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Medicine balls are a great tool for improving strength and balance.
The medicine ball is a recent craze in 21st century fitness circles, but also one with very old roots. As "Men's Health" explains, Hippocrates is credited with creating the first medicine balls around 400 B.C., using them as a tool to help patients rehab injuries. The early medicine balls were made with animal skin pouches filled with sand. The best modern medicine balls are versatile tools that enhance your flexibility, balance, strength, power, speed, coordination and agility. There are a number of golf-specific medicine ball exercises that can help improve your fitness level and your game.
Top-Rated Medicine Balls
Any decent medicine ball can be used for golf-specific exercises. However, some brands of medicine balls are considered to be particularly good. For example, Fitness Blender touts Elite medicine balls as the best bouncing medicine balls, praising their "perfectly-centered weight." For a soft or non-bouncing medicine ball, Fitness Blender recommends the Dynamax, the closest thing to a leather medicine ball that your grandfather might have used. It's especially good for slamming and throwing medicine ball exercises, because it won't bounce back and bean you.
Wind, Load and Toss
A trio of medicine ball drills, performed with a 4- to 10-pound medicine ball roughly the size of a soccer ball, can provide stabilizing strength, improve your range of motion and coordinate the winding and unwinding of your swing, according to "Golf Digest." Because you'll be throwing the medicine ball against a wall or to a partner, a non-bouncing ball is a good choice. The three exercises include a wind and toss, where you take your address position, wind up as you would to initiate your backswing and then straighten your legs while thrusting your hips toward the target, remaining on balance as you throw. The load and toss and synchronize and toss also mimic elements of the golf swing. The latter requires you to toss the medicine ball over your shoulder as you complete a golf swing follow-through.
Accelerate the Positive
PGA Tour pro Scott Stallings on STACK website recommends a specific medicine ball exercise to increase your driving distance. Using a beach ball size medicine ball, you start by mimicking your backswing by driving the medicine ball back, then pausing for one count before accelerating the medicine ball through the downswing motion. Do six reps, repeat two to four times, and then do the same in the opposite direction. This will strengthen both sides of the body and correct imbalances that often are produced by the one-way motion of the golf swing.
If you are working out with a partner, IDEA Health & Fitness Association recommends a golf swing and toss exercise that particularly targets your glut and oblique muscles and strengthens your spinal column. Using a basketball size medicine ball, stand a few yards parallel to your partner, facing straight ahead. Swing the medicine ball as you would the golf club, and on your follow-through, toss the ball to your partner, who then does the same, swinging the ball and tossing it back. Switch sides with your partner to work your opposite side.