Is your workout becoming monotonous to you because it is the same one that you've been using for as long as you can remember? Sure you may have changed up an exercise here and there but it is still typically the same old routine. How about changing it up even more by adding in a medicine ball? If a poll was taken, I would bet that there are still some people out there that really have no idea what a medicine ball is or even what it is used for. This article will show how using this simple ball can be a very key piece of your workout when you want to lose weight exercising or even if you are just trying to stay in your current shape. Let's now outline how you can use these medicine balls to kick start your workouts back into fast forward allowing you to start to once again see the training results you once did.
A Medicine Ball?
Let's give a bit of a description of what these balls are made of for those of you that have not had any experience with them. Another name that you may hear when dealing with medicine balls is exercise balls. They are for all intents and purposes the same thing. The power of these balls comes from their differing weights and also from their different diameters. Each one could potentially have different uses (more on that later). These balls are typically not made for bouncing. Coverings vary from cloth (nylon) to leather to even vinyl and their fillings can also be gel, sand or even lead shot. The outside surface is very similar to that of a basketball, in that it is quite dimpled. This dimpling helps you maintain grip on the ball when your hands start to sweat. These medicine balls come in different weights which allow the user to increase their weights as they get used to exercising with the ball. The issue of plateau's in your workouts is a common one (if you haven't ever hit one, you probably will). You need to make sure that you keep increasing your balls' weight at regular intervals so that your results do not stop.
So a common question asked is why should I go and get a set of medicine balls when I already have other workout equipment? The biggest reason is for those folks that want a stronger core or better abs. Medicine balls are perfectly designed for these types of routines. So I can hear you saying that you can't see how strengthening your core will help you with your weight loss activities. To put it simply, you need a strong core to reduce the likelihood of injuries from almost any other activity that you do. Your core muscles help to control the movement of your upper and lower torso. Sports such as boxing and cycling, to name a few, require a strong core.
Medicine Ball Exercises
As you should with any of your workouts, a good warm-up is a must to start out with. Using weighted medicine balls with cold muscles puts you on the path to injury. Try modifying some of your current workout routines by adding in medicine ball variations. Let's modify a normal sit-up by adding in a medicine ball. For some people a sit-up is going to be tough enough to do on its own, but to increase that difficulty, let's now grasp the ball and hold it tight to our chests during the exercise. This adds quite a bit more resistance that your abdominals now have to deal with. Sure, the exercise becomes tougher but the added results will astound you. If these are too tough at first, try adding them in to every other workout until your body starts to adapt. These modification exercises are great ways to lose weight by exercising.
Other abdominal exercises could look like the following. This one is a bit different in that you will need another person to act as your partner. Let's play catch. Get your partner to toss you the ball but when you catch it, make sure to catch it using mostly your stomach muscles (i.e. get the ball to hit you in the stomach). Once the ball has been caught you can then use your hands to grasp it. Throwing the ball works your upper core and catching and cradling it works your abdominal muscles. How about doing some stretching exercises while holding onto the ball? Besides allowing you to stretch farther, the extra weight will also be working on your stabilizer muscles.
So as you can see, a medicine ball can be used in quite a few different ways. These few examples were for illustration purposes only. There are many more types of exercise that could also be used. You will find that over time, if a ball is used, that your core will become stronger and firmer. A proper diet will also have a big impact on you if one of your goals is to lose weight exercising. Try adding some medicine ball workouts into your exercise routines and watch the results come.