Medicine ball is a versatile fitness accessory for strength training and resistance workout. Medicine balls help you develop explosive power, strength, endurance, and physical fitness.
Unlike the conventional free weights and machines, medicine balls are exclusively used to target and engage multiple muscle groups.
Medicine balls are used in weighted training exercises as a replacement of dumbbells, barbells, and weight machines. According to American College of Sports Medicine, lifting barbells and dumbbells builds strength and power, but it doesn’t develop explosivity like a medicine ball training.
“There is a freedom of movement with many dynamic medicine ball exercises that replicate the movement found in many sports that are not necessarily found in other strength training exercises,” says Doug Fioranelli, a strength coach and owner of Rise Above Performance Training in Belmont, Calif.
Medicine Ball Weight Guide
In case of medicine balls, one size doesn’t fit all. Medicine balls come in different shapes, sizes, and weights depending on the demand for exercise and strength levels. Hence to choose the proper weight of medicine ball, type of exercise and the strength level of the individual are the key factors.
Medicine Ball Weight For Beginners
If you are a beginner in medicine ball exercises, take it slow. According to the recommendation by American Council on Exercise’s strength-training, select a weight that lets you complete 1-2 sets of 12 reps at slow pace easily.
Hence, you must select the weight on the basis of muscle groups your medicine ball exercise is targeting. You will use a lighted medicine ball for arm exercises like overhead extensions in comparison to the leg exercises like squats.
If you are using a medicine ball in a workout, keep your pace very slow in the beginning. When you are lifting the medicine ball in overhead extension, count to two. Now when you are lowering the ball behind your head, count to four.
Similarly, choose an easily controllable weight when you are performing throwing and catching exercises via med ball. What we mean by controllable weight is that it must allow you to do atleast 12 reps.
What Medicine Ball Weight Should I Use For Abs?
When you want to work out your core muscles, medicine ball weight depends upon the type of your core workout. So the guidelines vary depending upon whether you want to develop power, endurance, or strength.
Medicine Ball Weight For Power
Muscular power is a striking balance between your strength and speed. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that the medicine ball weight must be 30-50% of your 1-rep maximum.
For the first time, perform the exercise with the weight that you ar unable to lift for the second time. Now divide it in half to get your ideal training weight.
Your goal must be to complete almost 3-5 sets of 5-10 reps.
Medicine Ball Weight For Endurance
Medicine ball is quite a flexible weighted item that can also be used to enhance the muscular endurance. For muscular endurance, select the ball that allows you to perform atleast 1-3 sets of 15-20 reps.
An ideal med ball would tend to slow down the speed of your exercise. Still, you must be able to control the exercise speed. If you will use an overweighted med ball, your range of motion and form will be immensely reduced.
Medicine Ball Weight For Strength
Medicine ball exercises such as plyometrics boost the strength of your muscles. Plyometric exercises involve the throwing, catching, and/or bouncing movements.
For explosive strength, select a medicine ball weight that lets you perform atleast 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps of the chosen exercise. If the chosen ball is very heavy, muscle fatigue will have a negative impact on your form. However, if the ball is too light, you won’t be able to accomplish the desired goals.
Therefore, we advise you to start with the light ball and then gradually working your way up to the heavy ball. This gradual progression of weight is known as the principle of progressive overload. The medicine ball weight will increase with your increasing strength.
When your body is facing an excessive progression overload, your chances of injury will increase. Moreover, if your workout includes high-intensity strength exercises, stay hydrated. After your medicine ball training, spend almost 10-15 minutes doing some stretches.
Related: 5 Best Stretches For Boxers
After a rigorous training session, it is strongly recommended to have some light snacks with carbs and proteins. Moreover, it will also help you recover the energy fast.
Related: 10 Low Calorie Snacks For You
The medicine ball weight decided whether or not you are going to receive the desired strength, power, and endurance.