This 12 lb. medicine ball can be used to build upper and lower body explosive power, it is inexpensive, can be transported anywhere, and many professional athletes use it. It is also used by many people who just want to get in shape. Photo by Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor Jason Lewis throws the ball in a rapid-fire fashion against a concrete wall to build upper body strength and definition. He holds the ball over his head and performs squats and lunges to develop lower body and core strength. Photo by Jeff Johnson (trainer at Elite Athletes)
**Training videos below**
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Working out at a gym can be great, mainly because of the variety of equipment that can be used. But for a lot of people the gym is not the best option. Whether it is the monthly cost, having to wait in line for equipment, or not being able to get to a gym, for a lot of people the gym may not be an option.
Issues such as those should not stop anybody from getting in a good workout. For a lot of people, it’s just about getting a little creative, and obtaining low cost equipment that can be used for multiple functions.
One piece of equipment that is low cost, can be used for upper and lower body workouts, and can be transported anywhere is the medicine ball. This one piece of equipment can be used by an athlete to build power, strength, and improve speed, and it can be used by people who are just looking for a good workout.
Many young athletes, especially those in high school, do not have as much access to the weight room as they need, and many people who just want to get in shape cannot make it to the gym. But with the medicine ball, it can be used at home, at a park, pretty much anywhere.
For lower body training, hold the ball over your head and perform lunges and squats. For upper body workouts, throwing the ball against a concrete wall will give you a burn like you feel at the gym.
Using the medicine ball is low weight, high rep at fast speed training, which is important for developing explosive speed. It also helps build core strength, which is why many professional athletes incorporate it into their training regimen.
For people who simply want to lose weight and get in shape, build stronger muscles, and burn more body fat, which causes weight loss, using the medicine ball is one extremely effective option.
Using the medicine ball at a local park works the best, because you can use it as part of a circuit training workout using items at the park, such as a pull up bar and bleachers for box jumps.
When it comes to cost, medicine balls can run from $20-35, depending on the weight. The great thing about that cost is that you only pay it once, opposed to paying for monthly gym memberships.
As far as weight goes, medicine balls can be as light as 2 lbs. and as heavy as 25 lbs. Do not go too light, but do not go too heavy. For men, a 12 lb. ball can work fine, and for women an 8 lb. ball. The ball might not be extremely heavy at the start of the workout, but it is at the end.
Sentinel Sports Editor Jason Lewis performs the upper body workout at Jackie Robinson Park at Rancho Cienega Park. He performs four sets in total. Pull ups and push ups are a part of this workout. Pull ups are tough for beginners. Start with half reps and do as many as you can. Try to do more every week. When you can do 10 half rep pull ups, then start going deeper until you can do full range pull ups.
Fairfax High School wide receiver Jason Lewis Jr. performs a lower body workout. He does four sets.