It’s amazing how many different types of equipment there are just to workout! Cavemen and women sure didn’t have all of this equipment. They used their bodies and body weight in a functional way to gather and hunt. They built strength, flexibility, and balance in a natural way. This is not the case in today’s world of technology and 9-5 jobs where people sit most of the day.
Luckily, I have found the perfect piece of equipment that can help with my strength, flexibility, and balance. I have grown to love the medicine ball. Have you used one? If not, you need to run out and by one as soon as you are done reading this! They are inexpensive and very versatile. A medicine ball is a weighted ball that challenges your core, strengthens your muscles, and helps with coordination. It truly gives you a full-body workout. You will not regret incorporating a medicine ball into your exercise routine. An added bonus is that it will give you a little cardio boost, which we know is great for our heart and metabolism.
Here are 3 exercises that incorporate medicine balls (3-10 pounds):
- Ball slams. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips (or a little wider if you have low back pain) holding a medicine ball. Raise the ball with straight arms up over your head while lifting your heels, and then slam it to the ground. Come into a low squat as you catch the ball on the way up, and immediately raise the ball back up overhead. Form is very important. Keep your back straight, chest up, and abs engaged. Repeat 10 to 15 times. As you get stronger, you can up the weight.
- Overhead squats. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips with the medicine ball extended up overhead. Keep the ball where it is and come into a squat, driving your heels into the ground as you come back up. Really think about pulling the abs in to protect the low back. Also, be mindful of keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Relax your shoulders. Bring the ball to your chest if needed. Repeat 15-20 times.
- Russian twist. Sitting on a mat, bend your knees and lift them up to a tabletop position. Lean back slightly while holding the medicine just below your chest. Elbows can be parallel to the ground or down by your side. Engage your core and open your chest as you twist from side to side working your obliques. You can go as fast or slow as you like. I prefer to go slow to really engage the sides of my waste. Do 10-20 reps on each side.
I like to do this workout right after a brisk walk or run. Sometimes I repeat the whole routine 2 to 3 times if I am feeling like I want to work on my strength that day. It all depends on how I am feeling. The important thing is to move your body and find multiple things that make you feel good as well as challenge you! For me, the medicine has been a game changer in how I look and feel on a daily basis.