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medicine ball



Fit in 5: Best Exercises for a Lower Body Injury

By Pamela Hernandez

Whether it comes from a workout or simply stepping off the curb the wrong way, a lower body injury is bound to occur at some point or another in our athletic lives. Injury, of any kind, can be extremely frustrating. Some injuries can be mild, like an ankle sprain, and simply require a few days of rest. Others, like a broken foot, can mean weeks off your feet.

Our bodies feel the effects of not working out very quickly. While your body does need extra nutrients to heal, it’s often not as many as you burn with your workout. Energy goes down and we can feel more “jiggly” and less strong. When we’re sidelined we can also feel the effects mentally, not only losing the post workout endorphin rush but also a part of our routine and identity.

The good news is, unless specifically forbidden by your doctor, there are exercises and activities you can do to keep working without aggravating conditions such as plantar fasciitis or a sprained ankle. The following exercises are my top picks for those fighting a lower body injury. Just remember, when healing especially, rest is important, too. Take your intensity and frequency down a bit until your body is ready to take on more.
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Saturday Morning Drills: 5 Medicine Ball Exercises

When I first started as a personal trainer I didn’t have a studio. I worked in my clients’ homes. I had many clients with rather impressive selections of exercise equipment. However, they needed me to hold them accountable to actually use the equipment.

Others had nothing. I brought with me any tools we might need. I quickly learned how to design programs using body weight, bands and other simple pieces of equipment. One of my favorites was the medicine ball.

A medicine ball can be used in many exercises like a dumbbell, but also provides a new level of versatility because of their shape and their ability to be thrown or bounced. You can use them for strength or cardio. Check out my favorite medicine ball exercises to see what I mean.
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Beginner’s Guide to Medicine Balls

Medicine balls have been around forever and are among one of the oldest forms of strength and endurance training. In ancient Greece, medicine balls were made from animal skins sewn together and stuffed with sand. They were used for rehabilitation and injury prevention. Today, medicine balls are usually round and made of rubber or leather, but they do come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials.

Medicine balls generally range from two to 25 pounds, and are typically used for standard plyometric weight training, which is characterized by fast powerful movements and muscle contractions to increase speed, power, strength, and flexibility.

Medicine balls are very durable and can be used just about anywhere. Athletes commonly use them for explosive training (quick and powerful movements) by throwing them to the ground or off a sturdy wall. The medicine ball is also a great way to modify and add enjoyment to any weight training exercise or workout.
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3 Simple Medicine Ball Workouts

Guest blogger Karla Walsh is a Health & Human Performance and Journalism student at Iowa State University. As a health journalist and blogger, Karla is passionate about fitness, nutrition and all things wellness-related. She is currently preparing to become a Certified Health Education Specialist and will graduate from college in May. You can read more about Karla on her Web site Healthful Bites or follow her on Twitter. Karla is also one of the two winners of DietsInReview.com’s FitBloggin’ ticket giveaway!

Besides a new workout outfit, pair of shoes or the latest club tunes, nothing perks up my exercise routine like a new tool to try out. Among my favorite dumbbell swaps? The medicine ball!

Mixing up your usual strength routine can have huge muscle-sculpting benefits. Besides helping weight work seem new and fun, a medicine ball targets your core more than traditional weights since you utilize varying ranges and planes of motion.

Here are three of my favorite exercises that you can try the next time you are at your workout facility or your well-stocked home gym!


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Top Medicine Ball Exercises

A medicine ball is a great tool for switching up your workout and it can used for total body endurance training or power training. medicine ballSeveral of my clients prefer the medicine ball over any other type of training. Medicine balls come in a variety of weights and sizes, the key is to find the one that works best for you and your goal. Below is a list of total body medicine ball exercises and I recommend doing two sets of twenty to thirty repetitions for endurance training. Remember to use a light weight to refrain from injury. Please use a partner during these exercises!!

Top Medicine Ball Exercises