Medicine balls have been around for decades. These balls are weighted and come in a variety of weight increments, materials and diameters which enable us to utilize this fitness tool in dozens of exercises. Medicine balls may be integrated into both muscular strength training and power work.
This week, three excellent muscular strength exercises will be highlighted that just about anyone may manage. If you do not own medicine balls, begin by purchasing the lighter weight increments (i.e. 4, 6 or 8 pounds). Prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
All Three Are Compound Exercises:
-And, target the quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes/hip abductors/adductors, deltoids, pectorals, biceps, etc. and core.
-Head, neck and shoulders are rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward your spine, pelvic floor pulled up/in, knees relaxed and the body weight predominately in your mid-foot to heels.
-Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise/each side, two-three non-consecutive days/week.
Abduction/Squats –moderate weight medicine ball
-Begin standing with your legs approximately shoulder distance apart holding the medicine ball in both hands at chest height.
-Abduct your right leg at the hip joint to approximately 45 degrees, keeping the shoulders, hips, knees and toes all facing forward as you press the medicine ball out in front of your chest until your arms are fully extended.
-Bring the leg back in to the beginning position and then squat with both feet on the floor pulling the ball back in toward your chest.
-Alternate right and left legs squatting in-between sides as you press the ball out/in.
Side Lunge/Back Squat/Diagonal Medicine Ball Press –moderate medicine ball and Gliding disc
-Being standing with the gliding disc under the ball of the right foot, legs together, holding the medicine ball in both hands at chest height.
-Keeping the majority of the body weight in the left heel, allow the right leg to slide out to the right side performing a side lunge while the left hip hinges back, knee tracking over heel to mid-foot performing a single-leg squat. Simultaneously, press the medicine ball diagonally up toward the left shoulder.
-As you slide the right leg back into the beginning position, draw the medicine ball back in simultaneously and repeat.
Lunges w/Torso Rotations –moderate medicine ball
-Begin standing in a long stride front lunge position with the right leg in front and the left leg staggered back. The legs are shoulder distance apart, right to left, as though you are standing on two railroad tracks.
-The left heel is elevated throughout the exercise.
-Hold the medicine ball at waist height close to the torso.
-Lower the body toward the floor, hinging at the right hip joint and flexing both knee joints approximately 90 degrees, keeping the majority of the body weight in the right heel.
-As you lower the body, rotate the torso from the waistline toward the trailing leg (i.e. left leg).
-Then return back to the center extended position and repeat.
*One critical element of this exercise is not to permit any torsion at the front knee joint. The femur/knee must track straight ahead at all times. Rotate from the waistline approximately 20-25 degrees—make certain the entire torso rotates as one unit from the waistline, not independently from the neck or hip joints.