Medicine Ball Exercises
Medicine ball exercises are often confused with exercise ball routines these days. But there is a big difference. An exercise ball is a large inflated sphere made of plastic while a medicine ball is only slightly larger than a basketball and is often solid to give it some weight. From ancient Greece to modern day training, medicine ball exercises are a great boon to those wishing to maximize their overall strength training. Basically, the medicine ball enhances core routines by adding a degree of resistance. These five exercises will help get you started and believing in the benefit of the medicine ball.
- Crunches. One of the easiest medicine ball exercises is the crunch. This is your typical crunch which benefits your core but with just a little extra tension. Lie on your back while clutching the medicine ball to your chest. Raise yourself up while performing a standard crunch but hold for one second before lowering yourself.
- Pullover. To perform this strengthening exercise, lay on your back with your knees bent and hold the exercise ball over your head. Take a nice inhale and slowly pull the medicine ball up over your chest. This one works out a variety of arm muscles and also strengthens your core.
- Squat. Squats are a great benefit to lower body training while also working out your core. Doing medicine ball exercises that incorporate squats adds a new dimension to your routine which will give you great results. Spread your feet to shoulder width, hold the medicine ball out in front of you and inhale while slowly squatting. If you have good knees, go until your thighs are parallel to the floor and hold for a second.
- Slams. This exercise gets out aggression and feels good. Especially if you enjoy screaming in German while exercising. Spread your legs a bit farther than your shoulder width and bend your knees into a squat position. Hold the medicine ball above your head and then hurl it with great force at the ground. Make sure to put your stomach muscles into the throw and if you are nimble, catch the ball and repeat.
- Hip crunches. Hip crunches are a great exercise for the core and you can up the ante as your body gets used to the strain. Start out on your back with your knees bent with the medicine ball placed in-between. Pull the ball towards your chest, hold for one second and then release. As you get stronger, do the same routine but prop yourself up with your elbows while performing it. Then, prop yourself up with your hands behind your back and raise the medicine ball. Ouch.