History of the Medicine Ball
The earliest documented use of the medicine ball dates back almost 3,000 years ago, when Persian wrestlers trained with bladders that were filled with sand. Later on, in the time of ancient Greece, famous physician Hippocrates stuffed animal skins with sand to create medicine balls. As part of his injury rehabilitation therapy, his patients were ordered to throw the balls back and forth. In the late 19th century, the words "medicine" and "health" became synonymous, and the medicine ball was used for promoting health. It became one of the "4 Horsemen of Fitness," which also included the dumbbell, the wand and the Indian club. This marked the origin of the modern medicine ball. (www.Fitday.com)
I love the medicine ball. The Ross Rd YMCA has four, from 2 lbs to 12 lbs. I started watching youtube videos (Jeff Cavaliere has a good one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwtaEAr8qI0 to see how to best use them and got hooked, so I just bought one at Big5 for $34 (a 10 pounder.) They are a very effective, easy to use, relatively inexpensive piece of exercise equipment that can help you in many areas of body health and fitness. Just be careful not to drop it on your foot. I think they are a lot safer than using weights and even weight machines, and can be very effective. More or less the size of a basketball or volleyball, depending on the weight. They take up little space in your house. I keep it in the living room. If I'm watching TV I can do a little work out with the ball.
Start with a light weight, maybe 4 or 6 lbs. You can even make your own: if you have an old basketball, you can slice it and fill it with sand, then duct-tape it closed. Some med balls are rubbery, heavy dodgeball type of balls, others can be somewhat soft, others have built in handles. There are some great exercises couples can do with it, back to back, where they twist and hand the ball back and forth to each other. Great abs workout. Love that medicine ball?