training before beginning cardio. If you are a beginner, it is best to take expert advise on the correct usage of the ball. The right style of handling the ball matters. Improper movements are injurious. Select light weight balls to begin with. Gradually increase your working intensity. Do not over do medicine ball exercises in a hurry to get those six packs. You will end up with muscle cramps.

Since the workout involves throwing, make sure there is ample space around you. A broken window pane is a bitter compensation for toned arms. If you have a partner in your training, make sure that he is also well acclimatized with the ball’s usage.

It is very important to concentrate on your posture while using the ball. Your body should be balanced and steady. Make sure that you do not stumble in an attempt to throw more forcefully or to a greater distance. If you are sitting, keep your shoulders and back straight. Never stoop while using the ball. When using the ball while lying down, do not arch your back.

Be concious about where you focus your body weight. Your weight should not fall on bone joints like knees, elbows or ankles. The impact should always be on the muscles and not on the joints.

You should be comfortable while handling the ball. Movements should be smooth and not jerky. If the weight you are using is too high for you, choose a lighter ball

Medicine balls are a multi faceted invention in the field of fitness. They can be used to tone up almost all the body parts. When used in conjunction with other fitness training methods, results are more enhanced. So, if you are looking for those killer abs or toned arms, then medicine balls training is the way to go.

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