have been hovering in the corner of the gym for close to 2 centuries. The first medicine ball was designed and used by William “Iron Duke” Muldoon in 1830. Iron Duke was a championship wrestler and boxing trainer in New York back then and the medicine ball was developed as a strength training device. I doubt very much that back then Iron Duke knew that his simple idea would turn into such a diverse tool in the fitness and sports industry.
The original medicine balls featured a tough leather outer skin. You can still buy models of this style and like the original they are truly designed for basic strength training. Great for fitness and building any muscle in the body, leather covered medicine balls may not be fancy but they get the job done when it comes to general strength building. A leather medicine ball routine utilizing a range of weights and a good variety of exercises will help build muscles throughout your body from calves and thighs to biceps your neck and back. As with any weight training the performing the exercises the right way is important otherwise you’ll find the medicine ball to be a back breaker rather than a muscle maker. You can start by searching online for medicine ball training resources
That covers weight training now lets really get into the nitty-gritty. If you shop online at sites like www.morleyathletic.com you’re going to find a lot more than the old fashion style leather covered medicine balls. This is where it starts to get exciting for you hard core team sports athletes out there.
It turns out old Iron Duke was really onto something but science just wasn’t ready for it back in the 1800’s. With today’s modern scientific instruments and our higher understanding of the human body we have taken medicine ball training to a new level and it continues to improve by the minute. We have now developed specific types of medicine balls for specific exercises for specific sports and for specific muscles used in those specific sports. Confused, well there is a lot of specifics you will need to determine but once you do you will be able to pick up a medicine ball and pinpoint a muscle group based on your athletic needs. Pitchers may be building muscle memory to develop the perfect arm, football receivers can pinpoint muscle groups for leg speed and strength.
Now it’s not my intention to teach you any exercises. I don’t profess to know that much about plyometric and strength training but I do know about medicine balls themselves so I’m going to point out a few styles that you may be interested in after you learn more about medicine ball training. Below is some information on a few styles of medicine balls I recommend.
Rubber Medicine Balls
Standard rubber medicine balls are only one step above the original leather covered models but they need to be mentioned. They are by far the most popular medicine ball being commercially used today because the rubber cover is durable, does not get damaged by moisture (such as sweat), they are easy to clean, they bounce and they come in a large variation of weights and sizes. Oh yeah- they are also pretty economical compared to their designer cousins.
Rhino Elite Medicine Balls
are a pumped up version of the aforementioned balls. Rhino Elite balls feature an exclusive textured surface and a design that ensues superior grip and handling. They are made from a hollow synthetic rubber which means they are designed to be bounced and can take all sorts of atmospheric conditions (they can get wet). The hollow rubber makes for a consistent bounce so you can perform wall throws, squat throws, start throws… well medicine ball throws in general. Rhino Elite medicine balls are available in 11 different weights so you can really vary your resistance levels.
Gel Filled Medicine Balls
These gel filled medicine balls are the softest most pliable medicine ball available. They are designed for a softer grip on the ball and are perfect for use with medicine ball rebounders or for general training. Made from durable roto-molded PVC shells these medicine balls are built to last. In addition each ball features a textured cover for even easier catching.
Rope Handled Medicine Balls
Rope handled medicine balls are designed for specific exercises. Each rope handled medicine ball is fitted with a strong yet soft rope for a wide variety of advanced medicine ball activities. Swinging, throwing and chopping exercises are performed with these medicine balls. Don’t worry if your budget won’t allow for more than one kind of medicine ball you can also remove the rope and use the ball as a standard medicine ball. Two soft rings keep the rope firmly in place to prevent knotting during use.
That is a short list of medicine balls you should consider when starting your routine. You will find tons of information regarding medicine ball exercise and how to use medicine balls to pinpoint different muscle groups for your sport specific needs on the internet. My only advice is to make sure you stick to information provided by professionals in the field. Exercising the wrong way will do more harm than good. A complete selection of medicine balls used in commercial facilities is available at www.morleyathletic.com.