Training

What To Know About Working Out With Medicine And Stability Balls

These exercise balls are very different, but both are great options for in-home workouts (we've even included a few ideas inside!).

Video originally appeared on Runhaven.com

When it comes to exercise equipment, medicine balls and stability balls are two essential pieces for every athlete. They are versatile, affordable and accessible to help you meet your training needs. Though medicine and stability balls share common objectives for strength and conditioning, they differ in their structure and function.

Medicine Ball

A medicine ball is a weighted ball that ranges anywhere from two to 25 pounds (there are some extremely heavy outliers, too) and averages the size of a basketball. Because of its small shape, a medicine ball can be held with one or two hands and is ideal for explosive throwing exercises. Choose a ball that slows your movement but does not compromise your form.

Here are a few of my favorite exercises to complete with a medicine ball:

  • Rolling push-ups
  • Toe touches
  • Russian twists
  • Squats

Stability Ball

A stability ball is a large rubber ball filled with air. It’s light in weight and bouncy. Depending on your workout, you can use it both to lay on or over, as well as a tool to move with your arms or legs. Stability balls range in size from small to XXL and need to be matched to your height. When choosing a ball, pick one that allows you to sit up straight on it with your hips and knees at 90 degrees. Stability balls are great for bodyweight and balancing exercises.

Some of my favorite exercises to complete with a stability ball are:

  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Wall squats

Why To Buy Them

Medicine balls and stability balls are great pieces of equipment to have in your at-home arsenal of fitness options. They give you hundreds of exercise options to choose from, which means tons of variety for mixing it up and keeping the workouts fresh. So, give these ideas a whirl and find some new ones to add to challenge you!

But whatever you do, don’t confuse them. Sitting on a medicine ball would be a little like hatching an egg and tossing a stability ball around could end up breaking a lot of your lamps.