Medicine balls are very versatile in that they can be used by people of all fitness levels, with weights going as low as a single pound. They are the perfect tool to use with your clients regardless of their age, gender or training goals because of the numerous benefits that they provide. In addition to your clients’ benefits, using medicine balls can also improve your own personal training workouts and career.
Range of Motion
One major advantage that medicine balls have over exercise machines, dumbbells and barbells is that they allow for a much more pronounced range of motion. This is more similar to a client’s natural movement than using other pieces of equipment. Additionally, they are easier on the joints and can help strengthen and/or increase flexibility. This is perfect if you are training elderly clients where joint health and range of motion are priorities within this demographic.
Medicine balls are great for functional training as they improve various movements and motions that are more indicative of what your clients do in their daily lives. For example, picking up a young child or carrying bags of groceries into the house, requires more than just a ripped physique or large biceps. It requires a functional strength that comes from a mixture of muscular strength, balance, coordination and agility. These attributes can’t be emulated on an exercise machine. But, with a medicine ball, your client can work on various movements and exercises that will mimic everyday activities and improve their overall health, so that they can easily perform their daily tasks.
Sport Specific Training
Sport specific training is vastly different than bodybuilding and other standard forms of weight training. It’s a method of training that specifically targets various movements, muscular strength, power, quickness, agility and/or explosiveness. If you have clients that are athletes, then medicine balls can be a great tool for improving their overall athletic performance. Sports like volleyball, basketball and tennis can easily be emulated with medicine ball exercises like spiking the medicine ball, shooting the medicine ball or rotational throws. Additionally, you can improve your client’s golf swing by using a medicine ball in various rotational exercises.
Plyometrics are often used in sport specific training. However, they can also be used with the average client who’s not training to be a bodybuilder or an athlete. Plyometrics are explosive movements that help to build raw power in the muscles that are responsible for the movement. If you want to improve your client’s upper body strength, throwing a medicine ball against a wall will help improve strength and endurance.
When incorporated into certain exercises, medicine balls can greatly improve a client’s core strength by adding an appropriate level of resistance to the movement. Performing abdominal exercises while holding a medicine ball will greatly increase the strength of the abdominal muscles. You can also have your client perform aerobic exercises while holding a medicine ball to train their core further by improving their body’s ability to stabilize itself.
In addition to the many great benefits for your clients, medicine balls also provide numerous advantages and benefits for your personal training business.
Medicine balls are relatively inexpensive, making them a very cost-effective addition to any workout routine. In fact, if your gym doesn’t have them, you could purchase some medicine balls to use with your clients in the gym or in their home. Unlike buying a rack of dumbbells, with medicine balls you can begin by buying just one or two, and as your client’s strength increases, you can proceed to buy heavier balls as needed. This is a more sensible way to purchasing equipment without having to pay out a large amount of money up front.
Easy To Transport
Medicine balls are compact, which makes them easy to transport. So, whether you are meeting your client in the gym, at their home or at a park, you can easily bring them wherever you go. Some medicine balls come with handles, which makes them even easier to carry from your car to your training destination.
Additionally, they’re ideal for storage because you won’t need a huge amount of space to keep them. This is perfect for those of you who don’t have a lot of room at home to store exercise equipment. If your office is out of your car because you train clients at different locations, then medicine balls are easy to store in the trunk. A rack of dumbbells or a set of barbells and plates take up too much space and definitely would not fit.
Using medicine balls can help you stand out from other trainers that only use standard free weights and machines. This could make a huge difference with clients as they feel that your workouts are more exciting, different and challenging. A motivated and happy client will definitely tell others about your services. Additionally, if you are training in a gym, members may be watching your training sessions and decide that they want to try your services because you are doing something different than others.
You can also incorporate medicine balls into group exercise classes to provide a more challenging and exciting workout. If you are not currently teaching any group exercise classes, or your gym doesn’t offer these services, then you can teach bootcamps outside of the gym. In fact, this is a great personal training tip, you can create some intense and innovating bootcamps with just bodyweight movements and medicine balls. Some great medicine ball exercises for bootcamps include ball throws, ball passing, and ball stability exercises.
Expand Your Services
In addition to teaching bootcamps, you can also offer lessons on how to properly use and/or incorporate medicine balls into a workout. This is a great way to network with potential clients as your lessons can be for free or a small fee. Additionally, these lessons help to demonstrate your knowledge and experience with not only medicine balls, but other aspects of health and fitness as well.