Medicine balls are an amazing tool to help give you explosive power, amazing core stability and extremely functional strength. Medicine balls are not just for athletes, they should have a place in everyone’s strength and conditioning program. Here are just six reasons why you should include medicine ball training in your program.
1. EASY TO USE
Medicine balls exercises are very easy to learn and perform. A medicine ball workout can be performed anywhere in the world – all you need is a solid floor and wall space! Even if you don’t have a gym membership, you can perform a med ball workout in your basement or garage, a driveway, parking lot or public park.
2. REAL, FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH
Most strength training movements limit you to moving weight through a set plane of movement; machines are notorious for this and force your body to move in the way they are designed. Barbells and dumbbells allow you some more freedom but typically still work in very linear planes of movement. Think of how, when doing a bench press, the bar moves in a straight line up and down off of your chest. Medicine balls allow you to train your body in a more free and non-linear way that mimics the type of strength you use in real life.
3. BETTER INTEGRATION OF THE CORE
Medicine balls provide amazing core activation. Most movements you do – like twisting, slamming and throwing the ball – require you to stabilize your core in order to properly complete the movement, making them not only functional but also a fantastic core workout. If you are doing medicine ball movements and don’t feel like it is doing much for your abs, chances are you are doing the movement wrong and not properly contracting your core muscles, which can be dangerous for your spine.
4. BLOW OFF STEAM
Throw it, smash it, twist it, toss it, slam it! Medicine ball training can be a great way to let loose and unleash some of that pent up fury! These highly durable pieces of training equipment are designed to take a beating. In fact, you should be trying to break them with every movement to increase the intensity of the workout, so go ahead and do your worst. Think of medicine balls as big, weighted stress balls!
5. LOW-IMPACT JOINT STRESS
When training intensely with barbells and dumbbells, it can put quite a bit of strain on your joints over time. Medicine balls are much easier on the joints, so it can be a great addition to your program to give your elbows and knees a break. If you are a bigger individual with weight to lose, fat loss workouts that involve a lot of jumping and jogging can put significant strain on your knees. Use some high-intensity medicine ball training as a way to keep your joints healthy and lose weight!
6. BALANCING OUT
Most of us are very one-side dominant. For example, if you are right-handed, your right arm and leg will most likely be significantly stronger than your left-side extremities. While it may be impossible to perfectly balance both sides of your body, it is important to ensure that the difference not become overly substantial. Training with rotational medicine ball drills can go a long way when it comes to ironing out the imbalance between the left and right side of our bodies.