“Medicine balls?! Haw Haw!” you’re probably cackling to yourself. “Why not do an article on Indian Clubs or those electro-shock penis stimulators from the Victorian era, Grandpa?!”
First of all, Indian Clubs—or Persian clubs, whatever you want to call them—are a fantastic workout device by themselves, and will perhaps get an article in the future (the penis stimulators, not so much). But to get to the point: old fashioned though the use of medicine balls may be—-so old fashioned that Hippocrates himself advocated their use—medicine balls are rapidly becoming fashionable in fitness circles again. As well they should, because these pliant and uniquely shaped weights can provide a wide variety of fitness benefits.
Before we begin, let us make something quite clear: medicine balls are not exercise balls. The former has 3000 years of history and tradition behind it, and was used in countries around the world, while the latter was invented for rehab purposes but has since been co-opted by middle aged housewives for feeble, non-commitant exercises.
No, the medicine ball, is smaller (about the size of a basketball), and weighs anywhere from 5-100 pounds. What sort of exercises can you do with the ball?
1. An unstable platform
The simplest use of the medicine ball is to use the ball as an unstable platform or handhold, making various exercises more difficult due to being off balance. If you’ll recall, the one-handed pushup uses a basketball in one of the later steps of the progression to make the flat arm work harder.
Similarly, you can use medicine balls to do planks, pistol squats, other types of push-up including the handstand pushup, or any other exercise where being off balance would make it ...
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