Think Thin Thursday ~ Get to the Core with Medicine Balls

Real Estate Agent with Florida Supreme Realty SL514814

Today we're going to jump right to the heart of the matter. Whether you call them fitness, med or medicine balls you should give them a try. Either alone or in a group they can be the primary exercise tool or an addition to finish off a workout and also an excellent warm-up too.

You'll find the medicine ball to be quite versatile. The normal ball today resembles a basketball and typically weighs about 12 pounds. DON'T KICK THEM! They can have diameters between 8 and 18 inches and weigh anywhere from 2 to 25 pounds. Usually their weight is shown as  kilograms (kg) in large numbers imprinted on them. In essence the lower the number the lighter the weight.

Their name is attributed to Hippocrates who used them to rehabilitate injured patients and bring them back to homeostasis through strengthening. Due to the natural movements of throwing, catching, twisting and balancing the wear and tear associated with other exercises is not present. Form is essential as it is with any routines you perform. Be certain you're doing the correct motions first before increasing any weight. 

The design had not changed much since Hippocrates day until the beginning of the 20th century. It's essentially a weighted ball covered with animal skin as its basic components. Today the varieties can fulfill any need or void with composition, weight, color or size, however, please do not confuse them with the oftentimes larger inflatable fitness balls.   

You do not have to complete all of these moves in one workout session but I would recommend that you choose ten of them and try to perform at least 10 to 12 repetitions of each. Slow controlled movements provide the best results!


Thank You to Hippocrates, YouTube & Men's Health 


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Comments (8)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Good morning,  Kevin - I wasn't previously aware of its long history but the benefits have been well-told in my day.  I appreciate these posts and your easy-to-understand approach to writing. 

Jan 31, 2019 08:07 AM
Kevin J. May

Michael, today you may even find a couple of people playing a pseudo-volleyball game with them. Some NFL coaches use that to condition their players. Simply toss the ball over the net and the other team hopefully will catch it and toss it back. Repeat. 

Jan 31, 2019 11:39 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Kevin J. May wow...what a great video.... I'm going to do a couple of those.... I do static pose leg lifts for my core.... I started holding it for 20 seconds and worked my way up to 4 minutes 15 seconds and climbing!!! 



Jan 31, 2019 08:12 AM
Kevin J. May

Don't forget those abducters Barbara?

Jan 31, 2019 11:33 AM
Barbara Todaro

right and that's done at the gym with the king's chair... lifting bent legs to the side....

Jan 31, 2019 11:35 AM
Brian England

Looks like your legs are more than 4" off the ground Barbara Todaro , haha

Feb 01, 2019 05:03 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I was really enchanted by the quote of Hippocrates.  These day many physicians treat the disease and not the cause...they just hand out meds.  In Qigong, we do a lot of these movements repetitively,  holding the "wuji" ball.  It is the ball of energy one that the eye cannot see, but one you can defintely feel.  A

Jan 31, 2019 08:16 AM
Kevin J. May

The mind works womders when a wu ji ball is introduced. I grasp what you're saying about the feel.

Jan 31, 2019 11:46 AM
Libby Cousins
Extraordinary Processing - Spokane, WA
Contract Mortgage Processor, licensed in WA

Well you learn something new every day. I had wondered why they were called medicine balls but never took the time to look it up.

Jan 31, 2019 09:56 AM
Kevin J. May

The term medicine ball came about in the late 19th century. I'm not sure what the Greeks called it during Hippocrates lifetime.

Jan 31, 2019 11:57 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Never knew the history, but known these since I was a kid in school. But now I also know how to use them correctly. Slow and steady.

Jan 31, 2019 01:14 PM
Kevin J. May

I cannot argue with those ancient Olympians. I feel confident these were used in their workouts too.

Feb 01, 2019 01:13 PM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have done some work with medecine balls in the past, but I am not one that enjoys working out at all.  Hopefully I can attain the results I want by mastering the static pose!

Feb 01, 2019 05:04 AM
Kevin J. May

What, you meant poses didn't you?

Feb 01, 2019 12:40 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We've both used these in Crossfit moments with our daughter. They sure give one a good work-out. Thanks again for this series, Kevin. We are heading to the gym in a couple of hours. 

Feb 01, 2019 07:58 AM
Kevin J. May

Hope that your workout was intense!

Feb 01, 2019 12:21 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I am not a huge fan of medicine balls, Kevin.  They are fine for exercising but have a disturbing presence in all sorts of strange places when I' showing homes.

Feb 04, 2019 05:56 AM
Kevin J. May

I will have to keep a keen eye for that although haven't noticed it anywhere as of yet. There's plenty of strange to go around though.

Feb 04, 2019 09:35 AM