Medicine ball workouts are a throwback method of training that is being rediscovered by athletes and fitness experts everywhere. In this age of high-tech equipment, the medicine ball is very simplistic, yet incredibly effective in training the whole body through a complete range of motion.
Benefits of Medicine Ball Training
Medicine balls are especially great for building strength through your hips, torso, and shoulders, also known as your “pillar.” This is important because your pillar strength is key to most of your athletic moves. It’s essential for movements like your golf swing, throwing a baseball, and blocking and tackling in football. Problem is, the body is only as strong as its weakest link, which generally is the trunk. Many sports trainers now recognize core strength training as the logical starting point for an effective training program. The video below is an example of a medicine ball exercise aimed at developing rotational power through your hips and torso to improve your golf swing.
Medicine Ball training is also effective at building joint integrity. Otherwise, sometimes neglected, joint integrity is important in injury prevention and maintaining mobility.
Choosing the Right Size Medicine Ball
For most exercises, a 3-kilogram ball will be appropriate. As you progress through the program and the throws get easier, either throw the ball harder or progress and pick up a 4-kilogram ball. If you are a developmental athlete, (16 or younger) you should start with 2-kg ball. While they may seem small and too light, when you start performing the exercises with speed, quality of movement is much more important than how heavy a ball you are throwing.
- Verstegen, Mark, and Pete Williams. Core Performance: The Revolutionary Workout Program to Transform Your Body and Your Life. Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, 2004.