A home gym is not complete without two fantastic items - exercise posters and medicine balls. Medicine balls are simply much more than just "medicinal", they are fantastic functional pieces of equipment. When used correctly, medicine balls are very effective for strengthening the core, upper body and lower body, they can provide a full body workout and offer the challenge of functional fitness-fitness for real life movements that you and I both need. Functional fitness is a favorite among personal trainers and athletic coaches because the movements are more than isolating muscles, they movements work multiple muscle groups. The biggest surprise for me was the versatility of the many movements. I always thought the medicine ball was mainly for the core - little did I realize the full spectrum of exercises-offering full body workout with this simple fitness tool. The medicine ball is a great resistance tool that can target tone all parts of the body. How to fully utilize this tool is the question. The answer is exercise posters. Medicine ball exercise posters provide a visual guide not just to remember the various movement and mixed up your routine but also to motivate you to perform the movements on a regular basis. The medicine ball exercise movements are relatively easy and can be done by men and women of all ages.
Medicine balls have evolved over the years. Yes, the original medicine balls looked medicinal and looked exactly like a ball. The advancements in varying the weight, varying the form have increased the functionality of this fantastic fitness tool.
The exercise posters for medicine balls vary greatly as do the medicine balls themselves. Journey with us as we explore the various posters and learn the different types of medicine balls, view the several videos that detail the exercise movements that this fitness tool can offer.
Medicine Ball Workout
Types of Medicine Balls
Medicine balls originally were simply a a perfect circular ball - appearing very similar to the basketball. Nowadays, medicine balls offer the option of handles and are more oval than perfectly round. In addition to the form, the material can range from soft gel to the original leather to air filled.
Most medicine balls are not conducive to bouncing. The Xerball ® by SPRI is unique in that it also bounces in addition to adding resistance weight.
SPRI also makes an Xerball ® with handles and offers a convenient download poster that showcases the many exercises possible with the medicine ball.
I personally own two medicine balls - 12 and 18 lbs, air filled and with handles. The variety of the workout these two pieces of equipment give me is outstanding. Great for the core, exceptional for lunges, and numerous exercises are available readily for the arms, shoulders and upper body.
Medicine Ball Exercises Beyond Therapy
The exercises for the medicine ball are beyond therapy. Functional movements, movements that we need every day is really the mainstay of the medicine ball which explains why the therapy field has embraced this simple and yet sensational fitness tool.
The many exercise movements that the medicine ball offers makes it a favorite tools among personal and athletic trainers.
Take Your Exercise Program to The Next Level
Medicine balls, with or without handles, can take your exercise program to the next level. Challenge yourself and develop your fitness routine with multiple movements that utilize multiple weights.
Medicine Ball Stand
Often seen in elite health clubs, the vertical stand for the medicine ball conveniently places multiple medicine balls within reach.
Most medicine balls will be clearly marked with their weight right on the top of the ball. See the photos for various example.
Medicine Ball Exercise Chart
Medicine Ball Madness with Scott Herman
Medicine Ball Workout AhtLeanX
Medicine Ball Stability Ball Crunches
Medicine Ball Training for Sport by Paul Chek
Medicine Balls Ideal for Circuit Training
Circuit training is a type of fitness program that uses a series of different movements. Often circuit training is seen with stationary pieces of weight equipment for the purpose of target toning or isolating muscles.
Circuit training can be with or without equipment. Circuit training typically includes 8-10 different types of exercises, targeting different muscle groups. If the movements are designed properly, a full body can be readily achieved.
Similar to body weight exercises, the medicine ball offers the possibility of targeting every major muscle group from abdominal to upper body to even lower body.
Medicine Balls Customize Your Workout
Medicine balls like body weight exercises and circuit training with weight equipment, your workout routine can be completely customized.
One of my favorite fitness routines is the body bar for low impact target toning of my legs combined with the medicine ball workout for the core and upper shoulders. While I purchased the two medicine balls for my core originally, I have found the benefits of the medicine ball are beyond just the core. It is a great tool for the upper body and after struggling with a frozen shoulder, I appreciate the strength challenge of the 12 lbs medicine ball for my upper back muscles. For my core, I start with the 12 lbs medicine ball and then elevate my repetitions for both my core and my lower body (mainly with lunges) with the 18 lbs medicine ball.
Combining Medicine Ball with Balance Ball
One of the best workout combinations is the balance ball combined with medicine ball. Sadly I was not able to locate an exercise poster that combines both of these great fitness tools into a workout.
Combining the crunch on a stability ball with the medicine ball is a great exercise movement.
Medicine Ball Similarities with Kettle Ball
The medicine ball is not the same as the kettle ball, yet the two have many properties in common. Mainly both the kettle ball and the medicine ball are both resistance tools that train your muscles. The exercise poster for the kettle ball in most cases will work well with your own medicine ball.
Medicine Ball Similarities with the Dumbbell
The exercises with a medicine ball are very similar to the exercises that can be done with a dumb bell. The item that I as a female really like is the pressure point is not on my wrists.
Arthritis Friendly Weight
While I do not have arthritis and cannot attest to this claim, I have read that many with arthritis find the medicine ball easier to handle. Always start with a weight that you are comfortable with. Jump starting to a heavier weight can cause serious injury.
Medicine Ball Weight
If you are just starting out, try the 2 lbs medicine ball. If you have worked out with resistance tools before, find your comfort level with the dumbbell and replicate that weight first.
Body Weight Exercises Plus the Resistance of the Medicine Ball
Similar to body weight exercises, everyone can use a medicine ball. It is not just for therapy, it is also for high performance athletes and office professionals who have a home gym. Medicine balls are great for the for the aging baby boomers because the medicine ball is all about resistance and building. Science has proven that as we age, we loose muscle tone.
Muscle Changes Your Metabolism
Muscle has been scientifically proven to change your metabolism. Women and men alike look and feel better with lean muscle mass. This doesn't mean bulky muscles necessarily. Remember to bulk up muscles, you must use progressive weights.
Exercise Videos Verses Exercise Posters
Exercise posters are perhaps one of the most under utilized tools in the fitness industry and in the home gym marketplace. Exercise videos are a great learning tool, however, the exercise poster is more than a simple guide, it is a visual reminder, a visual motivator.
Any tool, such as music, iPods, exercise videos, fitness classes, and/or exercise posters that motivates you to exercise regularly is a tool that we all need to reach for and embrace.
Fitness center should have multiple posters and regularly rotate the posters for exposing clients to various exercises. Often an exercise poster will start a conversation. In all cases, exercise posters serve as a visual reminder of why we move - we move to improve.
"Exercise posters serve as a visual reminder of why we move - we move to improve."
Medicine Ball Sizes
Medicine Ball Stands | Sizes Weights | Uses
Lady In Bloomers with Medicine Ball | Original Leather Medicine Balls
Leather and Lace Medicine Balls
While the lady in the old fashioned bloomers holds one of the first leather medicine balls, the very first medicine balls were primarily used by boxers and in physical therapy. Today, the medicine ball has evolved into a fitness tool appropriate for all ages and men and women alike. No longer restricted to medicinal use, the medicine ball is widely used by personal trainers and high performance athletes.
"The medicine ball is an investment in your mobility and muscle tone."
Medicine Ball = Fantastic Fitness Tool
Though it is often considered one of the original fitness tools, the medicine ball is a fantastic fitness tool because of its merely simplicity and frugality. The mere name conjures up images of a smokey old boxing gym. A leather medicine ball was once the mainstay of the boxing community and high school gym classes. The only trick to the medicine ball is consistently using this fitness tool and consistently mixing it up. When used to its full capacity the medicine ball is an investment in your mobility and muscle tone.
And while the therapy community continues to enjoy this great tool, the medicine ball excels as a home fitness tool. Add in an exercise poster to help you develop your fitness routine, change it up, keep it lively and most importantly, keep you motivated. Enjoy!
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Kelly A Burnett (author) from United States on March 23, 2016:
Thank you so much! The medicine ball is a great tool but like all great tools, it does demands training. The posters offer not just training but motivation too! I started this hub because I wanted posters in my home gym.
Lucy Jones from Scandinavia on December 02, 2015:
Great informative article for anyone wanting to know and begin using the medicine ball.
Kelly A Burnett (author) from United States on January 07, 2015:
Great question. I would recommend checking with her therapist or physician.
The round ball may be too much of a challenge. The peanut shaped ball may offer a little bit more stability.
Sadly, I do not see the peanut shaped ball at all the health clubs. When I was a personal trainer at a large medical facility, the peanut shaped ball was our go-to for beginners.
In all cases, I would not have her even try it alone, she needs someone to steady her at least until she develops those core muscle groups once again.
Hope this helps.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 05, 2015:
my mom has stroke, can she use this ball?