In strength and conditioning, and in fitness training, things cycle in and cycle out.
And fortunately, some things never come back like the Body Blade…
Medicine balls have been used for over a hundred years, coming in and out of the Iron Game.
Medicine ball training is more geared for sports performance than the buffed looked or high levels of maximal strength. However there are some abdominal exercises that can use the medicine balls as the external mean of resistance that can be quite useful to achieve the buffed look.
According to most European research in the fields of physical education and sports performance, medicine ball training has more carryover for athletic purposes, particularly in the young athlete when the speed component development has its optimal window, that is between the ages of 8-10.
In the U.S., obviously the introduction of medicine ball training is done way too late in the training process. You obtain most of your coordination and concepts of acceleration by age 12, that is 90% of it. So if you are not athletic by age 12, as they say in Jersey « Forget about it ».
You can also use the medicine ball for conditioning drills. For example, you throw the ball overhead for distance, sprint after it, turn around, throw it back in the other direction, sprint after it, etc…. I prefer this type of conditioning over classic long distance running. Why? Because the person works on their acceleration qualities both in sprinting and throwing.
I recommend it as base work for kids 8 to 10, which is the optimal age to learn the concepts of acceleration.
Enjoy the path,
Coach Charles Poliquin