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Medicine ball exercises

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I was given a couple of medicine balls for my birthday earlier this month. A medicine ball is not to be confuse with a stability ball:

Stability Ball

My Medicine Ball

Here's what Wikipedia says about a medicine ball:

"A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness ball) is a weighted ball … Often used for rehabilitation and strength training, it serves an important role in the field of sports medicine. It should not be confused with the larger, inflated exercise ball.
"Medicine balls are usually sold as 2–25 lb (0.91–11 kg) balls and are used effectively in plyometric weight training to increase explosive power in athletes in all sports. Some medicine balls are in the form of weighted basketballs."

Mine are 6 pounds and 8 pounds each and resemble mini basketballs. Having received them as gifts, I needed to find some exercises. The following are the first five I have found, and I really do enjoy them. I do two sets of 12 to 15 reps each. I have recently begun a second set of five and I will try to list them later.

1. Big Circles -- Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, hold a medicine ball with your arms extended directly above your head [A]. Without bending your elbows, rotate your arms counterclockwise [B], using the ball to draw large imaginary circles in front your body [C, D]. Do 10 circles, and then reverse direction to clockwise and do 10 more.

2. Woodchopper -- Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. With your arms nearly straight, hold a medicine ball above your head [A]. Now bend forward at your waist and mimic throwing the ball backward between your legs—but hold onto the ball the entire time [B]. Quickly reverse the movement with the same intensity, and return to the starting position. That's 1 repetition.


3. Standing Russian Twist -- Hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest and your arms straight [A]. Without dropping your arms, pivot on your right foot and rotate the ball and your torso as far as you can to the left [B]. Then reverse direction: Pivot on your left foot and rotate all the way to the right. That's 1 repetition.

4. Squat to Press -- Stand holding a medicine ball close to your chest with both hands, your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart [A]. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until the tops of your thighs are at least parallel to the floor [B]. Then simultaneously drive your heels into the floor and push your body back to the starting position as you press the ball over your head [C]. Lower the ball back to the start. That's 1 repetition.

5. Medicine-Ball Situp -- Grab a medicine ball with both hands and lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees 90 degrees, place your feet flat on the floor, and hold the medicine ball against your chest [A]. Now perform a classic situp by raising your torso into a sitting position [B]. Lower it back to the start. That's 1 repetition.

Source: www.menshealth.com/fitne

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