The use of medicine balls dates back 3000 years when wrestlers in Persia would train with sand-filled bladders. Thankfully, modern versions are not quite so primitive and can be used to build strength, improve jump height and burn calories when used as part of a full-body workout. A study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning investigated what effects a 12-week schedule had on the core strength of 49 baseball players. The results found the programme improved abdominal power by more than 18 per cent. Add it to your training regime and you’ll be able to twist and turn past defenders and show off a killer six-pack to boot. Sounds like a summer well spent to us.
1. “Medicine balls are great for using with a team-mate in partner throws, plus twist and turn exercises,” stated trainer Alonzo Wilson.
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2. “If you’re looking for a good cardio workout, medicine ball slams will help to raise your heart rate, while also taxing your core.”
3. “With resistance machines you’re stuck in the same place - a medicine ball offers you the freedom to run, jump throw and slam it.”
Kettlebells were introduced by circus strongmen back in the 19th century. Some of the signature moves include the swing, snatch and clean and jerk, all of which engage your whole body and boost your ability to achieve full movements, like throwing opponents off the ball. They are great for losing weight, too. According to research by the American Council of Exercise, the average person can burn 400 calories during a 20-minute kettle bell routine. That’s 20 calories per minute and the equivalent of being able to run a mile in six minutes. So if you are trying to shed some timber and fast-track your fitness ahead of pre-season training, kettle bells could come to your rescue.
1. “The weight is offset from the handle, so it works against you and tests both co-ordination and strength,” explained fitness guru Jamie Lloyd.
2. “About 600 of your muscles will be put to use during a standard session, and that makes kettle bells the ideal took for a full-body workout.”
3. “Kettlebells can vary from 4kg to 48kg in weight, so they can be used by people with different levels of ability and experience.”