The short answer is its a heavy weighted ball that can be tossed and caught to rehabilitate after an injury or it can be used for strength training. Medicine balls are a diverse piece of workout equipment because it can tone many muscle groups in the body.
When you first begin training with a medicine ball, you’ll want to start off with a lighter ball than you would use if you were using free weights. According to the American Council on Exercise, a person working out with a kettle bell for 20 minutes will burn more than 270 calories.
A strong core is important for endurance, stability and can even reduce minor pain in the lower back. If you’re trying to lose weight quickly, a kettle bell workout can help you burn a lot more calories than if you were to use a medicine ball.
While the calorie difference of a workout using the kettle bell vs medicine ball isn’t that substantial, it still may be a deciding factor for you. As the New Year quickly approaches, people are going to make a resolution to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.
Those resolutions do’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on a gym membership when you can pick up a kettle bell or a medicine ball. Both tools will help you get that rocking body but a kettle bell is going to help you reach those goals a lot sooner than a medicine ball will.
Kettle bells are more versatile, can burn more calories, and there are different workouts that can target multiple muscle groups at once. If you’re unable to find kettle bells and a medicine ball is your only option, you can still achieve great results but it may take a little longer to get there.
Medicine balls and kettle bells start out with the same goal: to add resistance training to your exercise routine. This mimics movements used in several sports, such as football and tennis, helping build your core as well as upper-body strength.
They are powerful muscle builders — often more so than medicine balls — but the movements used aren't usually similar to those used in most sports. What they lack in plyometric options they make up for by helping you increase your endurance, flexibility and overall body muscle tone using basic moves, such as the kettle bell swing.
This move engages muscles including those in your legs, hips, core, chest and shoulders, making it much more efficient than a standard squat. Medicine balls offer a similar calorie burn to using other types of light to medium weights during the workout.
For a 155-pound person, using a light medicine ball, such as 8 pounds, could burn up to 112 calories in a half hour. Kettle bells offer a bit more diversity when it comes to working one side of your body at a time.
Two hands usually lets you use a heavier weight, but one-handed exercises help you target weak muscles as necessary. There is no magic pill to losing weight and building muscle.
An important part of your exercise program is strength training. According to the American Council on Exercise, you can burn more than 270 calories in 20 minutes by working out with kettle bells.
According to Harvard Health Publications, light and moderate weight workouts, such as using a medicine ball, can burn between 112 and 266 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your weight and your level of exertion. Kettle bells take the gold when it comes to burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
Strong core muscles can help improve your balance and reduce minor low back pain. Medicine ball exercises that work your core include slams, single leg V-ups and Russian twists.
Ballistic training involves exerting great force to throw, toss or lift a weight with high velocity. In other words, fast, powerful snatches of kettle bells or explosive throws of medicine balls.
Ballistic training for power can place a lot of stress on your joints and tendons, so use correct form and always warm up before working out. Kettle bells and medicine balls might look like something only a bodybuilder would want to use, but they are both effective ways for you to build muscle and get strong.
Stop exercising when your muscles are so exhausted you cannot maintain proper form. If you’re a member of a gym, you’re bound to find a sad row of neglected medicine balls by the stretching area.
I rarely see anyone using medicine balls now that kettle bells have come along with their easy handles and celebrity endorsements. But while there’s nothing wrong with kettle bells per se, they do lack the primal, tactile thrill of the medicine ball.
If you’re working in pairs, you can rest your back on a large inflatable Swiss ball and toss them to each other, which is a terrific core workout. Then there’s the slam, where you hurl the ball to the ground as hard as you can over and over again, which is possibly my favorite exercise of all time.
However, it pays to get the technique right if you want to get the most out of them, so find some tutorial videos before you wade in blindly. This article was amended on 9 April 2016 to fix a mistake in the headline