CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Are you ready to shake up your workout? Ready to try something new? Great!
Fitness products are put on the market continually to spark interest and to pull the regular exerciser out of the doldrums. Sometimes, however, it doesn't require a new tool. Sometimes all that's needed is a new take on an old tool.
Fitness professionals oftentimes (often when bored themselves) simply dust off an old, underused piece of equipment and repurpose it. Take for example, the kettlebell lay dormant for decades, but now, given its place in boot camps and personal training, it is one of the hottest trends in the fitness arena.
Tricks of the trade
The medicine ball has been used to enhance sports performance for years. It can actually classify as "old school," considering its invention is placed at around 400 B.C. The name "medicine ball" comes from the Greek physician Hippocrates, who filled animal skins with sand to help his patients rehabilitate after injuries.
You may not need rehabilitation, but you may want to challenge your core and to improve overall strength. If so, the medicine ball may be excellent tool to infuse your workouts with variety and to promote greater athletic performance. Medicine balls, also referred to as med balls, range in weight from 2 to 25 pounds and should not be confused with the larger, inflated exercise ball that is used to facilitate balance and assist in core training.
There's a reason that after all these years the medicine ball ranks in the top 10 of current equipment trends. It's a multipurpose weight training tool used in multiple settings. This tool is a mainstay in boot camps and interval workouts, and children can use it too. Exercising with them not only builds strength, but also improves balance, power, speed, endurance, coordination and dynamic flexibility. This is the kind of medicine ball magic that's just not possible with a set of dumbbells.