Monday, September 22, 2014

Medicine Ball Workouts - Moving Beyond the Wall Ball

If you are only grabbing that Med Ball for Wall Balls, read on
If your medicine ball workouts always seem to revolve around the wall ball, it's time to change things up and think outside the box.

Throwing the ball at a target on the wall is certainly a great exercise, but if you are finding that your medicine ball is sitting in the corner unless this exercise comes up, we will show you a few ways to use one of the most adaptable tools in the market today.

No piece of equipment that sits idle, collecting dust is one that belongs in your gym.  Our golden rule has always been:
If you can't use a piece of equipment at least five ways, it isn't the best piece to start your gym
Equipment that you can use every day whether for warmups, skill work or strength and conditioning is money well spent.  Single use equipment, when it is stellar and well priced can be worth your investment too but sometimes it's all about getting some inspiration on how to use the tools that can do the most.  Being creative in your workouts keeps you challenged and interested.  Those two parts when mixed every day will keep you in the gym and making gains.

To keep you grabbing for the medicine ball each time you walk in the gym, remember that for nearly any movement in which your hands are free, medicine balls are a perfect addition.  Here's 10 Exercises with the Medicine Ball that can easily slide into any workout or warmup:

The Overhead Squat - The wall ball may have met it's match.  Squatting while holding the ball overhead is a perfect change up to the wall ball.  And for those that aren't ready for a barbell, the medicine ball is a nice intermediate step.

The Kayak - While holding the top of the situp position, touch the medicine ball from side to side by twisting the torso.  To make this exercise even more challenging, keep your knees flexed and your feet off the ground.

The Catapult Situp - Coming in again as a great core exerciser, the medicine ball proves itself again here.  While performing sit-ups in front of a wall, hold the ball overhead from the bottom position and as you curl your body upward, throw the ball to the wall.  Catch it before returning to the starting position.

Knees to Elbows - Adding intensity to this type of movement is normally done by curling the body further and touching toes to the bar or gymnastics rings.  The medicine ball is that tool that could normally sit in the corner but when pinched between the shins, it can bring a serious level of intensity to this movement while keeping range of motion lower.

Sit to Stand or Atomic Situp - With the medicine ball held over the head in the bottom of the situp position, curl the body ford bringing the ball forward.  Once the ball passes over or between the knees, explode through the heels to standing.  Return to start or to add intensity, perform an overhead squat first, then return.

Partner Toss - Excellent as a warm up, grab a partner and throw back and forth like a basketball pass. An excellent class warmup when you've got a class full is to get everyone with backs against the wall spaced about 1 foot from each other.  Start the ball at one end and pass down to the other, then back up.

Pull Ups and Dips - The medicine ball is a great tool for adding light weight to these exercises without the need for a dip belt.  Pinch it between the knees or ankles and off you go.  And easy for use on a static pull up bar or dip bar but also easy to incorporate with gymnastics rings.

Medicine Ball Pass Overs - Start from the standing position with the medicine ball held overhead with both hands.  Rotate to the left and reach down with the medicine ball and touch the ground.  Return to starting position and now rotate to the right.

Medicine Ball Rotational Lunge - Step out in a traditional lunge while holding the medicine ball with both hands out in front of you.  When at the bottom of the lunge rotate from left to right and back to center before returning to the standing position.  Alternate:  Stay in the lunge position for reps.  To add intensity, keep the low knee just off the ground and make sure the front knee does not turn in nor should it ever be in front of the toes.

The V-Up Pass - V-Ups are super challenging by themselves but for those looking for a further challenge, try this use for the medicine ball.  While lying flat on your back, hold a lightweight medicine ball between your ankles, bring the legs and arms up together to meet over the hips [elbows and knees stay unflexed].  When the medicine ball is within reach, grab it with the hands and lower it over head to the starting position.  Repeat.  To add intensity be sure to not let the feet hit the ground.

The medicine ball is also a great tool for active rest, especially in Partner workouts.  When you would normally program one person working at all times, instead of the 2nd partner fully resting, have them hold a medicine ball in the bottom of a squat while their partner works.

If you are working with heavy weight more than a few times a week, stringing together a few of these exercises on your recovery days can be a great way to work the lactic acid out of your body.  Who, when they are sore, doesn't feel better by getting back into the gym and moving?  A lighter weight medicine ball circuit will get you loosened up and mobile while still giving you a great workout.

The medicine ball is one of those pieces of equipment you should be reaching for every day.  There are more than just a few manufacturers out there for you to choose from before you outfit your garage gym or commercial facility, but before you do, Dynamax never ceases to impress us and our clients.  We've been outfitting commercial gyms and garage gyms all over the US and beyond with what we think is the premier ball in the market.  Some gyms we have worked with have been operating for well over 5 years and they are still using the same Dynamax Medicine Balls that they've had since day one.  That's something to make note of.  Can all manufacturers make that same claim?  No way.

Dynamax has been making the same great 100% Made in USA Medicine Ball for years and this same great design holds up to heavy use day after day, month after month and year after year.  Add one or more to your gym to keep your grab bag of exercises full.

See our lineup of medicine balls right here.