Gym Ball Exercises That Everyone Should Be Doing
Think back to the last time you saw a gym ball (also known as a Swiss ball, although no-one seems to know why). We’d wager it was in one of two scenarios: either being used as a dust magnet in a corner of your gym; or being the best supporting actor role in a viral video where the main protagonist will, after several seconds of desperately trying to regain their composure, fall arse over tit and land flat on their face.
But there’s far more to the gym ball than cleaning or comedy purposes. In the right hands it can be a secret weapon in your build-a-better-body arsenal because it’s one of the most versatile bits of kit in your gym and its potential uses are only limited by your imagination. What’s more, because it’s cheap and lightweight and can be quickly inflated and deflated, it’s one of the first items you should buy to set up a home gym – Argos has a decent range of gym balls.
The Benefits Of Using A Gym Ball
“The gym ball is so versatile it can be used to help someone who is just starting out in the gym as well as experienced exercisers,” says Stephen MacConville, Nuffield Health’s fitness lead.
“A gym ball can be used by beginners to work on their squat technique. If they place the gym ball between the wall and their lower back, it can be used to support their back and help increase the range of movement in the squat.
“Just sitting on a gym ball is great for learning basic co-ordination and balance, and for helping people to improve their awareness of the position and movement of their own body.”
“For the more advanced gym-goer it can help by adding an extra level of instability, increasing the challenge of their workouts in a new and potentially unfamiliar way.”
That instability makes all your stabiliser muscles – those unsung heroes that normally play second fiddle to the pecs, biceps and triceps – work to keep your balance while you perform exercises. Using them regularly for bodyweight moves builds functional strength all over your body that will reduce the risk of sporting injury, improve your posture and support the muscles responsible for taking the strain of heavier compound lifts like squats and overhead presses.
Common Gym Ball Mistakes
Using an unstable surface is great at times, but if you’re looking to work certain parts of the body harder, then a gym ball isn’t always your best bet.
“Adding an unstable surface increases complexity, not intensity,” says MacConville. “Many people perform sit-ups on a gym ball, thinking that it is more challenging for the core. However, you will gain greater benefit from just performing the actual exercise because it will engage the desired muscles rather than all the surrounding muscles.”
The gym ball is also used outside of workouts as an alternative office chair, but don’t use it as a replacement because it can result in worse posture than if you’d stuck with a chair.
“People believe using the gym ball will challenge their core and help them maintain good posture,” says MacConville. “While this is true initially, when the muscles become fatigued your posture can suffer significantly, causing you to sit in a worse position than you would have in a chair. ”
Beginner Gym Ball Exercises
Gym ball crunch
Lie with your mid-back on the ball, your knees bent at 90° and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Place your fingers to your temples and lean back over the ball to stretch your abs. Exhale, then contract your abs to bring your torso up. Pause at the top. This move is about the quality of muscle contraction so keep the tempo slow and controlled.
Gym ball reverse crunch
Hold the ball between your calves and the backs of your thighs. Curl your hips off the floor and bring your knees towards your chest. Pause at the top, then lower slowly to the start.
Gym ball crunch twist
Lie with your back on the ball, your feet flat on the floor and your fingers touching your temples. Contract your upper abs to raise your torso off the ball. As you come up twist to one side, pause, then twist all the way to the other side and pause. Return to the start to complete one rep.
Gym ball pec squeeze
Do this drill six days in a row, taking day seven off. Stand tall, holding a gym ball between your elbows with your upper arms parallel to the floor. Squeeze the ball, as if you were using a pec deck, for 20sec, then rest for 60sec. Do this five times. Every two days increase the squeeze time by 5sec. After three weeks you’ll be doing 60sec squeezes with a bigger and stronger chest.
Intermediate Gym Ball Exercises
Gym ball incline plank
Rest your weight on your elbows on the ball. Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels without your hips sagging. Maintain that position for 30 seconds.
Gym ball Russian Twist
Lie with your upper back supported on the gym ball with arms straight above your chest and hands together. Keeping your arms straight and together, rotate your torso to one side to lower your hands towards the ground. Pause, then twist all the way to the other side and pause. Return to the start to complete one rep.
Gym ball jackknife
Hold your body in a straight line with your feet on the ball, hands under shoulders. Draw your knees in towards your chest, then return them to the start without letting your hips sag.
Gym ball roll-out
Kneel in front of the gym ball and rest your forearms on the side of the ball closest to you. Extend your arms to roll the ball forwards, using your abs muscles to control the wobble and keep your body steady. Then roll it back again slowly to return to the start, keeping your back flat throughout.
Gym ball leg scissors
Hold the ball off the floor between your feet. Rotate your lower body to one side, then to the other. Continue, alternating sides.
Gym ball lateral crunch
Lie side-on to the ball and jam your feet against a wall for support. Lift your torso sideways as far as you can. Pause at the top and lower slowly, then repeat on the other side.
Advanced Gym Ball Exercises
Gym ball side plank
Rest one elbow on the ball. Hold your body in a straight line from head to feet. Maintain that position for 30-60 seconds without letting your hips sag.
Gym ball incline press-up
Start in a press-up position but with your palms on the gym ball, shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and bend your elbows to lower your chest to the ball. Press back up powerfully to the start.
Gym ball passing V-sit
Hold the ball between your feet, keeping your arms and legs straight. Lift your legs and arms together to pass the ball from feet and hands. Lower your arms and legs slowly, passing the ball back and forth.
Gym ball chest press
Lie holding dumbbells with your upper back on the ball and your knees bent at 90° with your feet planted on the floor. Start with arms straight and the weights above your head. Bend your elbows to lower them to your chest, then press back up to the start.
Get into a press-up position with one foot on the ball. Bend the other knee and twist your body to one side. Twist your body to the other side, bringing your knee underneath you.
Gym ball pike
Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels with your feet on the ball and your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Contract your abs to draw your feet towards your hands so your body forms an inverted V-shape. Brace your core throughout the set to stay stable, and breathe in as you raise your hips and out as you lower.
Gym Ball Circuit
To sculpt a rock-hard six-pack you need to work your abs harder than ever before. Do this six-move circuit using exercises described above in order, only resting for three minutes after the final move. Then repeat the circuit, completing it four times in total.
It starts with a press-up variation that works your entire core thanks to the instability created by using the ball.
This move works your upper abs as well as your obliques, or side abs. Keep each rep smooth and controlled with your abs engaged throughout.
This next exercise continues to tax your obliques hard, helping them grow so you can sculpt a strong and tight six-pack.
This move requires a full activation of your deep-lying core muscles so your upper and lower body can work as a single unit.
Roll-outs on a ball are harder than on a barbell because your entire core must work hard to prevent sideways movement of the ball as you roll it forwards and back.
The final move of the circuit is an incline plank, done for time, not reps. Keep your core tight throughout and breathe slowly and consistently.
Best Medicine Balls for Your Home Gym 2021: Medicine Ball vs Slam Ball
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Who says you need lots of heavy machinery to have a full-body, muscle strengthening workout? The best medicine balls – sometimes known as “wall balls” or “slam balls” – are compact, easy-to-use tools that, when used regularly, can produce significant improvements in your muscle strength and core conditioning.
What’s the Difference Between a Medicine Ball and Slam Ball?
Oftentimes, people refer to medicine balls as slam balls. However, the two are not interchangeable, and it’s important to know the difference between the two pieces of equipment when finding the right weighted exercise ball for your needs. Medicine balls are typically made of leather or rubber and are a great substitute for dumbbells.
Since they are an odd object, they engage your stabilizer muscles in a different way than traditional free weights do. Slam balls, on the other hand, have tough, textured exteriors and thick walls that make these weighted balls suitable for throwing exercises. When you throw a slam ball, they will not bounce back or break. (The same can not be said for medicine balls.) Slam balls help you utilize your full body when you throw, which helps build strength. Wall balls are similar to slam balls in that they are used for throwing exercises, but they should only be thrown at a sturdy wall.
What Makes a Good Medicine Ball?
When choosing between a medicine, slam, or wall ball, keep your space allowance and workout needs in mind. Wall balls are an invigorating workout tool if you have space and a proper wall on which to use them. However, not every home gym is equipped in that way.
A slam ball is a convenient alternative to a wall ball if you want to practice throwing exercises and have an intense workout. Slam balls are also easily incorporated into your everyday workout routine as they accommodate a greater variety of exercises, therefore targeting more music groups.
For those who are less interested in throwing exercises and more interested in engaging their muscles in a new way to build strength and conditioning, a muscle ball is the best option. No formal gym space is needed to use a medicine ball, and they can be seamlessly incorporated into your existing everyday workout routine through various lifting, crunching and squatting exercises.
1. Champion Sports Medicine Ball
Champion Sport’s leather medicine balls help you achieve your fitness goals whether your path is with floor exercises, weightlifting, or aerobics. The synthetic leather exterior helps ensure a no-slip grip, even when your hands are sweaty, and it’s held together by premium stitching for enhanced durability.
This medicine ball weighs 12 pounds, a good, standard weight for both beginners and advanced trainers. If you are seeking a different weight, Champion Sports has it, too. Their medicine balls range from four to 22 pounds.
Champion Sports Medicine Ball
2. RBX Weight Training Slam Ball
CrossFit pros, this is the slam ball for you. This 10-pound slam ball has a grippy, textured surface designed to remain durable even after the most vigorous workouts. It is also filled with sand to prevent it from bouncing back or rolling after it’s thrown.
Incorporating the RBX slam ball into your regular workout routine helps build core strength, rotational power, and also helps maintain lean muscle mass. RBX also offers an eight-pound version if you prefer a slightly lighter slam ball.
RBX Weight Training Slam Ball
3. BalanceFrom Fitness Wall Ball
If your home gym can support the use of a wall ball, this is the perfect tool for improving core muscle strength. Made of high-quality synthetic leather, this wall ball is easy to grip and take control of – which is essential in a fast-paced wall workout. It weighs eight pounds, but BalanceForm also offers heavier wall balls for more advanced users. We also love this wall ball for its surface loops that help you handle the ball with finesse.
BalanceFrom Fitness Wall Ball
4. Raise Your Game Medicine Ball Set
If you are into home workouts but don’t have a proper home gym, this Raise Your Game medicine ball workout set is a great entry point into having serious home workouts with professional-grade equipment.
Not only does this include a 20-pound medicine ball with highly elastic, impact-absorbing PVC, but it comes with an anti-slip PVC ab mat that helps increase the intensity of your workouts. The set also comes with three resistance bands of differing intensities. This bundle also comes in different variations if you want a lighter load – with sets offering a 10 or 14-pound medicine ball.
Raise Your Game Medicine Ball Set
Medicine Ball Workouts: Pros and Cons
From the ThighMaster to Buns of Steel videos to step aerobics, most workout trends and tools come and go with the times. But for years, one piece of equipment has remained popular with athletes, physical therapists, trainers and other fitness professionals: the medicine ball.
They’re pretty similar to old-school balls that were stitched together around some sort of weighted material. Modern medicine balls come in a variety of sizes, shapes and weights and they can be filled with air, gel, sand or other materials.
Medicine Ball Pros and Cons
Medicine balls are cheap, easy to use and easy to store. They offer additional resistance to strengthen and tone targeted muscles. Of course, they’re also heavy and cumbersome. They may even increase your risk of injury if you use them incorrectly.
Here, Parkinson breaks down the pros and cons of these popular workout balls:
- Availability: You can find them at the gym, or purchase one in your local sporting goods store and at online retailers for home use.
- Challenge: Medicine balls allow you to add more strength to a variety of exercises, allowing you the option to up your game. Hold one in your hands while performing squats, lunges or core exercises, or throw one against a wall to develop the ability to better generate power.
- Core Strengthening: Controlling the motion of the ball during a slam, hold or other move requires you to tighten your core muscles. During a slam — where you slam the ball against a hard surface — you have to contract your hip flexors, abdominals and obliques through a full range of motion. That’s always a good thing, especially for athletes.
- Weight: Depending on how you use it, the heft of the ball can be either a pro or a con. When it comes to transporting equipment, though, heavy medicine balls aren’t as easy as jump ropes or resistance bands.
- Versatility: Medicine balls work best when you have a training goal in mind. They help generate power in a variety of muscle groups, but they’re not as versatile as free weights, kettlebells or resistance bands.
- Technique: It’s easy to get injured if you use a medicine ball incorrectly. Even a chest pass can be painful when a heavy ball comes flying back at you. If you want to benefit from working with a medicine ball, you have to activate the muscles in your core and upper extremities.
A Cautionary Note
Whether you’re using a ball for added static weight or throwing it in an extension toss over your head or against the wall, be mindful of your core muscles — and watch the weight of the ball.
“Purchase a weight that will challenge you appropriately,” Parkinson says. “Some people think more weight is better, but I encourage people to err on the side of too light so they can really concentrate on technique.”
Get on the Ball
When you’re purchasing a medicine ball, consider what you want to do with it. The best ball to use for added weight may be different from the top choice to toss or slam. A standard ball that bounces back is different than a slam ball that stops when you throw it.
Not sure where to start? Consider meeting with a fitness professional for a few sessions. They can help you select the best ball for your unique goals.
Once you have the right ball in hand, start simple. Hold the ball while doing basic exercises, such as squats, lunges and sit-ups. Throw it against the wall and catch it as it comes back. If you’re an injured athlete, you can do weight exercises while down on one or both knees.
To find an athletic trainer at Henry Ford, visit henryford. com or call 1-800-HENRYFORD (436-7936).
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Stability Ball Dumbbell Workouts | Livestrong.com
You can substitute a stability ball for an exercise bench for your at-home workouts.
Image Credit: alvarez/E+/GettyImages
Stability balls and dumbbells are a staple in many home gyms, and with good reason! They’re incredibly versatile and effective strength-training tools. And combining the two is a great way to get results fast. Not to mention, the stability ball can conveniently stand in for an exercise bench.
Whether you call it a stability ball, balance ball or Swiss ball, adding this piece of equipment to your routine is a great way to take your workouts to the next level.
“The stability ball will almost always increase the difficulty of an exercise,” Grayson Wickham, DPT, CSCS, founder of Movement Vault, tells LIVESTRONG. com. That’s because it increases the demand on your stabilizing muscles, including your hips, ankles and core, he says.
And Sergio Pedemonte, CPT, owner of Your House Fitness, says he often uses stability balls and dumbbells together for a few reasons. “The best part about these pieces of equipment is that they are easy to store and transport and are often an inexpensive way to work out at home.”
How to Safely Combine Dumbbells and a Stability Ball
If you’re just starting out, make sure you can perform the dumbbell exercises with good form without the ball first, Wickham says.
“Next, make sure you can perform the exercise with good form on the stability ball without any dumbbells or weights added,” he says. “Once you have those two progressions mastered, you can add light dumbbells to the exercise and slowly increase the weight while maintaining good form.”
As far as the weight of the dumbbells, you want to pick a weight that challenges you but that you can maintain good form with for 8 to 15 reps. And don’t increase the weight of your dumbbells until you’ve mastered the exercise on the stability ball with good form at your current weight, Wickham says.
“Typically, you will not go extremely heavy with your dumbbell weight using a stability ball,” he says.
Stability balls come in a wide variety of sizes. To make sure it’s the correct size, your knees should be at a right angle when sitting on the ball with your feet flat on the floor, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Also, be aware that the amount of air pressure in the ball changes the level of difficulty. Beginners should use a softer ball that gives you a wider base to sit on, while a firmer ball is for those accustomed to this type of training.
Try These 5 Stability Ball and Dumbbell Exercises
Pedemonte recommends doing chest presses, shoulder presses, triceps extensions and deltoid rows. “Each of these exercises are great to perform on their own on a bench, however, adding a stability ball will challenge your core even further and increase balance from the additional recruitment of the stabilizing muscles. “
Ready to get started? Here are 5 trainer-approved exercises using a stability ball and a pair of dumbbells for a great total-body workout.
1. Stability Ball Shoulder Press
Image Credit: Sergio Pedemonte/LIVESTRONG.com
- Sit on the stability ball with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders, elbows bent out to the sides and palms facing forward.
- Straighten your elbows and press the dumbbells up into the air over your head.
- Return to the starting position by bending your elbows.
“The stability ball shoulder press is an effective exercise for increasing strength in both the shoulder and upper back,” Pedemonte says. A wider stance will give you more stability while sitting on the ball, while a more narrow stance is more challenging, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
2. Stability Ball Chest Fly
Image Credit: Sergio Pedemonte/LIVESTRONG.com
- Rest your shoulder blades on the stability ball, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Contract your abs to keep your hips lifted throughout the exercise.
- Start by lifting arms straight up and over your chest, palms facing each other. This is the starting position.
- Draw your shoulder blades together as you move your arms out to each side, keeping palms facing each other and your elbows slightly bent.
- Keep the movement slow and controlled as you bring your arms down, then use your chest and arm muscles to return to the weights to the starting position.
Pedemonte explains that this exercise not only strengthens your chest, triceps and shoulders, but it also really works your core.
3. Stability Ball Row
Image Credit: Sergio Pedemonte/LIVESTRONG.com
- Lie on your stomach with your hips on the stability ball and your toes on the floor behind you.
- Draw your shoulder blades together slightly so they’re in line with your hips.
- Raise the dumbbells up to the sides of your chest as you bend your elbows.
- Slowly lower your arms down together in front of you.
“This exercise will increase muscular strength in the posterior deltoid [the part of your shoulder muscle in your upper back], as well as muscles in the rotator cuff and upper back,” Pedemonte says.
4. Stability Ball Triceps Extension
Image Credit: Sergio Pedemonte/LIVESTRONG.com
- Lie on your stomach with your hips under the ball and chest raised slightly off the ball. Your legs should be straight behind you with your toes on the floor.
- Tighten your core and keep your shoulders and back straight. Draw your shoulder blades together as you draw the weights up to the sides of your chest. This is the starting position.
- Extend your elbows straight until your arms are parallel to the sides of your body.
- Return to the starting position by bending at your elbows.
5. Push-Up Renegade Row
Image Credit: Michael Julom/LIVESTRONG.com
- Place your feet on the ball, as you get into a high plank with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and keep your body in a straight line. No sagging at the hips!
- Perform a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your chest toward the floor.
- Press back up and row one weight to your shoulder.
- Set the weight back down and perform another push-ups. This time, row the other weight to your shoulder at the top.
- Contine to alternate sides between push-ups.
This exercise is great for those looking to challenge themselves, says Michael Julom, ACE-certified personal trainer and founder of ThisIsWhyImFit.com. He says this tough core exercise works your internal obliques (at the sides of your torso) isometrically (without movement), while also building up the muscles of your upper back.
“The pressure into the shoulder girdle and pectorals makes for fantastic stability assistance through the entire upper body,” he says.
15 Stability Ball Exercises That Burn Out Every Muscle Group
Stability balls: You know them, you’ve used them, you probably have one collecting dust in your basement right now. And though we’re sure you’ve mastered the art of the stability ball crunch, there’s so much more this multitasking beach ball can do. Can it tone your arms? Yep. Torch your core? Duh. Burn those hammies? You know it. Rev up cardio? Absolutely. With a little knowledge, stability ball exercises can challenge every single major muscle group (while simultaneously improving your balance, coordination, core strength, flexibility and posture).
“Incorporating a stability ball into your workout will challenge you to use muscles you wouldn’t typically use,” Morgan Kline, co-founder and COO of Burn Boot Camp tells us, “such as your transverse abdominals,” those deep core muscles that are notoriously hard to target, “pelvic floor and lower back extensors. Use of these muscles will improve your core stability and balance while increasing the overall effectiveness of your workout.” And though its namesake suggests support rather than strength, research shows that exercises done on a stability ball are significantly more effective than those done on the floor. “In order to perform exercises with a stability ball, you have to engage and isolate a lot of muscles that aren’t typically used in bodyweight exercises.” So while you focus on sculpting those beautiful biceps, your rear deltoids are working overtime as well.
How to Choose the Right Size Stability Ball
Now, before you go grabbing that pump, you’re going to want to make sure you have the right ball size on hand. To do that, all you need to know is your height. If you’re 5’5” or shorter, stick to a 55 cm ball. If you’re 5’6” or taller reach for a 65 cm ball. If you’re over 6’0” (…overachiever), a 75 cm ball is the way to go. “Before getting started, make sure your ball has the proper amount of air in it,” Kline advises. It should be firm to the touch but not overinflated. If you’re new to using a ball, find your balance and start slow—because there’s nothing more embarrassing than rolling on your butt mid-shoulder press. “Find a lot of space to move the ball around to get comfortable with it. Don’t jump right into the complex moves. Focus on getting your balance before testing any secondary movements. Sitting on the ball and moving your hips around is the best way to get your bearings.” Once you feel secure, it’s time to break a sweat.
Start with this 15-step stability ball exercise routine broken down into four main categories: lower body, upper body, core and cardio (to increase your heart rate and flush out those muscles). Complete 6 to 14 reps of each exercise, based on your current fitness level. Then grab an ice pack and some Advil because we guarantee you’re going to feel it tomorrow.
Beginner: low reps (6 or less)
Intermediate: moderate reps (8-12)
Advanced: high reps (14+)
- Stability Ball (more options below!)
- Exercise Mat
- Dumbbell Set
RELATED: The 8-Step Resistance Band Workout Routine You Can Do Pretty Much Anywhere
Ball Slams for Strength & Conditioning – Medicine Ball Training
How to do Ball Slams
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and a non-bounce medicine ball held overhead.
- Throw the ball down to the ground in front of your feet with as much force as possible. Exhale during the movement and contract the abs powerully.
- If possible, catch the ball as it bounces from the floor. If there’s no bounce at all, keep the ab muscles engaged and pick the ball from the floor.
- Lift the medicine ball back the the starting position and repeat.
- It’s important that non-bounce medicine balls are used for ball slams else it’s likely you’ll end up with a broken nose! Dead balls are a popular choice as they’re rubber balls filled with sand and will deform when impacted, with minimal bounce.
- Test how bouncy the ball is before starting the exercise!
Ball Slam Guide
Balls slams are great for developing power, speed, strength and coordiation.
The exercise essentially involves holding a weighted ball overhead and throwing it into the ground with as much power as possible (also making it one of the best stress relievers around!).
Advanced Ball Slams
As you become proficient with the ball slam you should increase the weight of the ball used. Dead balls are typically available in a range of weights starting from 3kg.
Ball Slam Variations
If you’re ready to move on fromt he standard Ball Slam why not try one of these variations:
- Burpee Ball Slam: An advanced burpee exercise the burpee ball slam will seriously test your fitness (See standard bodyweight burpee for more information).
- Perform a push-up on the medicine ball, jump the feet in and lift the ball overhead.
- Slam the ball down to the ground, catching on the bounce if possible.
- Place the ball back on the ground and jump the feet out to the starting position and repeat!
The Best Slam Ball Workout for Maximum Muscle Power
Weights in the real world are rarely as compact or easy to handle as barbells and dumbbells. More often than not, you’re hauling an awkwardly-shaped sofa up four flights of stairs, or trying to fetch that steel cooler off the top shelf of your garage, or manhandling a 55-gallon drum of almond butter into your pickup truck. Those weights (and, therefore, your attempts to move them) are awkward and inefficient—and they challenge whole swathes of muscle groups that you don’t normally use together at the same time.
Fortunately, there’s an increasingly popular tool to help train for exactly that kind of motion. Slam balls are relatively soft, like traditional medicine balls, but they’re typically larger, and they handle like dead weight—no bounce, no elasticity. Plus, since they’re usually filled with sand, their uneven weight distribution forces athletes to grapple with the unwieldy bulk as it shifts in their hands.
VIDEO: The Med-Ball Ab Circuit >>>
The slam ball “allows for exercises, ranges of motion, and movement speeds that one cannot obtain with traditional gym equipment like barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, or machines,” says Marc Megna, C. S.C.S., co-owner and chief body architect at Anatomy at 1220 in Miami. “It can be an easy way to add resistance to exercises that are typically performed with just bodyweight.”
While modern fitness enthusiasts might have first encountered the heavy-duty slam ball at a niche gym, medicine balls are no novelties. Hippocrates supposedly tossed around stuffed animal skins to stay in shape. Persian wrestlers trained with sand-filled bladders 3,000 years ago. Medicine balls of 4 or 6 lbs. are even used to play “Hooverball,” a volleyball-like game developed in the early aughts for President Herbert Hoover. (It’s exactly the kind of sport that quickly fades, only to then become a CrossFit WOD 100 years later.)
Several companies make heavyweight medicine or slam balls, but Megna recommends Dynamax, which was founded in 1985 is more or less synonymous with vinyl slam balls. “They’re easy to grip and very durable,” Megna says. “We use them indoors and outdoors on our turf area. We find they last the longest. ”
READ MORE: The Slam Ball Workout for Maximum Muscle Power
The Slam Ball Workout
There’s not much you can’t do with a slam ball. Unlike, say, the average 45-lb barbell plate, slam balls can get tossed at concrete walls (or your training partner). That makes them especially useful for developing your ability to generate a lot of force quickly—in other words, power.
“This workout is designed to improve the strength, power, and explosiveness of every muscle of the body,” Megna says. “There’s a definite cardiovascular component, because anytime you’re moving the body through a large range of motion at a high velocity, there will be a high energy demand that must be supplied by the anaerobic energy system—thereby taxing the aerobic system to aid recovery between sets and exercises.”
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As always, be cautious and work out smart. This workout is plenty tough, and it’s equally taxing on your strength and your conditioning. And while that slam ball might not be made of cold steel, it still poses an injury risk if you mishandle it. Megna recommends that beginners start with a 14-lb or 16-lb ball, while advanced guys can probably start around 20 lbs.
Exercises labeled A and B are supersets, so each set should be done without stopping between A and B. If you get through set 6 and you still have some energy left in the tank, perform sets 7 and 8 as bonus rounds.
1) Squat Throw to Sprint
(shown with medicine ball) (3 sets of 5 reps; rest 1 minute between sets)
Start by standing over the ball with your feet shoulder-width apart and the ball between your feet. Squat down to pick up the ball and pull it up to your chest as you explode upward. Continue moving the ball upward at a 45 degree angle to throw it forward with both hands while you jump forward at the same angle. Immediately upon landing, sprint forward through the landing position of the ball and repeat back the other way.
As always, be sure to squat with your hips and knees. Keep your back in its natural arc and your chest as vertical as possible through the thrusting movement.
2a) Scoop Overhead Throws
(shown with medicine ball) (3 sets of 5 reps)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the ball between your feet. Squat down to pick up the ball underhand. Scoop the ball up and throw it vertically as high as you can. Make sure you extend your hips and squat explosively, so you reach your tip toes or even jump. Be mindful of the ball as it falls, and let it hit the ground—don’t try catching it.
2b) Overhead Slams
(shown with medicine ball) (3 sets of 5 reps; rest 1 minute between supersets)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the ball between and slightly in front of your feet. Squat down to pick up the ball, holding it on the sides (so your palms face inward). Stand up, bring the ball above and slightly behind your head. Push your hips backward, fire your core, and power your arms so you slam the ball into the ground.
3a) Reverse Lunge to Chest Pass
(3 sets of 5 for each leg)
Start standing up, with your feet together and holding the ball at your chest. Do a reverse lunge, and as you step back to the starting position, throw the ball at a wall or to a partner. Let your momentum carry you forward as you make the throw.
3b) Overhead Straight Leg Sit-Up
(shown here with barbell) (3 sets of 10 reps; rest 30 seconds between sets)
Start lying down, facing up. Hold the ball above your chest, your arms fully extended. With your heels touching the ground, perform a situp, holding the ball vertically above your chest and head as you ascend to a seated position. Lower yourself back to the starting position, making sure to keep the weight level. Make sure you keep your back in its natural arch.
4a) Split Squat to Lateral Pass
(3 sets of 5 for each side)
Perform this one with a partner, or do it against a wall. Start with your left leg in front and your right leg behind you. Hold the medicine ball on your right side at waist height. Perform the split squat, and as you’re at the bottom of the squat—with your right leg about an inch above the ground—fire your core muscles and throw the ball to your right side. Squat back up. That’s one set; next do a set on the other side (right leg in front, left leg behind you, and throwing the medicine ball to the left).
4b) Russian Twist
(shown here with medicine ball) (3 sets of 50 reps; rest 30 seconds between supersets)
Sit on the ground with your knees bent, heels on the ground, and your upper body leaned back at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Start with the ball touching the ground next to one of your hips. Holding the ball, twist your upper body so the ball is on the opposite side. Make sure you push your chest out and keep your back in its natural arc. Want it even tougher? Try lifting your heels off the ground.
5a) Front Lunge to Facing Side Pass
(3 sets of 5 for each leg)
This is a standard front lunge, except you’ll start with your torso swiveled to the side, holding the ball underhand in front of your torso. Step forward with the opposite leg, rotate your body back to the neutral position, and throw the ball forward to a wall or a partner. Hold at the bottom of a squat position until your partner hands the ball back to you (or until the ball bounces off the wall), and then power yourself back upward.
You can either perform each rep on the same side, or alternate back and forth.
5b) Dead-bug, holding ball with opposite limbs
(3 sets of 8 for each leg; rest 30 seconds between supersets)
Start with your back on the ground. Hold the ball between your left knee and your right hand. Extend your free limbs (in this case, your right leg and left hand) out to your sides. Next, bring your extended limbs to the ball and hold it, while you extend the other limbs. Make sure to keep your back flat on the ground as you do this exercise.
6a) Explosive Walk-Over Pushups
(3 sets of 8 per side)
Start in a pushup position with one hand on the ground and the other on the ball. Keep your feet slightly wider than they’d be for a normal pushup. Lower yourself in to the bottom of the pushup, relying mostly on the grounded hand for support. Then explode upward, pushing laterally with your grounded hand, so your grounded hand lands on the ball and the hand that was previously on the ball lands on the ground on the other side.
6b) Reaching Single-Leg Deadlift
(3 sets of 8 per side; rest 30 minutes between supersets)
Start in a standing position, holding the ball at chest level and your knees slightly bent. Shift your weight to one leg. Pivot at your hips, lowering your body and raising your free leg so they’re approximately parallel to the floor as you reach the ball down towards the ground in front of you. Pause, then return to the starting position.
7a) Overhead Squat to Overhead Throw
(3 sets of 8 per side)
Start in a standing position. Set your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ball with straight elbows above your head. Perform a squat with the ball overhead, and then return to the start position. At the top of the squat, throw the ball forward to a wall or partner. Get the ball back—don’t try to catch the ball overhead—and return to the starting position.
7b) Feet on Ball Hip Thrust
(3 sets of 8 per side; rest 30 seconds between supersets)
Start lying down, with your back on the ground and the soles of your feet on the top of the ball with your knees bent. Power your hips off the ground, making sure to push your heels into the ball and squeeze your glutes. Stop when your upper legs and torso are in a straight line—don’t hyperextend your hips—and then lower yourself back to starting position.
8a) Reaching Lateral Lunge
(3 sets of 8 per leg)
Perform a lateral lunge, making sure to keep your toes pointed forward, and push your hips back as you lower your body. As you lower your body, “punch” the medicine ball forwards while keeping your chest as upright as possible. Once you’re at the bottom of the lunge, push off your outside leg and return to the starting position. Repeat with your other leg on the other side of the lunge. Up for a challenge? Hold the ball overhead as you perform the lunge.
8b) Side Bridge with feet on ball
(3 sets of 30 seconds on each side; rest 30 seconds between supersets)
Start by lying down on your side, with your elbow directly underneath your shoulder, your hips on the ground, and your feet on top of the ball. Push your hips upward until your body is in a straight line. Hold for 30 seconds before lowering your body. Repeat the exercise on the other side. Amp up this exercise by raising your top leg once you reach the hold position.
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90,000 Weighted Ball Exercises
Eating right is not enough to be healthy, lean and fit. Physical exercise is an obligatory component of self-improvement. This is really work. And in order for him to be a pleasure, you need to choose activities to your liking. Later, noticeable results will be an additional incentive. Additional accessories are used for greater effect. One of these is ball weighted .
What is a weighted ball used for?
These balls have different weights from 0.5 kg to 50 kg.They are also called medicine ball, medicine ball, medicine ball. But in essence they are the same thing. Basically, they are used to practice Pilates and yoga, physical education at school, remedial gymnastics, and practicing the speed of strikes in martial arts.
The main convenience of such a sports equipment is its compactness. It won’t take up much space. The maximum diameter is only 40 cm. You can play with the ball even in the gym, even at home on your own. Plus, it’s pretty easy to transport.
Weighted training balls may be of regular shape. There are also balls with one or two special handles. As a rule, they are made of special rubber and filled with sawdust, sand or gel. Such a ball cannot be played in ordinary sports games. Having hit, it does not rebound, but rather dampens the force of the blow.
Weighted Ball Exercises
Weighted ball exercises can be very common. It is enough to pick up a weighting agent and perform regular squats or bends.
The ball can not only be held in hand, but also squeezed between the knees, or used for support during push-ups.Then the body will be given an additional load, because it will have to keep balance.
Here are some more exercises:
- Perform torso lifts from a prone position, holding the ball in your hands, while simultaneously turning your body to the right and then to the left.
- Sit on the floor with feet about 90 degrees wide. Rotate the body to one side, then to the other.
- Plank is an excellent exercise. One difference from the usual one: instead of the floor, use the ball as a support.
- Raise the ball over your head with your arms outstretched. Roll the ball over your head, lift it over your head, lower it in front of you to chest level.
- By using a weighted throwing ball, you will train strength and endurance.
If you are a beginner, do not pick a ball that is too heavy. It is better to start training with a light weight. It is not difficult to buy a weighted ball. In the online store Tanita-shop you can do it online in just a few minutes.
Weighted ball HEAVYMED 12 cm 1 kg red Ledraplastic
The weighted ball HEAVYMED is used in Pilates and yoga lessons, in children’s fitness programs. Ideal for performing various group and individual exercises, it can be used in school physical education, remedial gymnastics, as well as in martial arts, in special exercises for working out the speed of strikes. exercises with this ball are also indicated for flat feet – for balancing on it it is an alternative to dumbbells and band weights Possibility of expanding balls with different weights: N 20219 Weighted ball HEAVYMED 500 g N 20356 Weighted ball HEAVYMED 2 kg N 18844 Weighted ball MED BALL 3 kg Age from 3 years old Color red Toy size 12 cm diameter Packaging plastic bag Weight 1.01 kg With weighted balls, exercises for coordination of movements, balance, training of the vestibular apparatus, breathing exercises are widely used
Age from 3 years Weighted ball HEAVYMED is used in Pilates and yoga lessons, in children’s fitness programs.Ideal for performing various group and individual exercises, can be used in school physical education, remedial gymnastics, as well as in martial arts, in special exercises for working out the speed of strikes.Color redMaterialSize toy diameter 12 cmPackage sizeWeight 1 kg with this ball are also indicated for flat feet – for balancing on it it is an alternative to dumbbells and band weights Possibility of expanding balls with different weights: N 20219 Weighted ball HEAVYMED 500 g N 20356 Weighted ball HEAVYMED 2 kg N 18844 Weighted ball MED BALL 3 kgWith weighted balls widely exercises for coordination of movements, balance, training of the vestibular apparatus, breathing exercises are used.
90,000 20 Super Effective Fitball Exercises for Home Practice
So what can you do with this bulky bouncy ball that takes up so much space at home?
In fact, a fitball (this is the name of this ball) is an excellent projectile for keeping your body fit. You do the exercises in a wobbly position, which forces you to also maintain balance.And this is an additional load on the muscles.
By the way, exercises with the use of balls are often performed by athletes during the rehabilitation period after injuries. This is because the ball helps reduce stress on the muscles and spine compared to normal exercise.
Before we move on to training, let’s decide on the size of the ball that you will be comfortable working with.
Most balls are available in three sizes:
- 55 cm – for those who are 150–160 cm tall;
- 65 cm – for those who are 160–170 cm tall;
- 75 cm – for those who are 170-200 cm tall.
Based on this list, you can choose the right one. Or there is another validation test that can help you determine the ideal ball size for you. All that is required of you is to sit astride the ball. If your thighs and shins form a right angle, then the size of this ball is right for you.
Performing the exercises that we will discuss below, determine the number of repetitions and approaches depending on your level of fitness. We recommend doing 3-5 sets of 10-20 repetitions of each exercise.Start small and then build up the load.
Exercises for the lower body
This group of exercises is designed to work out the main muscles of the legs.
1. Squats with the ball over the head
Squats with the ball
This exercise is based on regular squats, the only difference is that you hold the ball over your head with outstretched arms.
2. Wall Squat
In this exercise, the ball is used to support the back.During the exercise, he should move from the waist to shoulder level.
3. Squeezing the ball with the hips
It may look ridiculous, but the exercise perfectly works the muscles of the hips and lumbar region. Squeeze the ball to keep your balance. Hold this position for 30-45 seconds.
For this exercise, it is better to use a smaller ball than a regular ball.
4. Raising the pelvis
Raising the pelvis
Lie on the floor, stretch your arms perpendicular to your body.Place the lower leg and heel on the ball. Use your abs and glutes to lift your hips off the floor. You will find yourself in a wobbly position, so use your outstretched arms to maintain balance.
Exhale and slowly bring your knees to your hips so that your feet are on the surface of the ball. Hold this position for a second, and then inhale and stretch your legs back. Always keep your hips on weight to give maximum load to the muscles of the buttocks.
5. Squats holding the ball in front of you
This exercise simultaneously works the muscles of the arms, abs and legs.
6. Lunges with the ball
When performing this exercise, make sure that the knee of the leg on the floor does not go beyond the level of the toe. To maintain balance, you can hold onto a support (for example, a chair).
7. Reverse hyperextension
Exercises for the upper body
This set of exercises works the muscles of the arms and shoulders.
These are not just push-ups that you may be used to. This is a complicated version of them, because you have to keep balance.
Unlike the usual plank, which is performed on the floor, this version of it puts even more stress on the shoulders and arms. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds if you can.
10. Back crunches on the ball
During this exercise, I recommend placing a towel under your knees to avoid pain.
Yes, and this is an effective exercise that can be done on a ball.
12. Triceps curl
This is a difficult exercise. It is recommended to perform it already when you have gained a certain physical shape.
This set of exercises with a ball is aimed at stressing the muscles of the trunk.
14. Exercise on the press
In the upper position, linger until you count to five, and then slowly lower yourself. The number of repetitions is 6-10 depending on your training.
15. Jumping on the ball
Do not be alarmed, in the literal sense you will not have to run on the ball, although this exercise will also make your heart beat faster.All that is required is to sit on the ball, lower the heels to the floor. And then quickly raise and lower your knees to jump as high as possible.
Caution: This exercise uses your abs, not your leg muscles. You don’t need to get up, you just need to raise your knees.
Try medium pace for 2-5 minutes. Believe me, it’s not that easy.
16. Shifting the ball from hands to feet
17. Pulling the knees to the stomach
Pulling the knees to the stomach
Starting position as in push-ups.Only instead of bending your elbows, tuck your knees under you and straighten your legs back.
18. Raising the knees while lying on the ball
During this exercise, you need to strongly press your knees to each other so that your legs do not separate. To avoid pain, pinch a towel between your knees.
19. Exercise for the oblique muscles of the torso
Sit straight on the ball. Hands behind your head. Bring your legs together and lower your feet to the floor. Then, at the same time, take your legs to the right, and turn the body to the left.