You need to be able to access all different kinds of strength such as isometric strength (squeezes and chokes), plyometric strength (explosive moves like double legs), structural strength (keeping your posture and preventing yourself from being moved without your will) and many other facets of athleticism.
It’s also an uneven kind of strength. In some sports and vocations, you’re allowed to start and move from a position of power and stability.
Think of power-lifting. The athletes are given as much time as needed to get themselves into a solid power base before they have to perform the exercises. With a bench press, you wouldn’t dare move the weight until you’re body is secure and ready.
MMA and BJJ competitors do not have that luxury.
Often you’ll be fighting out of positions where you have no core strength and stability, like trying to stand up and disengage after being taken down against the cage. This can be difficult to train for outside of actual sparring and drilling.
But luckily, objects like medicine balls can be a worthwhile addition to your training for a variety of reasons.
You can use medicine ball to do uneven push-ups; one hand on the ground (or in the air) whilst the other is pressed against the moving object in the medicine ball. This helps you nurture the kind of strength you’ll be forced to utilise in combat.
The most common use for medicine bottles is with plyometric exercises. You might have seen athletes throwing these balls against the wall or the floors as hard as they can. This is to help build their explosiveness, so they can shoot their double legs quicker and more powerfully and for them to gain the edge in a scramble.
Medicine balls are also used as added weight when doing crunches or even to infamously have them thrown into your midsection whilst doing those crunches. Your trainer will tell you that it “builds character”.
Either way, medicine balls are an excellent addition to your home gym and you should find them a secure place within your home workouts.
The Best Medicine BallsAmazon Basics Medicine Ball
This ball is solid and made with a sturdy rubber construction. You don’t have to worry about it popping or deflating with repeated use.
Whilst it’s nowhere near as bouncy as a basketball, it does still have a certain amount of give and bounce to it when being thrown at floor or at a solid wall. Just make sure you don’t throw it around in your dining room…
The rubber material also gives the ball a superior grip so you can easily stay in control of the ball regardless of how sweaty you become.
It comes in five different sizes, each increasing weight in 2-pound increments each time; from 4 pounds to 12 pounds. Something to fit everyone’s strength levels.
Milliard Double Grip Medicine Ball
What sets this medicine ball apart from many others on the market is the dual grip carved out of the ball. With this grip, you can use it for every ordinary medicine ball exercise and plenty more.
The grip makes it easier to hold when doing weighted crunches and can even turn your medicine ball into a makeshift kettlebell.
This is probably the perfect ball to use if you like to do twisting crunches. You can twist and crunch without dropping the medicine ball and tarnishing your workout or momentum.
The ball itself is sturdy with a solid core and no moving parts, or any other bits to worry about. You can balance on this ball if your workout requires you to without it breaking or losing shape.
Valeo Medicine Ball
Most medicine balls increase or decrease in size as they go up or down in weight, which does seem to make sense.
But with Valeo, each ball is the same size, regardless of weight.
This is especially beneficial if you use a lower-weight ball. The smaller balls can be more awkward to use and throw around, especially if you’re used to a more standard-sized medicine ball.
Conversely, heavier balls can get too big and unwieldy sometimes. It’s a good idea that Valeo use one standardised size for all for people who use extremely light or extremely heavy medicine balls but want that ordinary shape and size.
The sizes offered are 4 pounds, 6 pounds, 8 pounds, 10 pounds and 12 pounds.
Like most quality medicine balls, it has a solid rubber construction that allows it to bounce off of hard surfaces without pinging off like a basketball and without the ball breaking.
CAP Barbell Medicine Ball
CAP Barbell craft the medicine balls in six different weights; from 2 pounds up 12 pounds, increasing in 2 pound increments.
But you can also choose any weight in any of their six colours.
A lot of companies only have different colours or styles to correspond with specific weights. If you use a certain weight but don’t like the colour, you’re normally screwed.
So it’s nice that CAP Barbell gives you that rare choice.
This ball has enough bounce for you to bounce it against a wall and catch it as part of a wall drill exercise. Some balls do not have this kind of bounce, so if wall drills are something you’re interested in then you’re best off playing it safe with this medicine ball.
Champion Sports Leather Medicine Ball
Now, this product has a real classic 1950’s American gym class look and feel to it. The other balls on the list are more like basketballs with their rough texture and ridged exteriors.
But this ball is designed with a thick leather cover so it can withstand an intense workout and last you a long time. No matter how much of a beating you give it.
Whilst no substance and functionality has been compromised in the crafting of this ball, style is clearly a big factor.
Champion Sports sell this ball in 8 different colours such as green and white, blue and white, red and white, etc.
However, if you plan on using your medicine ball to throw at a hard concrete wall or floor, then this might not be the ball for you.
Benefits of Incorporating Medicine Balls into Your Workouts
Medicine balls are a great low-cost piece of equipment to incorporate into your workouts. Besides providing a range of simple-to-complex exercises, using a medicine ball can help increase your overall strength, balance, coordination, and agility. Medicine balls are versatile and can be used at home or in the gym, making them an ideal choice for a variety of athletes.
Medicine balls can target different muscle groups and be used to improve physical and athletic performance. Depending on the type of exercises you do, medicine balls can help build core strength and stability, increase power and explosive movements, improve posture and balance, and can help exercise and strengthen the arms, legs, and chest.
If you’re a beginner, starting slow and consistent will help you to enjoy the benefits of these effective pieces of equipment. Once you get your form and technique right, you’ll be able to see the results in no time. You can even work with a personal trainer or coach to guide you through proper form and effective exercises with a medicine ball. You can also use online resources and videos to get an idea of what kinds of medicine ball exercises you can do, and how to do them right.
Types of Medicine Balls & Their Uses
Medicine balls come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and can be used for a wide range of exercises. Traditional medicine balls are usually weightier and come with a hard outer shell to help you grip their surface. They may be round, oblong, or hexagonal in shape. Soft medicine balls, on the other hand, are more flexible and made of lightweight fabric such as vinyl or leather.
Besides the traditional varieties, a number of special features of medicine balls exist. Slam balls, for instance, are designed to be thrown and dropped on the ground, making them a valuable tool for developing explosive movements. There are also multi-textured medicine balls, which offer several grips for enhancing grip strength and power, as well as weighted ropes for adding intensity and variety to your exercises.
No matter the form or design, medicine balls can be used for a variety of exercises depending on the goals of your fitness program. Strength training, core exercises, general fitness, explosive movements, and balance drills are just a few of the exercises you can use medicine balls for. To create a comprehensive medicine ball workout, selecting a variety of medicine balls in different sizes and weights is key. That way, you can customize your exercise routine and have a firmer grasp on your progress.
How to Perform Medicine Ball Exercises Correctly
When performing medicine ball exercises, proper form is of the utmost importance. Incorrect form can lead to poor results and even injury, so it’s important to pay close attention to the instructions of each exercise. Start by warming up your muscles, as this will help establish correct form and prepare your body for the exercises.
When performing throws, lifts, and rotations, it is important to utilize full range of motion to help build stability and strength. Keep your spine in a neutral position and remain conscious of your posture and the alignment of your feet throughout your exercise. Exercising with a medicine ball requires the help of your core, so engaging your abdominal muscles is important for each movement and will help you prevent injuries and ensure that the exercise is being done properly.
Finally, breathe normally as you move and pay attention to the intensity of your workout. Increase the challenge and resistance of your medicine ball workout by adding more weight or increasing the repetitions of the exercise. With a little practice, you’ll be able to master the art of medicine ball exercises and reap the many benefits they offer.
The History of Medicine Ball Training
Medicine ball training dates back as far as ancient Greece, where athletes used heavy stones for enhancing strength, balance, and coordination. In the 19th century, modern medicine balls began to be used in Germany for physical rehabilitation and in England, where the idea of fitness training was gaining momentum.
In the 20th century, medicine ball training grew in popularity. The first official medicine ball was invented by Rasmus Nørlyng and released in 1910 in Denmark. Since then, medicine ball exercises have become a staple of many physical and athletic training regimens, from the classroom to professional sports.
Today, medicine ball exercises are commonly utilized for training in sports such as basketball, volleyball, and football, and for strength and endurance training in gyms and exercise centers. Medicine balls can be used for a variety of exercises, targeting different muscle groups, and helping athletes prepare for physical challenges. With a wide range of uses, medicine ball training is a great way to enhance your physical strength and performance.
Creative Ways to Use Medicine Balls for Fun Workouts
Medicine balls aren’t just for serious workouts – they can also make for a great way to spice up your routine. With their versatility and creative possibilities, medicine balls can be used for some really fun and innovative exercises. For instance, you can use them for partner exercises such as rolling and catching the ball, or for some wall ball exercises where you throw a medicine ball against the wall and catch it on the rebound.
Training with a medicine ball doesn’t have to be limited to standard exercises. With a little imagination, you can come up with some unique and challenging workouts. If you haven’t already tried it, you can create some exercises with a medicine ball and a jump rope. Doing a series of jumps while tossing a medicine ball over the rope can be a great and intense workout.
Using a medicine ball in unconventional ways can also make the whole experience more enjoyable. A medicine ball with a handle, for example, can be great for some partner “catch & release” exercises that can be a great way to break a sweat and have some fun at the same time. You can also try some creative yoga poses with a medicine ball to challenge your balance and core strength. Whatever your fitness goals, adding a medicine ball to your interest-filled workout can help make the experience much more entertaining.
Safety Tips for Medicine Ball Training
Safety should always come first when performing medicine ball exercises, thus it is important to understand and follow some basic safety tips when training with medicine balls. Before starting any medicine ball workout, it is important to warm up your muscles to prevent injury. Make sure to always move with perfect form and be conscious of the alignment of your body when performing each exercise.
Additionally, paying close attention to the weight of the ball is essential. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the resistance only when your form and technique are correct. Utilizing a spotter is also highly recommended, especially when performing more intense exercises with heavier weights. Finally, take your time and focus on quality over quantity. Mastering proper technique and form before increasing the difficulty will help ensure safe, effective workouts.
Medicine balls have a ton of uses and almost all of those uses are beneficial to the aspiring BJJ trainee and MMA fighter.
Whether your explosive strength needs work or your core strength is lacking, medicine balls can provide the workout you need to become a better you.