Medicine Ball Exercises
Qigong (Chi Kung) and Taijiquan (Tai Chi) Medicine Ball Exercises
Chen and Yang Styles of Taijiquan Medicine Ball Exercises
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Advanced Medicine Ball Training. By Vern Gambetta.
Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands Website
Awaken Your Body, Balance Your Mind: Perfect Health Using the Chi Ball Method. By Monica Linford and Jennai Cox. Harper Collins, 2000. 240 pages. ISBN: 0722539932.
A Better Bag of Sand - Muscle and Fitness Training
Breathing Techniques: Qigong, Yoga, Taijiquan
Chen and Yang Style Taijiquan Medicine Ball Exercise Routines, Qigong Ball Forms
Chen Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan Guides, Lessons, Bibliographies, Links, Resources,
Chen Qing Zhou, 1933- Chen Style Taijiquan Master of Old Frame Chen Taijiquan. Student of Chen Zhao Pei and Chen Zhao Kui (son of Chen Fake). Chen Qingzhou Martial Arts Association, Menlo Park, CA. Biography 2. Biography 3.
Chi Kung (Qigong): Resources, Lessons, Links, Bibliographies, Guides
Chinese Yoga with Ball. By Sifu Jiang Jian-ye. Instructional DVD, 120 minutes. From Shifu Jiang's website: "Opening pages of Ancient Chinese history, before 2500 years ago, there were evidences of people practicing martial arts: drawings of a woman’s body posting in different postures were discovered from Ma Wang Dui Tomb in Hunan providence; a creation of a famous doctor, Hua-Tuo’s Five Animal Frolic; Eight-section Brocade from Song Dynasty; Buddhist’ Shaolin Yi Jin Jing; Daoism’s Dragon Door Qi Gong. These movements are fundamentally similar to Indian Yoga and the only differences are the naming of the forms." "He teaches a form with a ball for beginners and seniors that includes elements of Tai Chi, qigong, stretching and balancing plus principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Teaching includes repetitions, multiple views and step-by-step teaching." (Wayfarer Catalog)
Choy Li Fut Chi Kung Bagua Ball. Instructional DVD, 80 minutes. "Learn an unusual and rarely seen method for focusing internal energy. Instructor Cheng Yongfa teaches a Chi Kung set using a large exercise ball to guide and focus internal energy, using the shape of the ball as a model for the circular movements. You can practice at home with a ball or you can practice the Chi Kung set on its own. This DVD is taught in seminar format by Cheng Yongfa, 5th generation disciple of the founder of Choy Li Fut. He teaches primarily in English, with some Cantonese movement names included."
Cloud Hands Blog By Mike Garofalo.
Cloud Hands Website: Tai Chi Ch'uan and Chi Kung
Complete Guide to Medicine Ball Training. By Vern Gambetta and Steve Odgers. Gambetta Sports Training Systems, 1991. 60 pages. ISBN: 1879627019.
The Complete Book of Chinese Health Balls: Background and Use of the Health Balls. By Ab Williams. Weiser Books, 1997. 118 pages. ISBN: 9074597289. VSCL.
Core Body Medicine Ball Exercises. ACE.
Dynamic Medicine Ball Training Course Manual, 4 Instructional VHS.
Medicine balls, Tai Chi balls, and Qigong balls are all made from a variety of materials. There are medicine and Tai Chi balls made of rubber, metal, wood, stone, plastic, glass, reeds, cloth, and leather. Depending upon their size, the material out of which they were made, and whether they are hollow or solid inside, the weight of the ball can vary from under 1 pound to up to 40 pounds. The prices of these balls can range from under $10 dollars per ball to up to many hundreds of dollars for unique and rare types of Tai Chi balls.
Since I teach Tai Chi Ball exercise classes, I own a variety of balls to share with students during introductions and classes. The Tehama Family Fitness Center in Red Bluff, where I teach, also owns a variety of medicine balls, exercise balls, large balls, light plastic and rubber balls, and kettlebells. Students can try medicine balls of different types and sizes to find the one that works best for them, before they purchase the ball that they prefer using. There are many manufacturers of medicine balls, exercise balls, and weighted balls: Altus, Bell Fitness, Danskin, GoFit, Everlast, Nike, Ironman, TKO, Valeo, Xerball.
Here is a list of the medicine balls that I own and use:
Valeo® Medicine Ball, 6 pound. It is made of rubber with a textured surface. It has black and turquoise stripes. It is about 8.25 inches in diameter. The ball is quite firm. It is made in China. This ball will cost around $25.00. It, of course, smells of rubber.
Valeo® Medicine Ball, 12 pound. It is made of rubber with a textured surface. It has black and yellow stripes. The ball is quite firm. It is made in China. "Valeo's medicine balls feature sturdy rubber construction with a textured surface for superior grip. The ball's durable construction allows it to bounce off hard surfaces. Includes an exercise wall chart. Helps develop core strength and improve coordination, balance, and endurance." This ball will cost around $36.00. It, of course, smells of rubber.
Altus Fitness Ball, 3 pound. Fitness by Cathe (www.cathe.com). It is green. It is made of plastic. It is made in China. This ball will cost around $13.00. Altus mades a 2 pound pink ball, a 3 pound green ball, a 5 pound purple ball, a 8 pound blue ball, and a 10 pound orange ball. The balls are round and quite firm. This ball does not smell very much.
Grandmaster Yang Jwing Ming gives an introduction to the kinds of balls that can be used in his book Tai Chi Ball Qigong, p. 97-101. He recommends using a ball made of wood or jade, and for his style of qigong, a ball that is not too heavy. He also discusses using a polished granite or marble rock. He does not recommend using a rubber or plastic ball because they are "not Qi conductive." Wood balls, if they smell at all, and are not varnished too much, and have the pleasant natural smell of wood.
The Essence of Medicine Ball Training Companion Guide. By Juan Carlos Santana. Text in the companion guide expands on the content in the Medicine Ball Training video. Photos show form and applications. 2003, 210 pages. There are instructional media for this book title in VHS and DVD formats.
For a Good Workout, Try the Medicine Ball
Four Medicine Ball Moves
The Great Balance and Stability Handbook. By Andre Noel Potvin and Chad Benson. Productive Fitness Products, Inc., 2003. 64 pages. ISBN: 0973126205.
The Great Medicine Ball Handbook: The Quick Reference Guide to Medicine Ball Exercises. By Michael Jespersen and Andre Noel Potvin. Productive Fitness Pub., 2001. 64 pages. ISBN: 0969677391. VSCL.
Greek-Roman Ball Games Episkyros and Harpastum
The Gym Ball Store
Heavy Medicine Balls: How and Why to Use Them
Hoover Ball - History
Hoover Ball - Wikipedia
How to Make a $5.00 Medicine Ball
Ideas for Using Medicine Balls. MF Athletic Company. 18 exercises.
The Incredible Health Benefits of Tai Chi Ball. By Denise Newman, R.N.
Instructions for learning the Taiji Sphere in 18 Postures as taught by Chen Taijiquan Master Chen Qing Zhou.
Internal Power Training with Bare-Hand, Staff and Equipment (Ball). Performance and instruction by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye. Instructional videotape, 90 minutes, color. Traditional Chen Village. Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York. Albany, New York, CDTKA, 2002. MGC.
Kilograms to Pounds Conversion Calculator
Magic Pearl Qigong: A Taoist Contemplation Method
Medicine Ball - Blog Notes in Cloud Hands Blog
Medicine Ball Books and Videos. By Power Systems.
Medicine Ball Depot at Karate Depot
Medicine Ball Exercises
Medicine Ball Exercises. From "Plyometic Exercises with the Medicine Ball," by Dr. Donald Chu.
Medicine Ball Exercises from Body Building.Com
Medicine Ball For All - Training Handbook. By Patrick Mediate and Avery Faigenbaum. Coaches Choice Books, 2004. 110 pages. ISBN: 1585189006.
Medicine Ball - Google Search
Medicine Ball Training
Medicine Ball Training: A Complete Book of Medicine Ball Exercises for Coaches of All Sports. By Z. Tenke and A. Higgins. Sports Books Publishers, 1994. 82 pages. ISBN: 0920905404.
Medicine Ball - Wikipedia
Medicine Ball Workouts - Amazon
Medicine Balls - Sports Authority
Medicine Ball Training: Exercise Equipment for All. By Joe Downie.
Medicine Ball Training, Part 1
The Medicine Ball Workout. By FittLinxx.
Medicine Ball Workout. By Paul Chek. Learn explosive workouts with proven training techniques to improve strength, power, and quickness. Complete with warm-up, workout, and cool down. 1996, 38 minutes, VHS.
Miracle Ball Method: Relieve Your Pain, Reshape Your Body, Reduce Your Stress. By Elaine Petrone. Workman Pub., 2003. 256 pages. ISBN: 0761128689.
Michael P. Garofalo, M.S., Red Bluff, California. Taijiquan, Qigong, and Yoga Instructor.
"New Glory for the Medicine Ball: Thuds of Presidential Exercise Have Their Reverberations in New York." By John Chamberlain. New York Times, April 7, 1929, Sunday, Section: Special Features, Page XX2, 1476 words.
Not All Medicine Balls are the Same: Live Medicine Balls will Change Your Power Training Forever. AOK Health.
Pearl - Wikipedia
Plyoball - The World's Best Medicine Ball
Plyometric Exercises with the Medicine Ball. By Donald A. Chu. Bittersweet Publishing Co., 2nd Revised Edition, 2004. 200 pages. ISBN: 0931255090. MGC.
Pounds to Kilograms Conversion Calculator
Qigong Ball Routines
Qigong Ball Exercise Routines - Blog Notes in Cloud Hands Blog
Qigong Empowerment: A Guide to Medical, Taoist, Buddhist, and Wushu Energy Cultivation. By Liang, Shou-Yu and Wu, Wen-Ching. Edited by Denise Breiter-Wu. Rhode Island, Way of the Dragon Publishing, 1997. Index, glossary, 348 pages. ISBN: 1889659029.
Qigong Hand Balls
Qigong: Resources, Lessons, Links, Bibliographies, Guides
Qigong: Small Circulation. By Yang Jwing-Ming. YMAA Publication Center, 2006. 360 pages. ISBN: 1594390673. VSCL. Essential reading!
Reviving the Lost Art of Taiji Ball Qigong within Chinese Martial Arts. By Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming. This is an outstanding article on the subject.
Silk Reeling: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes, Lessons
Silk Reeling with Ball. By Sifu Jiang Jian-ye, M.S., 1950-. VHS and DVD instructional media, 120 minutes. An interesting 15-movement form that includes movements from T'ai Chi, Xingyi and Bagua which was created by Jiang to improve silk reeling skills, improve balance, coordination and joint mobility. The movements can be done individually as well as in the form. There is a demonstration of the entire form, warm-ups, and step-by-step teaching. There are 4 or more repetitions for each form at slow and medium speeds. There are front, back and side views. There are reviews of segments. Concludes with demonstrations of the entire form front and back."
Qigong: Small Circulation. By Yang Jwing-Ming. YMAA Publication Center, 2006. 360 pages. ISBN: 1594390673. VSCL. Essential reading!
Strength Ball Training. By Lorne Goldenberg and Peter Twist. Second Edition. Champaign, Illinois, Human Kinetics Publishers, 2007. Paperback book and Instructional DVD (90 minutes) Bibliography, 283 pages. ISBN: 0736066977. Heavy emphasis upon the use of the large Swiss ball or Bosu for balancing while doing various exercises with smaller medicine balls, dumbbells, or rubber bands. Emphasis upon strength training and conditioning for athletes playing sports. VSCL.
Strength Training for Seniors
Sun Style of Taijiquan Guides, Lessons, Bibliographies, Links, Resources,
Tai Chi Ball, UTube, 8:21 minutes.
Tai Chi Ball. UTube Video, 1 minute. Taiji Ball - Grigori Kisseljov, Golden Lotus Club, Tallinn, Estonia 2010. The demonstrator uses a large plastic ball that is rolled on a wall in a vigorous manner as if one is pushing hands with an opponent. Very nice routine.
Tai Chi Ball. "Xinggong Taiji Ball." Instruction by Chen Qing Zhou, 1933-. Instructional DVD, 60 minutes. Mandarin with English subtitles. "A whole series of exercises with the Chen version of the Tai Chi ball which is generally associated with the Yang Family branch. One unique aspect is that Master Chen Qing Zhou uses the ball almost as a massage device keeping it tight against his torso and rolling it along the front there. Tossing the ball, turning it, many types of movements which are also shown without the ball directly as self massage moves." VSCL. For a compltete demonstration, refer to: Xinggong: Taiji Ball, Demonstration by Master Chen Qingzhou, UTube, 3:16 minutes. Here is a one page summary (PDF format) of the names of the 18 movements in the Tai Chi Ball routine of Master Chen Qing Zhou.
Tai Chi Ball. Wushu Scholar Magazine. Master Cai Xing Sheng, Wudang Taoist, uses a basketball painted with the tai chi diagram, showing how he can move his free arm and body without disrupting the smooth flow of the ball-carrying hand.
Tai Chi Ball Exercise Routines - Blog Notes in Cloud Hands Blog
Tai Chi Ball Exercises, Video, 3 minutes
Tai Chi Ball: For Beginners and Seniors. By Sifu Jiang Jian-ye, M.S. VHS or DVD instructional media, 122 minutes. "These introductory exercises are performed with a ball to improve balance, coordination and internal energy. This system was popular in Beijing in the 1920s and 1930s. There is a demonstration of the entire form, which has flavor from Chen, Yang and Wu/Hao styles. There are step-by-step instructions with front and rear views and a breakdown of movements with close-ups. Each movement is repeated two to three times and there are periodic reviews of segments. At the end, there are demonstrations, front and back."
Tai Chi Ball Qigong: for Health and Martial Arts. By Yang Jwing-Ming and David Grantham. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, YMAA Publication Center, 2010. Index, glossary, bibliography, appendices, 301 pages. ISBN: 1594391998. The best book on the subject. Linked to the two instructional DVDs listed below. VSCL.
Taji Ball Qigong Course. By Yang, Jwing-Ming, Ph.D. Courses 1 and 2. YMAA Publication Center, 2006. 180 minutes. 1 DVD, NTSC. Directed by Yang Jwing-Ming and David Silver. ASIN:B000EHT3DY. VSCL.
"Deepen Your Tai Chi Training with Taiji Ball Qigong. Taiji Ball training is common practice in both external and internal martial arts in China. It can strengthen the torso, condition the muscles, and increase physical power by using the mind to lead the Qi. In Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), Taiji Ball Qigong training was once a major training tool to enhance Pushing Hands ability. However, due to its secrecy, fewer and fewer people have learned it. Today the art of Taiji Ball training is almost unknown. In Course 1, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming teaches fundamental Taiji Ball breathing techniques, and 16 basic patterns of stationary and moving Taiji Ball Circling, both Vertical and Horizontal. Breathing patterns demonstrated: Wuji breathing Yongquan breathing Laogong breathing Four Gates breathing Taiji Grand Circulation breathing Course 2 focuses on 16 basic patterns of stationary and moving Taiji Ball Rotating, both Vertical and Horizontal. Dr. Yang offers detailed instruction as students demonstrate in the classroom, accompanied by an easy-to-follow demonstration of each pattern shown in a lush outdoor setting, with beautiful classical Chinese music. Regular Qigong practice accelerates the health benefits of Taiji. You'll enjoy reduced stress, a stronger immune system, and a deeper awareness of breath and body coordination. This authoritative guide can be used with any style of Taijiquan, and it is a great way for anyone to energize the body, raise the spirit, and deepen your understanding of Qigong and Taiji. DVD features: Over 100 Chapter Markers . Narration: English and French. Multi-Language Menus and Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish. Over 1 hour of additional DVD-only content. Hidden DVD-Outtakes bloopers Segment. Interactive YMAA Product catalog with Previews of All Other YMAA Video Titles."
Taji Ball Qigong Course. By Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. Courses 3 and 4. YMAA Publication Center, 2007. 200 minutes. 1 DVD, NTSC. ASIN:B000NVRONM. Featuring: Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, Ramel Rones, Aaron Damus, Kathy Yang, Ben Warner and Richard Krupp. Directed by David Silver. MGC. "Deepen Your Taiji with Taiji Ball Qigong. Taiji Ball training can strengthen the torso, condition the muscles, and teach the practitioner to use the mind to lead the Qi. In Taijiquan, Taiji Ball training was once a major training tool to enhance Pushing Hands ability, but it is rarely taught in modern times. This multi-language DVD by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming contains two complete video courses, and builds upon the foundation taught in the Taiji Ball Qigong Courses 1 & 2 DVD. Dr. Yang offers you detailed instruction as you follow along with a YMAA class lesson. In Course 3, Dr Yang teaches 16 patterns of Taiji Ball Wrap-Coiling, both Vertical and Horizontal. Course 4 focuses on solo and partner applications, which help to develop coiling and neutralizing taiji skills. You will learn several Self-practice exercises: Flying Dragon Plays with the Ball. Taiji Ball Along the Edge. and 2-person Taiji Ball partner drills. DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Over 100 Scene Selections. Narration: English. Multi-Language Menus and Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish. Interactive YMAA Product catalog with Previews of All Other YMAA Video Titles." VSCL.
Tai Chi Balls Everlast Leather Medicine Ball, 8-9 pounds. Medicine Ball from Izzo Golf, 6 pounds.
TaijiLiu, UTube Video, 41 seconds. 合肥太极堂刘玉龙老师太极神功演练单手揉球 A very large and heavy metal ball is rolled in a waist high container.
The Taiji Sphere of Chen Style Taijiquan Internal Training. By Chen Qingzhou, 19th Generation Chen Taiji Master.
Taijiquan Ball Routines
Take Your Medicine: Learn How to Use Medicine Balls to Develop Arm and Upper Body Speed, Strength and Balance. By Curtis Schultz.
Traditional Chen Family Internal Power Training Method with Bare-Hand, Staff and Equipment. Instructional DVD or VHS by Shifu Jian Jian-ye, 90 minutes. Capital Cistrict Tai Chi and Kung Fun, Albany, New York, 2002. VSCL.
Ultimate Medicine Ball Game
Upper Body Plyometric Drills
A Useful Training Tool: The Taiji Ball Comments on rolling a ball on a wooden surface.
VSCL = Valley Spirit Center Library, Red Bluff, California.
The Ways of Walking: Quotes, Bibliography, Links, Resources
Which type of Taiji Training Ball Should I Choose? Wood.
Wooden Tai Chi Ball
Wudang (Taoist) Qigong
Wudang Tai Chi Universal Ball, UTube, 2:26 minutes.
Xinggong Taiji Ball. Tai Chi Sphere in 18 Postures. Instruction by Chen Qing Zhou, 1933-. Instructional DVD, 60 minutes. Mandarin with English subtitles. "A whole series of exercises with the Chen version of the Tai Chi ball which is generally associated with the Yang Family branch. One unique aspect is that Master Chen Qing Zhou uses the ball almost as a massage device keeping it tight against his torso and rolling it along the front there. Tossing the ball, turning it, many types of movements which are also shown without the ball directly as self massage moves." VSCL. For a compltete demonstration, refer to: Xinggong: aiji Ball, Demonstration by Master Chen Qingzhou, UTube, 3:16 minutes. Here is a one page summary (PDF format) of the names of the 18 movements in the Tai Chi Ball routine of Master Chen Qing Zhou.
Xinggong: Taiji Ball, Demonstration by Master Chen Qingzhou, UTube, 3:16 minutes.
Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan Guides, Lessons, Bibliographies, Links, Resources,
Yang Style of Tai Chi Ball
Yang Style Tai Chi Ball, Traditional Yang Lu-Chan System, 13 Forms. Instructional DVD, 119 minutes. Instruction by Sifu Jiang Jian-ye, M.S., 1950-. Albany, New York, Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York, 2006. He uses a basketball as his Tai Chi Ball. "He teaches a 13-form method said to be one of the surviving parts of Yang Lu-Chan’s system. The ball is used to improve balance, coordination and flexibility. Teaching is step-by-step with multiple views and repetitions." Wayfarer Catalog, $50.00. VSCL.
Yang Style Tai Chi 13 Qiu 19 Movements UTube Video, 5:25 minutes.
Yang Style Tai Chi Ball Demonstration, UTube, 8.50 minutes.
Taijiquan or Qigong Ball Routines
Ball, Taiji Sphere in 18 Postures
Tai Chi Ball. Instruction by Chen T'ai Chi Ch'uan Master Chen Qing Zhou (1933-)
Instructional DVD, 60 minutes. Mandarin with English subtitles.
Master Chen Qing Zhou uses a 13Kg (28.6 Pound) Black Metal Ball
Xinggong: Taiji Ball, Demonstration by Master Chen Qing Zhou, UTube, 3:16 minutes.
Here is a one page summary (PDF format) of the names of the 18 movements in this routine.
1. Preparation Form and Tai Chi Sucks the Pearl
2. Na Zha Detects the Sea (Left Side)
3. Na Zha Detects the Sea (Right Side)
4. Left Qiankun Covers the Moon
5. Right Qiankun Covers the Moon
6. Bawang Raises the Vessel
7. Wei Tuo Presents the Pestle (Left Side)
8. Lion Rolls a Ball Right
9. Invite Pearl into Hole (Left Side)
10. Hold Weighty to the Left
11. Pearl Goes Back into the Nest
12. Wei Tuo Presents the Pestle (Right Side)
13. Lion Rolls a Ball Left
14. Invite Pearl into the Hole (Right Side)
15. Hold Weighty to the Right
16. Pearl Goes Back into the Nest
17. Fire-Spider Fights the Dragon, Fiery Spider Tempts the Dragon
18. Closing Posture to Original Position
Song of the Taiji Sphere
Training in the 18 methods with the Taiji sphere,
The method never strays from the circles of silk twining.
Changing in infinite permutations of Yin and Yang energy,
A perfectly round shape is formed internally.
Yang Style Tai
Chi Ball, Traditional Yang Lu-Chan System
Instruction by Sifu Jiang Jian-ye, M.S., 1950-
Yang Style Tai Chi Ball, Traditional Yang Lu-Chan System, 13 Forms. Instructional DVD, 119 minutes. Instruction by Sifu Jiang Jian-ye, M.S., 1950. Albany, New York, Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York, 2006. He uses a basketball as his Tai Chi Ball. "He teaches a 13-form method said to be one of the surviving parts of Yang Lu-Chan’s system. The ball is used to improve balance, coordination and flexibility. Teaching is step-by-step with multiple views and repetitions." Wayfarer Catalog, $50.00. VSCL.
1. Wu Ji Posture Preparation
2. Lift Heavy Bell
3. Curving String
Information, Observations, Facts, and Commentary About Medicine Balls, Taiji Ball Exercises, Qigong Ball Practices
"They [medicine balls] now come in a vast array of colors and are made with rubber surfaces making them easier to grip. They also come in weights ranging from one to fifty pounds so you can vary resistance to suit your needs. Because they bounce and can be tossed around, they are great for working you with random movements instead of the fixed ones that come with barbell, dumbbell and machine workouts. There is virtually no other equipment in the gym or at home that can provide the versatility of the medicine ball.
Some good reasons to make the medicine ball part of your workout routine are:
You can add variety to your routine because of the limitless kinds of exercises you can do with them. You can toss them, bounce them, roll them, and do many traditional free weight exercises with them. With all the variety they provide, it is hard to get bored with their use and people of all fitness levels from beginner to athlete can use them.
Using the medicine ball is a good tool for meeting people because there are loads of exercises you can do with the ball that work great with two or more people. You can toss the ball to each other, roll it to each other, bounce it back and forth, and hand it off to each other. You can even work in small groups using the ball, making room to be even more creative with it.
A lot of medicine ball exercises are great for working your core or midsection muscles, which are involved when you toss, roll, bounce or catch it. There is also a lot of movement involved when using the ball like side to side movement or front to back movement to catch it. Standing and twisting side to side while holding the ball is great for your midsection as well.
If you are looking to improve your performance in a particular sport or activity, the medicine ball can help there too. Tossing and bouncing it back and forth with a partner helps improve eye-hand coordination. Tossing the ball also improves strength for things like golf and tennis swings, throwing a baseball or football, and swimming strokes. Rolling it will help improve strength for your bowling game or underhand softball pitching.
Using the medicine ball is a great way to add a little something different to your usual exercise routine. You can do things with it that you most likely could not do with the traditional equipment you've been using, and at times, using the medicine ball can be downright playful and fun to work with, reminding you of when you were a kid tossing and rolling the ball around in the park with your friends thus making you feel young again."
- For a Good Workout, Try the Medicine Ball
"Tai Chi (tai chi chuan) has been relied upon for centuries as an alternative
healing tool, and it's meditative, calming and soothing traits are only a tiny
part of its appeal. Tai Chi ball is an additional Chinese type of workout
exercises and mediation that had a place in history as it was uses by warriors
to prepare for battle. Adding the specialized ball is connected to traditional
Tai chi, and it has been demonstrated to assist in the reduction of aches and
pains and physical impairment in men, women, and children who suffer from
fibromyalgia, knee arthritis, and other arthritis related conditions.
Traditional exercises involve performing slow procession of postures or
movements that are extremely low impact, and put little or no stress on the
joints and muscles. Incorporating the ball tracks the similar principles of this
ancient practice; however it employs a weighted ball to execute movements, while
using proper breathing techniques. Muscle function, balance, strength, and
flexibility can be enhanced considerably. These unique exercises are simple to
do; they can take years to perfect, and this is only part of the alluring appeal
that guides many people to undertake the challenge."
- Denise Newman, R.N., The Incredible Health Benefits of Tai Chi Ball.
"Originally, these balls were simple, solid, cylindrical objects. Later,
handicraftsmen began designing hollow balls and inserting sounding plates that
produce high and low tones when used. These lighter balls are easier to handle
and the musical tones contribute to the relaxation process that results from
exercising with them. Directions: The balls are placed in one's hand and with
the muscles in one's fingers and forearms contracting and relaxing hamoniously.
Beginners should select balls of a smaller size and them, over time, increase
ball size as one's proficiency improves. Ultimately, one can exercise both hands
altermately or simultaneously and may even choose to use three or four balls in
one hand. Maintenance: The balls are made of metal and, hence, should be kept
dry and clean. Although the balls are strong and durable, owners should avoid
violently knocking them against each other and against other solid objects
andsurfaces. If the balll is not used for a long period of time, it is advisable
to coat the balls with wax or grease for maintenance and preservation."
- Chinese Hand and Finger Balls
"The weight of the medicine ball requires
coordinated movement of the whole body in order to propel the ball any
significant distance or to catch it. Muscle groups sequence in a natural
way, so that strengthening is integrated and available for powerful and
dynamic activity. A person can relatively easily learn to throw the
medicine ball from both sides of the body. Bilaterally-balanced
movement is rare in commonly-played ball or racquet sports. This kind of
movement promotes balanced physical development and benefits brain health.
A healing sport has these qualities:
* Mind at peace, grasping nothing.
* Body in free flow, creatively expressing.
* Goals providing energizing polarities
* Oneness in playing together
* Passion for the joy of it."
- Ultimate Medicine Ball Game
"Today's medicine balls are available in a
variety of shapes, sizes, materials, colors and weights and their new
versatility enhances the effectiveness of any athletic training program.
Incorporating medicine ball work into your regular exercise routine will
. Strength; Power - total force exerted, energy, capacity
. Speed - quickness, distance covered in measured amount of time
. Agility; Fluidity - gracefulness, dexterity, athleticism
. Balance; Coordination - symmetry, poise; ability to combine moves
. Endurance - sustained movement over time
. Flexibility - move through joint range of motion (limberness, bend, stretch, twist)
. Functionality - appropriateness of exercise to improving quality of life and daily living
. Fun - the real reason we exercise
Medicine ball training is categorized as functional training, which means it integrates multiple muscles or muscle groups to complete a movement and mimics everyday muscle use. Because the body is a complicated and integrated system of muscles, nerves, pathways, bones, joints, and other connective tissues that work together to create movement, training it as such can be much more beneficial than isolating muscle groups. An added plus is that you must engage the core muscles to stabilize the torso and prevent back injuries, making this training a perfect workout for the back, abdomen and hips."
- The Medicine Ball Workout. By FittLinxx.
"Ball practice also offers strength training and stress-relief. Since taiji ball qigong is a combination of internal elixir (nei dan) and external elixir (wai dan) qigong practice, the health benefits of taiji ball qigong can be divided into two parts, the internal and external side.
1. Train the mind to its higher level of concentration and focus.
2. Improving the body’s metabolism and building up an abundant level of qi.
3. Learning how to use the mind to lead the qi for its circulation to a smoother level.
4. Enhancing the grand circulation so that the feeling of sensitivity can be significantly increased.
5. Heightening the spirit of vitality.
1. Strengthening the physical body (bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.)
2. Establishing a firm root, balance, and centering ability, and to strengthen the three major joints of the legs.
3. Loosening and exercising the joints.
4. Enhancing qi circulation in the internal organs.
5. Enhancing the coordination of the mind, feeling, and body."
- Yang Jwing-Ming, Ph.D., Reviving the Lost Art of Taiji Ball Qigong within Chinese Martial Arts
"Hoover-ball was played by teams of 2-4 players with a six-pound medicine ball
over a net eight feet high on a court similar to one used for tennis. The
game was scored exactly like tennis, and played in similar fashion. The
server throws the ball. The opponent must catch it on the fly and
immediately return it, attempting to put it where it cannot be reached and
returned. The side that misses the ball or throws it out of bounds loses the
"It is a distinctly strenuous affair, best understood as exactly like tennis
except that the net is eight feet high, there are no rackets and the ball is a
hefty medicine ball weighing six pounds." (The New York Times)
"Stopping a six-pound ball with steam back of it, returning it with similar
steam, is not pink-tea stuff," DuPuy wrote. "Dr. Boone estimates that as much
beneficial exercise is obtained from half an hour of it (Hoover-ball) as from
three times as much tennis or six times as much golf."
The sport originated in 1928, when shortly after his election President Hoover took a goodwill trip to South America. While aboard the battleship Utah on his return, he watched a game of "bull-in-the-ring," a medicine ball game that was popular on naval ships. A soft nine-pound medicine ball was thrown from one to another of the players standing in a circle as the "bull" in the center tried to intercept it. During the trip, the president-elect played and enjoyed the game, which was the inspiration for Hoover-ball."
- Hoover Ball
"Dan Tian Dantian, dan tien or tan t'ien (Chinese:
丹田 dāntián ;
Japanese: 丹田 tanden;
Korean: 단전 danjeon;
ตันเถียน dantian literally "cinnabar or red
field") is loosely translated as "elixir field". It is described as an important
focal point for internal meditative techniques.
There are various points of dantian. There is one at the top of the skull (top dantian), one at the forehead (up dantian), one below the heart (middle dantian), one down and beneath the navel (low dantian) and one at the soles of the feet (bottom dantian). However, dantian usually refers to the physical center of gravity located in the abdomen (about three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel).
The dantian is important in Neidan, qigong, neigong, tao yin and other breathing techniques, as well as in traditional Chinese medicine and meditation. In Eastern martial arts, the navel dantian is particularly important as it becomes the focal point of breathing technique as well as the centre of balance and gravity. Taoist and Buddhist teachers often instruct their students to center their mind in the dantian. This is believed to aid control of thoughts and emotions. Acting from the dantian is considered to be related to the state of samadhi. The dantian also roughly corresponds to the Indian concept of the manipura, or navel chakra. In yoga philosophy, it is thought to be the seat of prana that radiates outwards to the entire body."
- Dantian - Wikipedia
"Hoover-ball is a combination of tennis, volleyball and medicine ball.
White House physician Admiral Joel T. Boone invented the game to keep President
Hoover physically fit. It required less skill than tennis, was faster and more vigorous, and therefore
gave more exercise in a short time," Hoover wrote in his Memoirs.
"It is more strenuous than either boxing, wrestling or football," wrote Will
Irwin, a friend of Hoover's, in a 1931 article "The President Watches His
Waistline" in Physical Culture magazine. "It has the virtue of getting at nearly
every muscle in the body."
The sport was without a name until New York Times Magazine reporter William Atherton DuPuy christened the game "Hoover-ball" for his 1931 article "At the White House at 7 a.m."
- History of Hoover Ball
"Most people who practice Taijiquan know about the Taiji Sphere. When you
reach a certain level in your barehanded practice, it is good to train with the
Taiji Sphere; how one trains, for which purpose it is useful for, and what form
its practice takes, is frequently neglected by those seeking "gongfu." In the
investigative spirit of the present, I present by experience and developed
skills to all Taijiquan players, in order to "toss a few bricks to entice some
In 1944, when I was ten years old, in the yard of my house there was a roughly finished stone (qing shi) sphere with some white veins in it, about the same size as a soccer ball, that everyone called the "stone egg." I thought that I would grab it up into my arms, but I couldn't do it. At times my father would take an interest and approach the stone; taking a horse stance, he would pick it up with both hands and proceed to roll it around his abdomen. At times he would fling it off (with his abdomen) and at the end of his training the ball remained on the ground. My father said, "this is to play with after you have gotten a grasp on the barehanded postures." Many years later, it occurred to me that the "stone ©¶b ought to have been the ancient "Taiji Qiu" (Taiji sphere). Nineteen years later, when I was studying Chen style Taijiquan with Master Chen Zhaopei, I had seen basketball being played on the basketball court, which brought to mind the teachings of the Taiji sphere. The better basketball players, when they caught a pass, really looked as if they were working out with a Taiji sphere. Just as in the peng (ward off) and lu (roll back) chan si jin (silk reeling force) of the posture Jin Gang Dao Dui (Vajra Pounds the Mortar), first they would rotate toward the rear to neutralize the incoming force of the pass and then they were able to turn at will with the ball. In the past, the previous generations of masters placed great emphasis on special power training techniques (xing gong), training with a Taiji sphere of over fifty pounds, hitting three sandbags (da san dai), and training with a stick [or ruler] (xing gong bang) in order to develop the foundation gongfu of Chen style Taijiquan.
From the Qing dynasty, after the introduction of Western rifles and cannon into China, people became indifferent to traditional martial arts training. The more difficult postures were eliminated from the old Taijiquan training routine which then developed into [more of] a health oriented practice. A few of the methods that were of benefit to developing "gongfu" were no longer practiced and basically should have ceased to be transmitted. At the same time the set was being changed the kind of sentiment in the following line was being expressed: "Do you want to know the entire purpose of Taijiquan? It lies in enhancing longevity and extending radiant good health into old age."
When I was learning the Taiji sphere, there wasn't any Taiji sphere to practice with, it was only by explaining a few movements by describing the movements with empty hands and performing as if holding a Taiji sphere that I was able to learn. Later on, I found an old leather ball and filled it with sand and practiced revolving it continually. Luckily, in 1973 I chanced to see three steel Taiji spheres in Zhengzhou. I happily purchased one as if it were a precious object and have practiced with it up until the present day, the surface of the sphere turning into a shiny black color. The steel Taiji sphere is 26 cm. in diameter and weights 14 kg. At first, when I trained with it, I felt that it was a little heavy.
By training in Taijiquan according to the "EIghteen Methods," until the [internal] "qi" drives the [external] form, then training in revolving of the Taiji sphere, means that the dantian will move the revolving of the Taiji sphere. Eventually it seems as if there is an invisible sphere inside the abdomen. When pushing hands with another person, the sensations are transmitted to the sphere inside the abdomen which can naturally respond in moving the whole body, thereby responding to circumstances and reacting accordingly. [Even] some people who feel that this is something quite strange, [after pushing against my abdomen with their hand, say that there is a rotating sphere, yet they cannot find where it rests and their hand will feel painful upon contact with its reactive force."
- Taiji Sphere by Chen Qingzhou
The Taiji ball or “qiu” is an integral part of intermediate and
advanced training in Yang Taijiquan. While there was some interest in the ball
among Taiji practitioners in the 1920′x and 1930′s, interest subsequently
diminished and few people, even in China today, are familiar with its extensive
practice methods. Yang style ball
practice probably has its origins in the Chen style, although the ball was also
utilized in Wudang and Omei training for many hundreds of years. Yang style
Taijiquan, while it evolved from the Chen style, in practice focuses more upon
internalization of force and rarely emits it externally, except in fighting.
To my understanding, among the major styles of Taijiquan, only the Yang and Chen
styles have developed extensive practice methods utilizing the ball. The
Yang style Taiji form is designed to develop physical conditioning, like most
internal systems, by increasing the circulation of blood and qi as an integral
method of self-healing, spiritual cultivation and fighting.
The ball practice greatly helps to achieve this. The ball is practiced in relatively lower stances than the open hand form, in which the practitioner must be comfortable and relaxed, and which must not rely on muscle tension. In practicing in low postures, one develops strong ligaments and connective tissue to support the weight of the body, thereby improving one’s “root.” Like the open hand set, one essentially develops “passive” internal strength, but one finds that when using it “actively” for fali, or explosive force, it greatly improves one’s power in push hands and fighting."
- Yang Fukui, Yang Style Tai Chi Ball Training
"Benefits are many, it is a great way to enhance our
understanding of the mechanics of the "spinal wave", transferring whip-like
power upward along the spine and out into the arms and hands.. You can also more
easily coordinate reverse abdominal breathing using the ball as a guide
(vertical circles moving away from and returning to the body's centerline ). The
positions of the hands while holding the ball correctly align the palms for form
and application.. I f you are familiar with "flat plate" exercises, then as you
advance in the ball training you can replace the plates with the Taiji Ball.. a
whole new dynamic of alignment and coordination.. this will lengthen and
strengthen the tendon/ligament/muscle relationships.. A very important part of
the training is the coordination of the DanTien's movements with the Taiji Ball
movement, the counter-balancing and smooth transitions will migrate to your
empty-empty hand forms and weapon forms.. Shoulder, arm and low back strength
will increase without loss of flexibility or speed, the mechanics of ball
control keep the adverse effects of strength training at a minimum."
- TaiChiBob, "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"
"In general, there are
exercises and practices that are good for teaching basic body mechanics and
movement and there are exercises for strengthening and reinforcing that
movement. I'd suggest the ball training is the later. It reinforces and
strengthens the mechanics one has already learned. Movements that are done
empty-hand and with light apparatus, such as a ruler (chih), can be done with
greater resistance/weight using a ball. Another aspect of training with a
ball is its unique shape. It allows you to practice certain qualities more
readily than say a cylindrical stick will, or empty hand exercises will. These
qualities include sticking, following, adhering, and other "tactile" type
The circular quality of the movements done while maintaining contact with the ball and the continuous rotation of the hands on the surface of the ball (spiraling) are the same as used in push hands with a partner/opponent - and should be the same as used in empty hand forms. Practicing with the ball allows one to practice the ba fa - 8 basic actions - along with the sticking, following, etc. Some of the movements train common applications, such as after having grabbed the hand or wrist of an incoming strike, rotate the incoming arm over and use your elbow to break the opponent's elbow. (This movement is commonly found in Chen TJQ "xin jia".) Some of the exercises train the motions used to apply qinna. Last that I'll mention here, the weight of the ball allows the practitioner to work with momentum more easily than empty hand exercises usually does. The weight trains speed and explosive strength. It trains beng or "bursting strength". The caveat is that it isn't the existance of a ball that makes this training possible. The training is how you move the ball around, and with what in mind, not the choreography. For example, if one does not know the correct body mechanics for moving the ball in a simple verticle circle, simply following the choreography and moving the ball in a vertical circle won't teach you it. If you don't understand or aren't aware of the applications being trained, then that isn't a component of the training.
There is nothing magic about training with a ball - it takes the basics one has already learned and reinforces them. When the choreography is performed slowly, at constant slow speed with a light-weight ball and little intent for chan si jin, ba fa, fa jin, etc., the ball exercises are "qigong", as shown on YJM's video. Nothing wrong with that. Just depends what is the purpose of your training. Where can you get one? Traditional balls in China are made of natural materials - best for the "qi". For a ball of 9" diameter, using the densest of woods, you can't make a ball heavier than about 11 lb. Heavier balls were made of stone, or sometimes, steel/iron. Out of stone or steel, they can reach considerably heavier weights 100 lbs or so. (The balls in YJM's video are about 4 to 5 lb., a pleasant weight for qigong.)"
- Taiji Ball Qigong
"A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness
ball) is a weighted
ball roughly the diameter of the shoulders (approx. 14 inches). Often used
strength training, it serves an important role in the field of
sports medicine. It should not be confused with the larger, inflated
exercise ball. Medicine balls are usually sold as 2–25 lb. balls
and are used effectively in
weight training to increase explosive power in athletes in all sports. Some
medicine balls are in the form of weighted
Medicine ball training is one of the oldest forms of strength and conditioning
training – the first reference to wrestlers training with sand filled bladders
Persia nearly 3000 years ago. In
ancient Greece the physician
Hippocrates had them sewn out of animal skins and stuffed with sand. His
patients threw them back and forth for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the words "health"
and "medicine" were synonymous. The so-called "Four Horsemen of Fitness" were
Indian club, the
wand and the medicine ball. This is where the beginnings of the modern
medicine ball originate.
Medicine balls are used by boxing professionals to improve the strength of abdominal muscles. This is done by dropping the ball onto the abdomen of the boxer, simulating a punch coming from an opponent. Other athletes use medicine balls to increase their core strength. One common activity is to have athletes hold the ball against their chest and thrust it at another athlete, who catches it against their chest. This strengthens arm, chest, and leg muscles. Medicine balls throws are also implemented as part of the SPARQ rating, a test of sport-specific athleticism, to assess core strength, total body power and coordination. Different tests involve an athlete throwing the ball behind them and over their head as far as they can, or kneeling and pushing the ball out from their chest for maximum distance. They are also extensively used by secondary schools as a fitness aid. Example exercises include: lifting the ball or performing different exercises (such as sit-ups and leg raises) with the ball in order to increase the stress on a particular muscle. A medicine ball is also commonly used by athletes who have sustained an injury and seek rehabilitation."
- Medicine Ball - Wikipedia
"The most well known form of Qigong is probably the exercises with the Qigong
balls. Qigong balls have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries in order to
improve agility and blood circulation in the fingers. Qigong balls are balls
made out of metal or stone. Qigong balls made out of steel are hollow
balls. Inside these balls there is a smaller rotating ball which causes the
outer ball to vibrate. In the hollow, outer ball there is a pin which is
vibrated by the inner ball that makes sounds. The Qigong balls are placed
into the palm of the hands and rotated with the help of the fingers. The
movements cause the muscles in the hand and the lower arm to regularly tense and
relax. The direction of rotation changes in regular intervals. It is recommended
to exercise with smaller qigong balls in the beginning.
Qigong balls stimulate motor activity in the hand. Exercising regularly with Qigong balls can relieve rheumatic pain in the hand. The movements exercise the hand and arm muscles. The vibrations loosen the tissue and stimulate blood circulation in the hands. The sounds made by the balls and the uniform movements have a relaxing and calming effect. There are meant to be reflex zones on the hand which are linked to the different organs in the body. In this way the Qigong balls are meant to have an effect on the various organs"
- Qigong Hand Balls
"The size of the ball can differ from one style to another. The small balls,
which are commonly used for health, were actually the balls used to strengthen
the finder’s grabbing power. They were also used to improve one’s qi and blood
circulation right after iron sand palm (tie sha zhang) training, and
were also commonly used as a throwing dart weapon (an qi).
The history of taiji ball training is scarce. One very valuable document is the
Great Dictionary of Chinese Wushu. According to the writings of Tang
Hao (a.d. 1897–1959), taiji ball qigong training, in taijiquan, was passed down
by Liu, De-kuan (a.d. 1826–1911), and Liu learned it from an unknown,
non-taijiquan, martial artist. According to Tang Hao, the biggest ball that
could be used was a huge ball made of brass, which was hung from the ceiling.
The practice included solo and matching practices."
- Yang Jwing-Ming, Ph.D., Reviving the Lost Art of Taiji Ball Qigong within Chinese Martial Arts
"Taiji Ball in it's most recent incarnation was started by
Chen Qingzhou. He uses a 22-35 pound steel ball, slightly bigger than a
basketball. Other Taiji styles have followed suit with their own
interpretation of how to practice with a heavy ball. The Chens uncovered a 70lb
stone ball buried in one of the ancestral gravesites, which is on display in
Chen Village. However nobody at the time knew what it was about.
Chen Qingzhou's story is that he recalls as a child seeing his grandfather
practice a form acting as if he were holding and rotating a heavy ball. This
gave him the idea for the form. His teaching is that once you have practiced
many years, you will be able to visualize the ball is your dantian, since all
movement should start with dantian, by practicing with a heavy object like this
teaches your body effective structure."
- Kung Fu Magazine Forum
A Taoist Contemplation Method
A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine, a Meditation Technique, and a Tao Te Ching Study
A Two Handed Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine
Lessons, Instructions, Training, Commentary, Lore
By Michael P. Garofalo
© 2011, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California
1. Taiji Returns to Wuji: Listening to the Silence of the Tao
2. Cultivate the Pearl
3. The Magic Pearl Glows in the Moonlight
4. The Heavenly Dragon Raises the Flaming Pearl
5. Wei Tuo Struggles to Save the Dharma Jewels
6. Open the Giant Oyster Shell
7. Nezha Searches for the Jade Stone of the Dragon King
8. The Earth Dragon Hides the Immortals' Pearl in his Cave
Here is a list of the names I use for the first eight movements of the Magic Pearl Qigong medicine ball routine (1 page, .pdf).
Here is a brief summary of the instructions for performing the movements, 1-8, of the Magic Pearl Qigong routine (2 pages, .pdf).
Magic Pearl Qigong Website
Cloud Hands Website
Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail
Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan Club
Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern Central California, U.S.A.
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© Michael P. Garofalo, 2007 - 2012, All Rights Reserved
First published on the Internet on June 1, 2007.
This webpage was last modified or updated on April 1, 2012.
Valley Spirit Qigong
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Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices: Bibliography, Scriptures, Lessons, Links, Resources
The Spirit of Gardening
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Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands Website
Yang and Chen Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan Medicine Ball Exercises, Taijiquan Ball, Qigong Ball Exercises
Chen and Yang Style Taijiquan Medicine Ball Exercises, Tai Chi Ball, Chi Kung Ball Exercises
Medicine Ball Exercises, Tai Chi Ball, Qigong Ball: Resources, Lessons, Links, Bibliography, Instructions, Quotes, Notes, Research.
Magic Pearl Qigong, Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine, Taoist Contemplation Method by Michael Garofalo: Lessons, Comments, Chinese Lore
Magic Pearl Qigong: A Taoist Contemplation Method
Chen and Yang Style Taijiquan Medicine Ball Exercises, Tai Chi Ball, Chi Kung Ball Exercises
Magic Pearl Qigong, Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine, Taoist Contemplation Method: Lessons, Comments, Chinese Lore