The Big Mistake You're Making With The Medicine Ball

Incorporating different exercises and equipment into your fitness routine is good for your body as it helps avoid plateauing and keeps things fresh and interesting (via Muscle and Strength). As you change up your workouts and move onto new and more advanced exercises, safety and good form should always be a priority, as poor form can increase the risk of injury (via Fitness19). Even equipment that seems mostly safe, like the medicine ball, when used improperly, can cause injury.

Medicine balls are a great addition to any fitness routine. They come in different weights and sizes, and can be used by those of all fitness levels. Personal trainer Heather Hamilton, M.S., ACSM tell Byrdie that "They're also great for partner work. Two people can roll it, throw it or pass it back and forth." The medicine ball is a versatile piece of fitness equipment, as Medicine Net explains that it can be used in physical therapy, rehabilitation, or weight training, and there is a lower risk of injury when using the ball. Mostly.

Avoid this exercise when using the medicine ball

Jason D'Amelio, MS, ATC-L, ART-C, and owner of Total Athletic Performance Training in New York City, tells CNN that any backwards spine rotation is a good way to create an injury. This is why, he explains, that the backwards rotating medicine ball toss should be avoided. He explains that the back contains many small and delicate discs and even the slightest wrong move can cause injury, like a slipped disc. "The reason that I dislike this exercise is because there is no movement in sports that requires you to aggressively rotate backwards," D'Amelio says. According to the Active Times, forceful twisting movements are not ideal for the back, as they can lead to herniated discs and muscle strain.

Instead of a backwards medicine ball toss, try a forward ball toss. D'Amelio suggests using the forward ball throw exercises for building rotary power, which can be helpful in sports like golf, baseball, and tennis. Other exercises to try with the medicine ball include overhead ball slams, V-ups, and weighted supermans (via Greatist).