If you find that your traditional weight-training exercises are becoming a little monotonous, set the dumbbells aside and look for the brightly colored medicine balls that are in prevalent in many gyms to add a splash of excitement to your workout. Medicine balls are a common weight-training accessory that you can use in a long list of exercises. Although each woman's strength is unique to her, selecting the right weight is simple.
Medicine balls are available in a wide range of sizes and colors; many manufacturers assign a unique color to each weight of ball. The website JumpUSA advises that selecting the right ball for your workout depends on such factors as your age, gender and body size, and the type of activity for which you plan to use the ball is also important. The website recommends that for general workouts, women should use a 6-pound medicine ball.
As with many matters related to exercising, your personal preferences are important. If you find that 6 pounds is slightly too heavy for your weight, test different medicine balls until you find out that provides some resistance but doesn't significantly strain your muscles. Likewise, if 6 pounds is too light, try a heavier ball. If you plan to buy a medicine ball to use at home, test out various weights in a gym or sporting goods store.
Although a 6-pound ball is ideal for general exercises for many women, the weight of the ball you use depends in part on the exercise you perform. For example, if you plan to use the medicine ball for a set of Russian twists or other exercises that work your abdominal muscles, a heavier ball is preferable. If you plan to throw the ball against a wall, the ground or to a partner, try a lighter ball.
Whether you use a medicine ball in a gym or during a home-based workout, the list of exercises you can perform is nearly endless. In addition to Russian twists and throwing exercises, other common medicine ball drills include standing torso twists, vertical extensions, hamstring curls, chops, slams, figure eights and reverse curls. As with any weight-training exercise, stretch your muscles adequately before and after your workout.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.