Fitness Trail: Three drills for medicine/slam balls
The Fitness Trail
Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a three-part series.
In the last Fitness Trail column, medicine and slam ball fundamentals were highlighted. With this column and the next, three different medicine or slam ball drills will be featured so you may begin performing with these fitness tools today. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Warm up for 5-10 minutes without the medicine/slam balls performing the movement patterns featured 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, pack shoulders down and back, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and the pelvic floor pulled up and inward, shoulders/hip/knees/toes all facing the same direction. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise on two-three non-consecutive days/week. There are two medicine ball drills and one slam ball in this series.
Drill No. 1 (side lunges – 4-20 pound medicine ball press) — Stand with the feet more than shoulder distance apart holding the medicine ball. Lunge to the side with the right knee flexed and the left leg straight to the side with the shoulders, hips, knees and toes all facing the same direction. Hinging from the hips and pressing the right buttock toward the wall behind you and as you come back to the center, press the ball over the head and then perform to the opposite side.
Be constantly cognizant of your flexing knee tracking over that heel, never allowing the knee to shoot forward over the toes, keep the torso long and strong and keep the tempo slow and controlled. This is a compound exercise that trains the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip abductors, adductors, deltoids and nose to toes core.
Drill No. 2 (shuffle ball slam – 4-16 pound slam ball) — Make certain it is a slam ball and not a medicine ball because medicine balls bounce. Create an area of space that will enable you to shuffle 4 times to the right and left safely. Holding the ball, shuffle four times right and then slam the ball from overhead to the floor and then go down and pick it up. Repeat to the left. This station is a power station, so expect your heart rate to fly.
Drill No. 3 (abduction/squats – BOSU – 4-20 medicine ball press) — Choose a medicine ball, place the BOSU in an unobstructed area with the handles turned at 12:00 and 6:00 and place the right foot on top and the left foot on the floor right next to the BOSU.
Engaging the hip abductors (outer and upper hip), driving through the right heel, abduct the left leg out to the side as you push the ball toward the ceiling, then lower back down into a “toe/ball/heel” squat position, both legs should be in a staggered front to back squat position bringing the ball back to the chest and repeat. Then, repeat on the opposite side.
This is a compound exercise that trains the hip abductors, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, deltoids and nose to toes core. These are unilateral abduction/squats, so remain on one side and complete your repetitions. Then perform the drill on the opposite side.
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Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a three-part series focusing on using medicine and slam balls as fitness tools.