Physical exercises with this equipment are suitable for warming up and increasing the effectiveness of squats and crunches. Since the medicine ball is heavier compared to a regular ball, the amount of energy burned increases. The effect is achieved by engaging additional, previously passive, muscle groups during workouts with the medicine ball.
Who is the equipment suitable for
For anyone who is willing! The medicine ball is universal. It allows you to work on the main muscle groups without putting too much strain on the ligaments. Beginners can use it to refine their technique, while professionals can use it to make their existing workout program more challenging. The medicine ball is also effective in rehabilitation therapy. Just remember Hippocrates, who used sand-filled balls for patients in the post-traumatic period 2500 years ago.
Principles of medicine ball workouts
- To maintain muscle tone, one workout per week is enough. Additional loads are also important. Exercises should be performed one after another without rest, for a total of 2-5 rounds. Take a 1-2 minute break between them. If you feel the load is too heavy, simply change the balls. You can choose lighter or larger equipment. In case you feel the load is too light, shorten the breaks between rounds and increase the repetitions. In some cases, when an elderly person, someone recovering from an injury, or someone who has had a serious illness decides to start exercising, it is possible to perform the exercises while kneeling. This position is more comfortable, making it easier to start at any chosen level, gradually adding repetitions with each workout.
- It is important to choose the correct weight and size of the equipment. The heavier the medicine ball, the harder it is to work with. If the ball's diameter is too small, balancing on it during push-ups and planks will be difficult. Beginners should remember that when the ball is used as a weight, a light and small medicine ball should be chosen. When using it as an unstable support, a large and heavy one is more suitable.
- Some types of workouts allow using several medicine balls of different sizes at once.
- It is important to exercise with these tools only after warming up. Warm-up activities include running, arm and leg rotations (for joint warm-up), and cycling on an exercise bike. After the main part of the workout, it is important to stretch the back muscles and the back of the thighs by doing bends. When stretching, alternate between dynamic and static loads.
For those who want to train with medicine balls, several simple exercises can be suggested:
Sitting abdominal workout
Lower yourself onto the training mat. Bend your knees, press your heels into the floor. The ball is in front of you. Bend and slightly spread your elbows to the sides. Squeeze the ball with your palms. Lean back until your abdominal muscles are tense. Lift your legs off the floor and hold them at a 30-45 degree angle. Next, without changing the position of your legs and engaging your abs, move the ball to the right, twisting in the same direction. Repeat the same movements in the opposite direction. Perform 10-15 twists. Pay attention to the lower part of your torso - it should remain still.
Performing a circular plank with a medicine ball
Lean on the ball lying on the floor. Get into a plank position, straightening your fingers on your hands and feet. Tense the muscles of your entire body, stretching like a string. Make sure your back does not sag. The medicine ball should be placed directly under your chest. This will allow you to maintain balance properly. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds. Holding the ball with your left hand, place your right hand on the floor, moving your torso along. Try to distribute your body weight evenly. Maintain this position for a few seconds. Then return to the starting position and repeat the exercise in the other direction. Perform the exercise 5-10 times. You can do more if your physical fitness allows.
Floor press with feet on medicine ball
Place the ball on the floor. Put your toes on it. Get into a plank position, straightening your arms so that your palms are directly under your shoulder joints. Keep your back and head straight. Bend your elbows so that your chest touches the floor. Try to keep your elbows as close to your torso as possible. Remember that the difficulty of the exercise depends on the size of the ball. The smaller it is, the more muscles work on stabilizing your body position. When pushing up, pay attention to your body tone, your torso and legs should be stretched in one line, and your abdomen should be pulled in. Perform the exercise as many times as you can without compromising your technique.
Squats with a medicine ball/stuffed ball
Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ball at chest level, look forward. Squat, moving your hips backward. The depth of the squat should be such that your thigh is parallel to the floor, and your heels do not lift off the floor. Pause in the lower position for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise 10-12 times. Remember to keep your torso straight, and your knees should not cross the line of your toes.
Grab a ball. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Point your toes outward. Your shoulders should be relaxed. Hold the medicine ball about 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) away from your chest. Take a wide step forward with your left leg and pause in the lunge position. Your thigh should be parallel to the floor. The left knee should not extend beyond the line of your toes. As you lunge, extend your arms forward and twist your torso to the left. Then return to the starting position, stand up, and pull your arms with the ball back to your chest. Perform the exercise with the other leg. Do 8-10 repetitions on each side. To make the exercise more challenging, don't return to the starting position after each lunge; instead, take consecutive steps forward.