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Medicine Ball Training Makes A Comeback
The term "Medicine Ball" is derived from it's early use in rehabilitation programs and hospitals. It was briefly popular in physical education and sports programs, then seemed to lose it's appeal. It has reemerged during the past few years as one of the most versatile and effective training methods around.
Medicine ball training is safe, inexpensive and can be adapted to general conditioning or specific sports moves. Individuals of all abilities can use the weighted balls and you can work solo or in groups.
One of the more important benefits of medicine ball training is that it works the core muscles. A strong core is essential to stabilize the body and maintain balance and coordination during movement. Weak core muscles result in diminished performance and a greater risk for injury.
Medicine ball training can develop many aspects of fitness to include strength, flexibility, power, muscular endurance and combination aerobic/anaerobic work.
Because of the weight of the ball and it's small size, it can train these variables specific to the sport or activity you participate in.
Typical medicine ball exercises include:
* Throwing with one arm or two. Also can be done with a twisting action.
* Crunches. Hold ball behind and bring it forward as you lift up.
* Pushups. Two balls, one hand on each.
* Arm chops against a wall
* Chest pass. Same as typical chest pass.
* Soccer throw. Same as a typical soccer throw.
* Twisting side to side with ball just above waist height.
* Bench press throw. Lie on bench, push ball up in air, catch and repeat.
* Squat, throw, bounce and catch. Squat down. While extending, push ball up. Let it bounce, catch and repeat.
These are just a few of the many exercises that can be done with a medicine ball. You may notice that most of these are quick explosive moves. Medicine ball training often works the muscles in such a way as to develop power and speed.
If you're looking for a strong core conditioning activity or you've reached a plateau with your current training program give medicine balls a try. They'll work your muscles in a way you've never felt before and provide you with what is called specificity of training. Medicine balls allow you to perform a movement with the precise motion required to get the best results possible.
About the Author: Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness information and ideas go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com