Using Medicine balls for improving fitness levels

Designed so that it can be used for multiple fitness activities, a medicine ball is a heavy small ball which is easy to grip. Medicine balls can be used to exercise the different parts of the body like exercise or stability balls. They can be used to improve balance,for rehab exercise or strength training. There have been major improvements in medicine ball design, and users can choose from different textures and weights. Balls vary in their features like bounciness and having handles. Using medicine balls is better than weight training since all parts of the body of the user are exercised. This exercise also helps the person move better for daily activities. Some people have used a medicine ball in their gym class or may have a ball stored somewhere in the house.

Benefits of Medicine balls

The latest models of medicine balls are extremely effective for improving balance, coordination, strength and stability. Some features of these balls are

Customization: the balls are available in different weights in increments of one pound, so users have more options

Low risk: the risk of being injured is low and they do not damage the floor if they accidentally fall on the floor

versatile: balls may be used for all kinds of exercises, while standing, lying down, seated, dynamic or static movements

Reduced impact: help in improving action, power, without stressing joints since the ball is released at the end of the exercise

Fun: if an exercise partner is available, they can be thrown back and forth

Selecting the right medicine ball

Ideally buyers should invest in different sizes of exercise balls, whose average weight should be between two and ten pounds, with weight increments. Experts recommend initially using a set with three balls, having a weight four, six and eight pounds, since balls of higher weight are required for some exercises. Some popular models of medicine balls are

- Zon's 8 pound medicine ball is soft, and does not bounce, making it suitable for push ups

- Spri's high quality Xerball weighs 6 pounds and bounces very well

- 4 pound medicine ball from Valeo has excellent texture, grip so that it does not slip out of the hands. Since this high quality ball bounces well it can be used for exercises like toss, dribble and squat.

Users should choose a weight they can handle, since using a medicine ball will strain the back and abs. Individuals who do not have strong muscles are likely to get injured since the movement use the core body muscles. While at a gym, the muscles will be exercised only in a specific way. However, if the medicine ball is used, the trunk muscles which are used daily are being exercised.

Using a medicine ball

The medicine ball can be used for anaerobic or aerobic exericses, tossing the ball between people or for strength training. Some of the ways the versatile medicine ball can be used are described below

- Strength training: a medicine ball can be used to build muscles as part of the workouts for strength training. The added resistance of the medicine ball will improve all kinds of workouts like medicine ball push ups , slams, pushups or interval workouts which are of high intensity

Rehabilitation

Individuals who are injured or wish to prevent injury in future can use a medicine ball to improve their muscle strength. Since the medicine ball has a low impact, reducing stress it will help the person improve his muscles and strength safely

Balance

Users can improve their stability and balance with the help of the medicine ball during their workout. The user should hold the medicine ball in front of him, stand on one leg alone , and rotate his body from left to right.This should be repeated standing on the other leg also.

FAQ (Frequently asked questions)

What does the medicine ball contain?

Medicine balls being used for workouts are typically filled with gel or sand. The amount of material used for filling determines the weight of the ball as well as some other properties like softness.

How is a medicine ball different from a slam ball?

Since slam balls are designed for being thrown, they have a thicker outer coating compared to most medicine balls.

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