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He would encourage his patients to toss the balls to help them rehab from injury and stay in good health. But the use of weighted balls as a way to stay in shape predates Hippocrates.
Ancient drawings dating back nearly 3,000 years show Persian wrestlers training with sand-filled bladders.
Craig Weller, Precision Nutrition's exercise specialist and co-owner of Rogue Performance and Barefoot Fitness, notes that the exercise requires "minimal skill" and can be "done well under high stress and fatigue." Second, it's an explosive exercise that trains athletes to transfer energy via their core.
"[You're] raising the ball overhead while getting triple extension from the ankle, knees and hips and controlling it with your abs, then forcefully contracting your abs while keeping a rigid torso and slamming the ball down," Bonaccorsy says.
Thus, the reason Med Ball Slams have persevered for centuries can be summed up in two words—they work. "[Med Ball Slams] are easier to teach than some of its alternatives, like Olympic lifts.
For that reason alone, we use it a lot with younger athletes," says Aaron Bonaccorsy, a performance coach at STACK Velocity Sports Performance.
But there's one exercise with ancient origins that's still going strong today—Med Ball Slams.
There's reason to believe that Med Ball Slams are one of the oldest exercises in existence, as it's a primitive move done with an implement that's been around for thousands of years.
When performed well, the core is targeted with helps reduce "energy leaks" between the upper and lower extremities," says Tony Gentilcore, CSCS and Boston-based performance coach.As such, it's not hard to imagine its history traces back nearly as far as the medicine ball itself. Lift the ball high above your head, launch it into the floor beneath you, pick it up, do it again.It looks like child's play compared to more technical lifts like the Snatch, but beneath its no-frills exterior, Med Ball Slams are building better athletic performance. That means that the benefits of the movement can be reaped even by inexperienced trainees, which isn't always the case for more complex exercises.The intensity and repetitiveness of Med Ball Slams also add a cardiovascular element.3 Medicine Ball Drills to Develop Velocity How to Perform Med Ball Slams Ready to reap the benefits of this ancient exercise? Before you start slamming, it's important to make sure you're using the appropriate weight.
He graduated from Lafayette College, where he played football and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English.