If you have ever used a medicine ball, you know how confusing it is to pick it up and realize that it’s quite heavy. Medicine balls are weighed and they’re produced in many different sizes. You can find these balls in various weights and colors based on your needs and preference. In fact, you can get a medicine ball up to 150 pounds, which is quite heavy and a size that’s generally used by athletes and others accustomed to lifting weights.
What’s great about a medicine ball is that you can use if for many different exercise routines, which is why they’re so popular. In fact, if you could only choose one piece of exercise equipment for your fitness routine, a medicine ball is a great option since it has the capacity to help you with every body part. That’s why it’s used quite often in physical therapy. When engaged in physical therapy, it’s imperative that you increase your strength and a medicine ball is a great way to achieve this goal.
You might be surprised to learn that medicine balls were tracked all the way back to 3,000 years ago when Persian wrestlers used them to gain strength. Additionally, they were believed to be an important part of the healing process in Ancient Greece as Hippocrates felt they were critical for staying healthy. Back then, medicine balls helped people regain their mobility after an injury. This is one reason why the term ‘medicine ball’ is appropriate. However, it would be some years later that the medicine ball was actually named.
A physician named Girolamo Mercuriali during the Renaissance recommended that individuals at all levels of fitness use weighted balls for what was termed “medicinal gymnastics.” In fact, he wrote about this in a book called De Arte Gymnastica. The purpose for referring to it as medicinal gymnastics was to communicate the ability of the ball to heal injuries and boost fitness levels as a preventative measure. This meant medicine balls were used as part of an overall health routine for both getting fit and staying fit.
Despite the fact that medicine balls have been used for thousands of years, it was not named until the late 1880s. It’s believed that the term was coined by an individual named Robert Jenkins Roberts, Jr., partly because of the history of the ball and because of the way in which it’s used. Roberts chose to use the term “medicine ball” because of it’s ability to promote digestion, invigorate the body and preserve a person’s overall health.
Although the terms “medicine” and “health” are not used interchangeably these days, they were hundreds of years ago, which was further reason to call it a “medicine ball.” While it might make sense to call these weighted balls a “health ball” instead of a “medicine ball,” the name has never been changed. This is partly because it just doesn’t sound quite right to call it a “health ball.”