Medicine Balls – A fantastic fitness tool
The Fitness Trail
Second in a three-part series
Last week specific information regarding medicine balls was featured and this week, as well as next, exercises with medicine balls will be highlighted. If you have not read last week’s column, please take a moment to check it out so you are well informed before attempting any of these exercises. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Set up for all medicine ball exercises:
-Head/neck are a natural extension of your spine, shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine, pelvic floor pulled up/in and for standing positions, maintain soft/relaxed knees.
-Perform these exercises as directed, two to three times per week on non-consecutive days.
-Warm-up for five minutes elevating your ratings of perceived exertion to a 1-2 which is very light to light exertion.
-An exertion/recovery interval format is utilized and some exercises may cause you to become breathless.
-You may perform these exercises as a circuit or individually.
Farmer’s Walk with medicine ball with or without handles – 4-10 lbs. (total body exercise)
-Choose a location where you can walk at least 8-10 steps forward, turn around and walk 8-10 steps in the opposite direction.
-Begin standing holding the ball with one hand on each handle or cup the ball in palm of both hands if the ball does not have handles.
-Walking forward, press the medicine ball up toward the ceiling and then back to chest height.
-The tempo should be brisk and continuous.
-Perform for 75 seconds, take a 15-second recovery and repeat two to three times.
Alternating leg squats with medicine ball press –- 8-20 lb. medicine ball with/without handles (total body exercise)
-Begin standing with both feet on a 4-8 inch step/bench or BOSU Balance Trainer holding the ball in both hands.
-Squat to one side with the right foot on the floor, left foot remains on top of the step or BOSU and the ball is pulled into the chest.
-The legs should appear staggered with all of the weight in both heels. Avoid permitting either heel to lift. Keep the chest up and hinge from the hips not the waist. Think tailbone to the wall behind you.
-Then, press up bringing the right foot on top of the step/BOSU as you press the ball straight in front of you at chest height.
-Now squat to the opposite side with the left leg and repeat the sequence on that side.
-Perform for 75 seconds, take a 15-second recovery and repeat two to three more times.
Pushups with medicine ball – no handles – weight is not relevant as you are utilizing the ball as a prop (total body exercise, emphasis on upper body and core)
-Kneel down onto the floor placing the medicine ball under your right hand.
-Place the body into a full or modified plank position, stabilizing the ball under the right hand.
-Perform a pushup and make certain to fully extend the right arm at the elbow joint as you press up.
-Perform for 30 seconds, take a 15-second recovery to switch sides placing the ball under the left hand and repeat the pushups. Repeat this series two to three times.
-This exercise is suitable for those with no wrist or shoulder limitations.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC opening in mid-June 2014 in Granby, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.MTNLifeFitness.com , her email at jackie@MTNLifeFitness.com and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.
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