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A Convenient and Effective Workout With Minimal Equipment

December 30, 2012 | Jim Carpentier

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Trendy, state-of-the-art exercise equipment looks impressive, but sometimes the simplest tools deliver the best results.

One of my favorite workouts, which I recommend to my athletes, requires only a med ball, bench, mat and your own body weight. This 30- to 45-minute routine will improve your strength, balance, endurance and flexibility—all key components of your athletic ability. (Learn more about bodyweight training.)

You can perform this workout twice a week, or whenever you can't make it to the gym and need a quick and convenient workout option. If you don't have access to this equipment, substitute a phonebook for the med ball and a chair for the bench.

Walking Front Lunge and Med Ball Raise

  • Assume athletic stance holding med ball at waist
  • Step forward into lunge and simultaneously raise med ball overhead
  • Drive up out of lunge and repeat with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each leg

Rest 30 seconds

Elevated Push-Ups and Plank Combo

  • Place feet on bench or chair and assume push-up position with hands on mat
  • Perform a Push-Up; keep back straight and core tight
  • Drop to forearms and hold plank position for 10 seconds
  • Return to push-up position and repeat
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1x5 each exercise

Rest 60 seconds

Wall Squat and Ball Roll-Up Combo

  • Position med ball between mid-back and wall
  • Lower into squat position so thighs are at 90 degrees; hold position for 45-60 seconds
  • Rise out of squat
  • Turn to face wall and hold med ball against wall at waist height
  • Roll med ball up wall with finger tips and rise onto toes
  • Roll med ball down wall and lower into squat position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2xWall Squat + 10 Ball Roll-Ups

Rest 60 seconds

Single-Leg Ball to Toe

  • Stand on right leg holding med ball overhead
  • Bend over and lower med ball to touch right foot; do not allow left foot to touch ground
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each leg

Rest 30 seconds

Step-Up and Press-Out

  • Place right foot flat on bench holding med ball at chest
  • Fully extend right leg and drive left knee up until parallel to ground
  • Simultaneously press med ball forward
  • Repeat as quickly as possible

Sets/Reps: 1xmax in 30 seconds

Cool down.

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
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