The Medicine Ball has a lot more to offer than just the Wall Ball exercise. Walk into most any gym and you will find them piled up against a wall or, more likely, in use! If this sport has taught us anything, it’s the fact that any exercise can be intensified and it doesn’t take a boatload of expensive machinery to do it.
It is true that for the most part, the Main Page programming only includes the use of the Medicine Ball in the Wall Ball exercise. And, this past year, the Wall Ball has only graced the programming about 16 times. To some, that might seem like a big investment for a small return.
But, there are other uses for the Medicine Ball. Maybe some of these you’ve never thought of. And even though the Main WOD does not include the Medicine Ball as frequently as say, the pullup, this equipment item is much more friendly and useful than we give it credit for.
It is, in fact, a very universal piece of equipment that, when incorporated into the proper exercise can challenge even the best athlete, yet it’s soft exterior makes it a little less daunting to the beginner. Even kids like the medicine ball - they can throw it, kick it and carry it. What’s more fun [and safe] for a kid? A 5lb dumbbell or a 4lb Medicine Ball?
Uses for a Medicine Ball in Strength and Conditioning Programming
- The Wall Ball - Here’s the no-brainer. Face the wall with the medicine ball gripped in front of the chest with both hands. Perform a deep squat and while standing back up, throw the ball to either a 9 foot or 10 foot tall target. Repeat. [Hmm..that repeat thing comes up a lot, doesn’t it :D]
- Weighted Body Squats - Air Squats came up in Main Page programming 11 times so far this year. Make them more intense by holding a Medicine Ball while you squat and stand. It will get interesting quickly.
- Medicine Ball Sit Ups - No GHD in the gym? No worries! From the situp position, extend your arms over your head and grab a Med Ball. Raise the ball up as you move to the sitting position. Return. Repeat. [Variation: Sit in front of a wall and when sitting up, this time throw the ball against the wall and catch it before returning to the starting position]
- Lunges - Great for a warmup exercise! Add a Medicine Ball carried overhead to intensify this exercise.
- Back Extensions - Carry one of these while performing Back Extensions on a GHD
- Weighted Pulling Movements - Squeezed between the feet, the Medicine Ball adds resistance to movements like the pullup or muscleup.
- Knees to elbow - Squeezed between the knees, the Medicine Ball can easily add intensity here.
- Gauge for Squat Depth - for the beginner, the Med Ball is a fantastic depth gauge for the squat. Stick one of these behind you when squatting. Touch it and you’ll know your squat is deep enough. It’s like the coach that doesn’t yell!
- Cleans - the Med Ball can be used when learning techniques such as the clean. And with it’s moderately light weight, many reps can be performed without severe fatigue setting in. It’s a great way to learn!
- Overhead Squats - Again, a great way to warmup this exercise or teach the movement.
What else do you use it for? Let us know!