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Monday, April 14, 2014

Medicine Ball Training

There are many exercises you can do with a medicine ball to get in shape and build strength. Just what is a medicine ball?

A medicine ball is a wonderful tool to train your body and improve it. They are available in different weights and textures, which are designed to improve grip performance.

Originally part of a boxer’s training equipment exclusively; they have become very popular among fitness participants, especially cross-fit trainees. If you’ve ever watched a show on boxing training you probably have seen a trainer drop a medicine ball on an outstretched boxer’s stomach to toughen it up. Training for most people has changed dramatically from that. Now training consists of underhand and overhead throws, sit-ups, crunches, side twists, squats and lying upward throws as well as many other exercises.

With these and other exercises, it is possible to train the entire body.  You can use them to strengthen your leg muscles by holding them in front of your chest and doing knee bends, train shoulder muscles by pressing them overhead, and build your arms by curling them. Select a weight that allows safe handling but enough resistance to slow down the speed as you move it.

Weights range from 3 pounds to more than 80 pounds but it is important to remember that medicine balls are used to build explosive power and not raw strength. Keeping that in mind, when you choose the weight that you want to train with, avoid using one that is too heavy because that will cause you to use bad form in your exercises and is counter-productive.  A typical male can do most, if not all exercises with a 6-8 pound ball.

There is a newer variety called a slam ball. These are usually very heavy balls that have a baggy, softer appearance than traditional medicine balls. They are used with moves that involve slamming the ball to the floor in an explosive movement, hence the name slam ball. Often they are thrown hard against a wall as well. These are used regularly in cross-fit training routines.

A good training program using a medicine ball is:

·        Deep knee bends with upward throw
·        Side twists
·        Forward bends
·        Lying press and throw
·        Leg lunge with twist
·        Overhead press
·        Medicine ball push-up
·        Overhead triceps press
·        Ab crunch

Beginners should do one set of 10 reps each. As you progress, increase sets to 2-3, with rep counts of 10-20.






2 comments:

  1. great information. I like the chest double pre exhaust routine and the chest workout with the rest pauses, statics, etc. Will have to try that. Thanks.

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  2. Dave, I just came across your blog from doing research on HIT. I've been seriously practicing HIT for the past 6 months and am in my best ripped shape ever at 50 since really working out since age 15. I've done the pre exhaust ala Mentzer but never the double pre exhaust. It's really endless with all the HIT principles to vary the consecutive workouts to shock the muscles. Thanks again for the great blog. P.S. you can see my fitness page: http://billpruitt.com/fitness I have other HIT site links and can add yours if you don't mind. Bill

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