Medicine Balls – a fantastic fitness tool
The Fitness Trail
Third in a three-part series
The past two weeks, medicine ball fundamentals and three exercises featuring medicine balls were provided. This week, three more medicine ball exercises will be highlighted. You may combine the six exercises for a dynamite medicine ball circuit, a three-station circuit or add any of these exercises to your current exercise program individually. If you have not had the opportunity to review the previous two columns in this series, please take a moment to do so before proceeding. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Roll Up with medicine ball – 4-12lb. medicine ball with or without handles – targets the entire core
•Begin lying supine on the floor, holding the medicine ball in both hands.
•Fully extend arms and legs, with arms over the head and in contact with the floor if possible.
•Without using momentum, peel one vertebra off of the floor at a time, beginning at the neck, until you are sitting upright with the ball pressed out over the legs.
•The ball should follow the spine smoothly rolling up and then returning, one vertebra at a time until you are in the beginning supine position once again.
•Perform for 30 seconds; take a 15 second active recovery and then repeat two to three times.
Partner Toss with medicine ball without handles – 4-20lb. medicine ball – total body exercise
•Stand facing a partner approximately three to four feet apart (you may need to be closer or further away depending upon arm lengths and tossing skills).
•With one person holding the ball, cupping it in the palm of both hands, toss the ball creating an arc motion toward the other person rather than “throwing” it at them.
•Brace the body to accept the ball and use the entire body to toss, permitting the body to “squat/lift” with the toss.
•Perform for 75 seconds; take a 15 second recovery and repeat two/three times.
V-Sit Rotation with medicine ball – with or without handles – 4-12lb. medicine ball – targets the entire core
•Begin seated on the floor holding the medicine ball with both hands.
•There are three variations of this exercise, from least intense to most, as follows:
°Option #1 – Sit up straight, legs flexed at the knee joint, feet on the floor. This is the best variation for beginners or those with lumbar spine vulnerability.
°Option #2 – Lean torso back 45 degrees from hip joint, long spine, legs flexed at the knee joint, feet on the floor.
°Option #3 – Lean torso back 45 degrees from hip joint, long spine, legs flexed at the knee joint, feet off the floor.
•In all three variations, the skill is the same – keeping the torso long and the ball close to the chest, isolating from the waistline, rotate right and left, head following torso.
•To increase the intensity in all variations, perform quick, controlled rotations.
•This is a great core strengthening exercise; however, it is imperative that you strongly pull the pelvic floor up/in to avoid any issues with the lumbar spine.
•Perform this exercise for 30 seconds, take a 15 second recovery and repeat two-three times.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC opening in Granby, Colorado mid-June 2014. She may be reached at her website at http://www.MTNLifeFitness.com.
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