Medicine Ball vs BOSU Ball to Strengthen Your Core
How to Use a Medicine Ball to Strengthen Your Core
Adding a medicine ball to your home gym or using one at the gym is a great way to train abs, obliques and back muscles. The additional weight can take your training higher than bodyweight alone. Here are some ways to use a medicine ball to strengthen your core.
Not only is this a great exercise, but it can be effective as a release for pent-up tension.
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
• Grip the medicine ball with both hands and raise it above your head.
• Without arching your back, bend forward slightly at the hips and slam the ball down right in front of you.
• Retrieve the ball and repeat.
This exercise separates those that think they have abs in good condition from those that actually do.
• Start out by lying on your back on a yoga mat or carpet holding the ball in your hands.
• Extend both your arms and legs
• Without bending your elbows or knees, use your core muscles to bring both your arms and legs off of the floor at the same time and toward each other as in the letter “V”.
• While in the air, grab the ball with your feet. Now lower your arms and legs back to the ground.
• Repeat by continuing to pass the ball back and forth between your hands and feet.
This is a great exercise to work the back, obliques and abs.
• Knell down with your left knee on the floor.
• Keeping your back straight, grip the ball with both hands.
• In one movement bring the ball from your right hip diagonally across your body past your left shoulder.
• Bring the ball back down to your right hip.
• Change sides and work the other side.
This exercise really isn’t any different from normal crunches except you are adding weight to the movement.
• Lie on your back with your feet on the floor.
• With the medicine ball in both hands, extend your arms upward as you are coming up for the crunch, until the ball is directly above your chest.
• Come back down and repeat.
• Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
• Hold the ball with your arms extended above your head.
• Now in one motion bend your knees slightly and bring the ball down between your legs, (much like using an axe to chop wood.
• Then come back up in one swift motion ending up back at the starting position.
These five medicine ball exercises will work your core muscles in ways you never thought they could be worked. But in the end, it will be so worth it and you’ll look at your toned and defined core in the mirror.
How to Use a BOSU Ball to Strengthen Your Core
A BOSU ball gets its name from the phrase “both sides up”. At first glance, this doesn’t look at a piece of exercise equipment. However, the BOSU ball is an extremely versatile physical fitness tool. For core strengthening it is absolutely fabulous. It forces you to improve your balance and stability. Since those are jobs that your core performs on a daily basis, during everything that you do when you move, the BOSU ball is perfectly suited for core strengthening.
What Is a BOSU Ball?
A BOSU ball looks like the bottom third or fourth of a large round ball. It can be used in a multitude of physical fitness movements with either the flat side or rounded side facing up. This is where the “both sides up” acronym BOSU comes from. It was invented rather recently, in 1999, by David Weck. Imagine the bottom portion of a stability ball, as an inflated, rubber hemisphere.
Your core muscles’ premier job is to keep you stable. This means that whenever your body has to compensate for stability, you are working your core. So whether you use your BOSU ball with the dome part or the flat surface facing up, it gives you a very unstable platform. This forces your core muscles into constant compensation.
BOSU Ball Pushups
You probably know how to do a push-up. Instead of placing your palms face down on a flat surface, you are going to grab either side of your BOSU ball, with the curved side on the floor. As you push up in a traditional push-up movement, your balance is severely tested. While your arms are receiving a workout, so is your lower back, your abs and other core muscle groups. Perform sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.
BOSU Ball Arm and Leg Raise
Position your BOSU ball flat side down on the floor. Sit down in front of it, and then slowly lean back. You want the BOSU ball to support your lower back. Stare at a spot high above your body, simultaneously pulling your right leg and left hand up into the air. Keep your arm and leg straight. Bring them together if you can. After 5 to 10 repetitions, switch to your right arm and left leg and repeat.
BOSU Ball Balancing Act
Simply standing on a Bosu ball engages your core. Place the ball on the ground with the round side down. Step up onto it and you will immediately feel your core compensating to provide balance. From this position you can perform toe raises, squats, barbell curls and dozens of other exercises.