The Medicine Ball is one of the greatest inventions in fitness exercising. Its construction is simple, round shape ball which instead of air containment has sand.
Interesting thing about this invention is that it dates back about 3000 years in history. Persian wrestlers used bladders filled with sand to train. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, made them by sewing animal skin and filled them with sand. He gave them to his patients to exercise by throwing back and forth. This worked pretty well for injury recovery and still does today as many rehab centers uses them every day.
For years, the medicine ball is a key instrument for strength building to many athletes, no matter the sport. Boxers use them mostly for enhancing their abdominal strength. Other then performing the usual medicine ball exercises (which I’ll present them further in my articles) they simulate punches by dropping the medicine ball on the boxer’s abdominals.
Medicine Ball exercises are also great for training specific body movements which are key factor for a particular sport. Tennis for example, forehand and backhand are most important, no doubt about it; a medicine ball exercise (Russian twist) simulates these movements and trains the core muscles for strength, explosiveness and endurance.
Before every medicine ball exercise, warm up well. Make sure you have enough space around you for the movements. One to three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions is quite enough for a medicine ball exercise. It is good to make them before an anaerobic or heavy aerobic training.
The weight of a medicine ball can be from 2 to 25 lb (1-12 kg), constructed with leather or nylon cloth covered vinyl. There are variations other than just a rounded shape; with handles on the ball (one or two) or rope through the middle of the ball.
Don’t hesitate if you want to switch ab crunches with medicine ball. They will definitely build strong, rock solid core with a lot of sweat along the way.