Medicine Ball.jpgBenefits of Medicine Ball Training
The ability to generate strength and power is a very important component for success in many sports, particularly in those involving explosive movements. Medicine ball training, in conjunction with a program of weight training and circuit training, can be used to develop strength and power. Certain medicine ball exercises can also be used as part of a plyometric training program to develop explosive movements. Medicine ball training is appropriate to all levels of ability, age, development and sport. To be most effective the program should contain exercises that match the pattern of movements of the sport.

One fantastic advantage of mixing medicine ball training into your workout is that, unlike weights, medicine balls can be thrown ‘across’ gravity, or in any direction relative to your sporting activity or muscle group you are training. You can work both against, as well as with, the ball when throwing and catching – that’s why many athletes who require upper body power will use medicine balls in their training.

Stronger Core
Medicine ball exercises are an excellent way of training the core muscles to help achieve this power, as well as keeping it fun, by turning boring exercises dynamic and interesting, while still resulting in the same body conditioning effects.

The main movements that benefit form the use of the medicine ball are rotation and flexion, power and speed, and Dynamic stabilization.

Choosing the Right Size Medicine Ball
For most exercises, a 3-kg 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-kg 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.

The weight of the medicine ball used in your workout will depend on your strength and specific goal. It’s important to remember though, unlike weight training, you shouldn’t aim to keep increasing the weight to get the results you require, but rather use a suitable medicine ball weight that will allow you to perform the necessary exercise safely and effectively. The resistance of the ball used should never compromise the movement of the exercise.

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