Fitness Trail: Medicine and slam balls
The Fitness Trail
Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a three-part series focusing on using medicine and slam balls as fitness tools.
For my past two columns, medicine and slam ball fundamentals have been highlighted. This final week, four more unique medicine or slam ball drills will be detailed, adding to your medicine and slam ball repertoire. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Preparation — Warm-up for 5-10 minutes without the balls, performing the movement patterns without these tools. This will prepare you for the movement patterns, so that when you add the tools to the program, your body will be ready to hit the ground running.
Prior to each drill, you should have your shoulders packed down and back, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and the pelvic floor pulled up and inward. Your shoulders, hip, knees and toes should all face the same direction. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise on two-three non-consecutive days or the week. There are three medicine ball drills and one slam ball in this series.
Full Body Extensions (medicine ball or core ball) — Holding a medicine or core ball at chest height, stand with the feet approximately shoulder distance apart. Sit back into a squat with the body weight in the heels, and then press up onto the balls of the feet fully extending the body as you press the medicine ball over the head. This compound exercise trains the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and nose to toes core.
Across the Top (BOSU + slam ball) — Place a BOSU in an unobstructed space with the handles turned to noon and 6 o’clock. You should be standing at 9 or 3 o’clock.
Holding the slam ball, walk the inside foot on top of the BOSU, then the outside foot, and then the inside foot walks to the floor and then the outside foot on the floor, once on the floor with both feet, slam the ball, pick it back up and then repeat the across the top skill. Once you have mastered the skill, you may add power to the drill.
High Step Ups (medicine ball press, 10-12 inch step, heavy medicine ball) — Set up your step so that it is 10-12 inches high, or you may use the lower plyo bench. Stand in front of the step holding the medicine ball in both hands. Step up on the step with the right foot. As you elevate, press the ball overhead, the trailing left leg just suspends behind you during the lift.
As you land, contact the ground with your toe, ball and heel on the left foot and go into a squat. Complete your reps on this side and repeat on the opposite side. This compound exercise trains the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, pecs, delts, triceps and nose to toes core.
Touch n’ Go (medicine ball) — Lying supine on the floor holding a medicine ball of choice, bring your legs up over your hips, fully extended and keep your legs in this position throughout the exercise.
Take your arms and extend them over the head. Engaging the rectus abdominis — think rib cage to hip bone — flex your torso as you bring the arms up and touch your toes.
This is essentially a reverse curl, so the hips lift with control, no momentum, toward the ceiling and the chest moves up toward the thighs. This exercise trains the entire core with an emphasis on the rectus abdominis.
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