That is where medicine balls come in
That is where medicine balls come in

That is where medicine balls come in

That is where medicine balls come in. Unlike fixed axis gym machines which guide your arms exactly where they need to go, you actually have to control the movement of the medicine ball. You also can move your body in all of these three planes of movement by combining different exercises and movement patterns. “Damn, does that mean it is harder?” I prefer to use the expressions ‘more effective’ and ‘more beneficia funky fit gym leggings l’!

Ok, we know that medicine balls are good for a multi plane three dimensional workout. But what else?

In a medicine ball workout, you are actually using a lot more muscle groups at the one time. That is, you will be working muscles to move the ball (the prime movers). You will be working the muscles that help stabilize the joints around the movement (the stabilizers). You will also be using muscles that help to stop any unwanted movements (neutralizers). So all in all, there are a lot more muscle being involved in the whole process. This means that the nervous system has to do a lot more work also. All of this means that you get a lot of training effect in a relatively short amount of time. Because you are using all of these muscles at the same time, you increase your ability to burn body fat by increasing your metabolic rate. And that’s not a bad thing is it?

The medicine balls are also very versatile. This means that you can combine several movements together in the one exercise. For example, instead of doing a leg press, you could perform a lunge with a rotation. So instead of just working your legs, you have worked your legs, your abs, your shoulders and your arms. Harder…yes, but more effective and more beneficial…YES!

We talked about doing crunches before in that one plane of movement. Medicine balls are actually better at targeting your abdominals than any type of floor based crunch exercise. The reason for this is that when you are doing a normal floor based crunch you are only really working the top portion of your rectus abdominus (that’s the six pack muscle by the way). You are not targeting the lower portion of this muscle, your internally and external obliques (the ones at your sides) or the deep transverse abdominus (the main core muscle everyone keeps talking about). If you just sit there if front of your computer and twist and turn and bend and extend, you will get a better idea of how much movement you have through your abdominals and why one simple forward bend in the sagittal plane is limited in way abs are traditionally trained. That is where medicine training can come in. You have the ability to load your abdominals in multiple planes of movement to get a strong, flat and functionally sound set of abdominal muscles.

The exercises involved with using the medicine balls are actually a whole heap of fun. It actually removes you from the traditional ‘gym’ environment and makes you realise that you don’t have to pound that treadmill to gets results.

Medicine ball training is appropriate to all levels of age and ability. From children to older people, from the office worker to the highly conditioned athlete, they are a highly versatile tool which can provide a whole heap of training benefits.

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