Medicine Balls

Great for home and studio, medicine balls have made a comeback. With sure grip surfaces, bright colours and two handles, you can use a medicine ball for so many rehab and ballistic movements.

With a wide range of weight available with a medicine ball, they are suitable for every level of fitness starting with beginners. Here's three key reasons why medicine balls are something to consider for your home gym or studio. Firstly, core strength - building your abdomen and lower back muscles and strength. Secondly, strength training - use when performing lunges, squats or shoulder press actions. Lastly, rehab - slowly building strength in joints under controlled activities.

Thanks to the new designs and materials used, you can choose a double handled medicine ball, one with no handles but a non-slip surface and colour coded weights so there's less hassle finding the one you need when you're working out. A solid and cost-effective accessory for your home gym.

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buying guides for medicine balls

Medicine Balls Buying Guide

Medicine balls are weighted balls used for strength work and rehabilitation. They usually come in weights of 8, 10 and 12 lbs. Some have handles or ropes on them so they can be used in swinging exercises. There are many different types of medicine balls so before you buy be clear what it is you want to do with the medicine ball as some bounce, other don’t, some float, some you can swing!

Medicine Ball Sizes

Medicine balls come in very many different sizes, a light ball can weigh between 4 and 8lbs. Someone who wants to do more strength training  can buy a ball over 20lbs in weight. The recommendation is that if you want to do flexibility or agility work you should be able to pick up a ball using little effort, if you are doing strength work then the ball should feel heavier.

Medicine Ball Exercises

There are a large variety of exercises you can do with a medicine ball. For the upper body you can use it like a dumbbell, for the lower body they are a great addition to squats, holding a medicine ball while doing sit ups can also be very challenging. The medicine ball can also be used in plyometric workouts, for example throwing the ball while you jump in the air. Boxers will often get them dropped on their abdomen to help simulate the punch from an opponent! Below are a few of the most popular exercises you can do.

Throwing

This is probably the best reason to use a medicine ball as it is very difficult to throw any other piece of gym kit. This will help to build power. To do, you simply stand 120-150cm away from a sturdy wall, throw the ball at the wall while explosively rotating through your shoulders and hips. When the ball bounces off and rebounds catch it and get ready for the next throw.

Medicine ball slams

Holding the ball aloft slam it into the tarmac or floor, for best results try to catch it on the bounce. This will really train your pull up muscles like never before.

Push up

This adds instability to a well-known move which makes your muscles work even harder. Get into a traditional push up position, palms placed on your medicine ball. Slowly lower your chest towards the medicine ball until they almost touch. This will really work your core.

Different Kinds of Medicine Balls

Leather

Leather balls have been around for a long time and are the most traditional type of medicine ball. Leather medicine balls are usually used in boxing exercises or for catching as the leather grip is comfortable.

Soft Gel

These have gel fillings enclosed in soft vinyl. They don’t float or bounce so are great for throwing. They are great for using on say a trampoline as they will not bounce back to you. They tend to cost less than other medicine balls.

Medicine Balls with Grips

These balls are good if you are looking for a more secure grip. They are usually made of polyurethane which makes them quite bouncy. They will also float so can be good to use in the water and in sports like water polo.

Air Filled Medicine Balls

These are very light and bouncy, so are great for portability. These are good for plyometric exercises and resistance training.

Balls with Handles

These are great for wood chop exercises or in fact any exercise that requires you to use more than one ball. They are great for exercises that require explosive power. The handles extend 12” each direction, you can also get alternative handles to suit specific sports.

Medicine Balls with ropes

These balls have a rope attached and are great for swinging exercises and core rotational moves.

What to Consider When You Buy a Medicine Ball

Weight

Your medicine ball should be heavy enough to challenge you but if it is too heavy you will lose control. But you also want to be able to get better and progress so don’t choose too light a ball either. Another option if you can afford it is of course to buy more than one of different weights.

Size

You do need to think about your height. If you sit on the ball, your knees should be bent at a right angle with your feet flat on the floor.

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