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A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness ball) is a weighted ball roughly the diameter of the shoulders (approx. 13.7 inches), often used for rehabilitation and strength training. The medicine ball also serves an important role in the field of sports medicine. However, it should not be confused with the inflated exercise ball, which is larger (up to 36" diameter).
Medicine balls are usually sold as 2–25 lb (1–11 kg) balls and are used effectively in ballistic training to increase explosive power in athletes in all sports e.g. throwing the medicine ball or jumping whilst holding it. Some medicine balls are up to 14" wide and up to 14 lbs weight, or in the form of weighted basketballs.
A med ball is used for children training as the best way to overcome fear of free weights exercises.
Hippocrates is said to have stuffed animal skins for patients to toss for “medicinal” purposes. Similar large balls were used in Persia in 1705. The term "medicine ball" dates back to at least 1876, in American Gymnasia and Academic Record, by Robert Jenkins Roberts, Jr.
- "Merriam Webster - Medicine Ball". Retrieved 20 February 2014.
- Internicola, Dorene (6 October 2014). "Medicine balls are ancient fitness tools that keep bouncing back". Reuters. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- Media related to Medicine Ball at Wikimedia Commons