What Is The Oldest Piece Of Exercise Equipment?

This ancient fitness tool is still the most versatile gym item. Known as one of the oldest pieces of fitness equipment, medicine balls are still relevant and have more uses than ever before. Medicine balls vary in size and weight, but they remain the simplest and most effective tool for developing total body power, muscular endurance and flexibility today.

Who invented it and to whom do we credit its’ name? Ancient drawings suggest Persian wrestlers trained with animal bladders filled with sand 3,000 years ago. In addition, the Greek physician Hippocrates was rumored to have stuffed animal skins for his patients to toss around for exercise. [1] Before modern-day gym workouts, physical activity of almost any kind was considered a form of medicine for curing ailments. An article published in Scientific American in 1889 attributes the name “medicine ball” to Professor Robert Roberts, a fitness authority of the day. The article stated that “playful exercise with the medicine ball invigorates the body, promotes digestion, and restores and preserves one’s health.”

Well, here at Definitions we love training with the medicine ball in personal training sessions and classes. You can throw it, catch it, lift it toss, it slam it. Our favorite medicine ball exercise at this time is the side toss. The side toss improves overall strength and power especially through the legs, hips and torso. Medicine balls have stood the test of time. So whether you’re training for life or sport, this is one tool you definitely want to keep in training the toolbox.

Schedule a personal coaching session with DeShay today. If you have comments or training questions email