Whether at home or in the fitness center — training with the medicine ball is an integral part of a good and healthy workout. All you need is a mat, a medicine ball and an interval timer. Before we show you how to train your workout cleanly and properly, we want to give you some basic information.
Since there are medicine balls in many designs, weights and materials, it is important that you find your personal medicine ball before you start your workout.
If you have more exercises in your future workouts, in which you have to bounce your ball a lot on the floor or on the wall, then choose a plastic medicine ball. If you prefer support exercises, choose a leather medicine ball. It is important that you start your training with the right weight.
Men usually start with a 3 kg to 5 kg ball. Please do not increase your weight until you can do your exercises cleanly and correctly. Less is often more! You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
How do you train with a medicine ball?
Medical ball training not only promote strength and fitness but also serves to improve coordination. That is why one or two exercises with medicine balls belong in the training for team and competitive athletes as well as in the workout at home or in the studio.
The special feature of a medicine ball is its universal applicability: Its weight can be used to support strength exercises as well as for certain throwing exercises that strengthen throwing power and body coordination.
In some sports, specific exercises to improve the technique and strength of an athlete are possible – however, most variants in medical ball training are cross-sports.
Training variant 1: Medicine balls as fitness equipment
To create an efficient workout with a medicine ball, all you need is a little space and a gym mat. Even classic exercises such as squats, sit-ups or push-ups become much more demanding due to the use of heavy balls.
For example, when the body rests one hand on a medicine ball during push-ups, it has to use the back muscles much more to balance than with normal push-ups.
Exercises in a suspended position where the athlete sits on the floor and slightly raises his bent legs are also very efficient for daily workout.
The ball is held in the outstretched arms and guided from right to left and back again by rotating the upper body. The legs tilt slightly to the opposite side of the ball as compensation.
In this way, both the abdominal and lower back muscles can be trained very well. In the workout, ten to 15 repetitions should be performed for each of the exercises shown.
A good whole body workout in such a workout is also diagonal lifting: The ball is moved from the bottom left to the top right out of a deep knee bend. At the beginning of the exercise you are squatting — and then straighten up, while your arms are stretched with the ball diagonally upwards over your head.
Also for this exercise, ten to 15 repetitions are recommended per page.
In addition to strength, fitness also includes elasticity and a sense of balance. All three factors can be promoted with a simple medical ball exercise: the standing scale. To do this, bend the upper body forward from a standing position with one leg extended backwards.
Meanwhile, the ball is held in front of the chest. When the scale is reached, it is carefully placed on the floor and immediately lifted up again. The whole process should be carried out about ten times for each mainstay.
Training variant 2: medicine balls for special training in ball sports
In ball sports such as basketball, handball or volleyball, the aim is to combine technology with throwing power and explosiveness in order to be successful.
In addition, coordination skills are important in order to optimally implement movement sequences and the handling of the cue ball. All these factors can be trained very well with medical ball training.
Exercises for throwing power are very popular, for example: A medicine ball is thrown upside down or played in front of the chest as a pressure pass.
The whole thing can be implemented both in one-to-one training against a wall and in training with a partner.
When catching a ball thrown in this way, however, care should be taken, as medicine balls are not as easy to brake as hand or volleyballs due to their high weight. Therefore, a medicine ball should always be caught with both hands.
Your 15-minute home workout to get abs:
First, set your interval timer to 50 sec / 10 seconds pause.
1. push-up with ball (shoulder and chest muscles)
You go into the push-up position and take the medicine ball by the hand. One hand is on the ground as usual and the other hand is on the medicine ball.
Important: The body must form a straight line. Do not press the back into the hollow back and hold tension in the abdomen. Interval timer goes to 50 sec/10 seconds pause.
Now you go deep into the first push-up and up again. You inhale as you go deep and exhale as you push up. Now you quickly roll the ball in front of you to the other hand and repeat the process. Always keep an eye on the tension in your stomach and make sure you stay straight.
2. throwing a ball (stomach)
In the ten seconds of the break you turn around, sit on your butt and lift your feet off the mat. Hold the medicine ball in both hands in front of your chest and at the signal of your timer you start to throw the ball upwards and catch it again.
You don’t need to throw the ball far up, but rather make sure you do the exercise cleanly. Keep your balance, pull your belly button inwards and cast for cast in a controlled manner.
3. Triceps power (triceps)
At the beginning you sit on the ball and support yourself behind your back with both hands on the ball. Then you push your butt a little in front of the ball and put your legs parallel and at right angles in front of you. As soon as the interval timer sounds, you alternately jump forward with one leg.
By throwing your leg forward, you automatically bend a little with your elbows and squeeze yourself out again. It is important that you do not press with your shoulders, but do the exercise in concert only for the triceps. Your butt swings up and down in front of the ball. Watch your belly and pull your belly button inwards.
4. knee bend with front stroke medicine ball (legs)
You stand up straight and hold the ball forward with your arms outstretched. The ball remains at shoulder level and is not dropped.
Now you take a lunge backwards and pull the ball once to the right and again to the front. Repeat the same on the other side with the other leg. The ball always rotates to the side on which the leg stops. Now you train your deep muscles and your balance.
5. Belly intensive rotation (belly)
The last exercise goes into the depths again. You sit on the mat, your legs are closed and lifted approx. 5 cm from the floor with your knees slightly bent.
Hold the ball in front of you with both arms and now tap it with a rotation to the left and right on the ground next to you. Now you’ve trained all your abs.
What exercises can you do with a medicine ball?
A medicine ball is suitable for training in various sports. Because with the balls available in different sizes and weight classes, it is not only possible to build up strength in a targeted manner. The exercises using medicine balls are also very effective for general fitness and coordination improvement.
Whether in the training of a handball or volleyball team or during a workout in the gym: medicine balls are part of the basic equipment. To train strength, coordination and fitness efficiently, the right exercises with such a ball are important.
Exercises for the upper body
To improve strength and stability in the upper body, rotational exercises with medicine balls are recommended. This includes, for example, fuselage circling: The ball is guided around the torso with the legs set up at shoulder width with the arms.
Throwing exercises with medicine balls can also do a lot for the throwing power during training, because the trunk muscles are specifically strengthened.
In this exercise, the medicine ball is guided behind the head with both hands, the legs are shoulder-width apart, the knees are slightly angled. The ball is then thrown forward over the head in a fluid movement, deliberately springing the ball out of the knees.
A pressure passport exercise can be implemented with a similar design. However, the ball must be held in front of the chest with both hands and pushed away from the body with as much force as possible. If you stand to the side of the wall, you can also do a so-called rotation throw.
Such exercise sequences in medical ball training are particularly suitable for handball players, for example, who need explosiveness and dynamism in their throws.
Volleyball players, on the other hand, prefer to use medicine balls in training for players: High throws on the partner improve the strength in the hands. However, it is important not to spray medicine balls, as they are too heavy for that — which can lead to injuries to the fingers.
Full body use in training with a medicine ball
Different exercise variations with medicine balls also have the effect of training the entire body. For a special training of strength and fitness, for example, the lunge with a medicine ball is suitable: To do this, spread the legs hip-width apart and take the ball into the hands loosely positioned in front of the body.
Then take a big step forward. Both legs should have a 90 degree flexion in the knee joints. At the same time, the medicine ball is lifted over the head and held there.
As an effective gymnastic full-body exercise with medicine balls, a floating seat is recommended: while the upper body and legs must be kept in suspension and not set down, the medicine ball is guided over the body from right to left with outstretched arms. This exercise is particularly suitable for training the straight and lateral abdominal muscles and the lower back.
A good exercise in the daily workout with the heavy balls is also the so-called sprint movement: To do this, move into a push-up position, support your hands on the medicine ball – and alternately pull your left and right knees towards your chest and then stretch your leg out again.
In order to carry out medical ball training as safely and efficiently as possible, balls should be placed that fit well in the hand and have a slightly nubby surface for high grip.
The weight should also not be set too high: Experts recommend using balls for the workout to promote fitness and coordination, with which ten repetitions of an exercise can be performed at high speed.
If you don’t want to do any throwing or feed exercises during medical ball training, you can also use medical ball models with a fixed handle.
Which strengthening exercises can be done with a medicine ball?
The Medicine Balls – in some gymnasiums, they endure an unnoticed existence, though they are undoubtedly as versatile as effective exercise equipment. Something has gone astray the medicine ball in a time in which speed and dynamics in the fitness business were insignificant.
Because the stress in training was kept relatively low, because all exercises were reviewed closely for possible injury. Instead of training with free equipment in everyday and complex movements, lying or sitting isolation exercises were announced.
However, the time of the isolated strengthening exercises seems to be over — with CrossFit, Functional Training, Core Training and other new trends the traditional training devices are currently making a deserved comeback.
The medicine ball
There are medicine balls with different material properties and different diameters — for example, as an air-filled plastic ball or cowhide ball with special animal hair filling.
The latter are particularly stable during support exercises, but have comparatively low jump characteristics. Plastic balls, on the other hand, jump better; but they are less stable in performing support exercises.
In the sports trade medicine balls are offered with varying weights from 500 grams to 10 kilograms. The selection should be based on the intended training exercises, for example during training in football.
Other criteria are the personal level of performance of the athlete and the planned repetition numbers depending on the training goal.
Beginners should start their training with a lighter medicine ball. Later, they will be able to increase their weight as their individual level of performance gradually improves.
The ball exercises are usually an effective part of a circuit training with 6 to 10 stations. Depending on the goal of the training, the number of repetitions and the duration can vary.
In which sports do you need a medicine ball?
Since in most sports strength, a good coordination ability, a pronounced sense of balance, high speed and good body control are important, medicine balls can be used in every workout.
Whether football, tennis, rugby, handball, strength training or running training: The weights in ball shape are helpful training equipment in every area.
Also for the regular workout to increase the overall fitness they are very good. Because they are not only used as additional weights for strength training, but also help with balance and coordination training.