Med ball workouts not only get your heart rate, adrenaline and positive endorphins pumping, they also pump up your muscles, and—perhaps best of all—enhance sports performance.
Perfect for squeezing in between practices and games, these condensed yet intense med-ball workouts can be done in 15 to 30 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down. The brief 15- to 30-second rests between sets and no rest between exercises simulates continuous game action. The compound (multi-joint) upper body pushing/pulling and lower body squatting/lunging med ball exercises are sport-specific. In addition, the workouts contain other sports components such as balance, agility, strength, power and endurance (with shortened rest periods between sets and no rest between exercises.)
- Moderately heavy med ball (80 percent RM)
- Water bottle
- Perform a dynamic upper/lower body warm-up (e.g., arm circles/lunges).
- Finish with cool-down static upper/lower body stretches for greater flexibility.
- Hydrate before, during and after workouts.
- Perform Workouts 1 and 2 on non-consecutive days for adequate recovery.
Workout No. 1
Single Leg Ball Raises/Lower Toward Foot
Excellent balance exercise that also strengthens legs, hips, core, arms, shoulders, chest and upper back.
- Stand with your right knee bent and your left foot off the ground.
- Hold the ball at chest level with your arms extended.
- Rapidly raise the ball overhead while straightening your right leg
- Pause one second and slowly lower the ball toward your right foot while squatting with your right leg.
- Slowly return to start position and do nine more reps.
- Without rest, repeat the movement for 10 reps while standing on your left foot with your right foot off the ground.
Side Lunges and Overhead Presses
Builds upper body power and strengthens legs/hips.
- Hold the ball at shoulder level and explosively press it overhead while lunging laterally right.
- Bring your feet together while lowering the ball to start position. Continue right side lunges/overhead presses nine times, then repeat with 10 left lateral lunges/overhead presses.
Squat Jumps and Press-Outs
Improves lower and upper-body explosiveness and builds chest, arm, leg and hip muscles. Explosive lower-body power is needed when jumping high to catch a pass or grab a rebound. Press-Outs provide the explosive upper-body power necessary for blocking or pushing away opponents.
- Assume an athletic stance while holding the ball close to your chest.
- Slowly lower into a squat position, hold for one second, then quickly jump vertically while simultaneously pressing the ball away from your chest.
- Upon landing, immediately squat and repeat jump/press-out.
- Do eight more reps.
Alternating Forward Lunges and Ball Rows
Strengthens arms, back, core, legs and hips.
- Assume forward lunge position with your right leg/right knee bent while holding the ball below your right knee.
- Quickly pull the ball toward your waist.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together for one second.
- Switch legs, lunging forward with your left leg and pulling the ball to your waist.
- Perform 10 alternating Lunges/Ball Rows.
Workout No. 2
Ball Overhead Throws and Slam Downs
Focuses on developing upper-body power required when reaching high overhead to block a punt, catch a pass or grab a rebound.
Assume athletic stance while holding ball at shoulder level. Explosively throw ball overhead, catch it, and immediately throw it to the ground, catch it and repeat sequence. Perform 10 reps.
Single Leg Ball Rows
Another wonderful agility exercise that lends itself to improving balance.
- Squat on your left leg with your right foot off the floor/right knee bent and the ball held below your left knee.
- Rapidly pull the ball toward your waist and squeeze your shoulder blades back for one second.
- Slowly lower and repeat nine more reps.
- Without rest, perform 10 rows with your left foot off the ground.
Side Lunges and Ball Twists
Develops core strength (particularly targeting obliques) and engages hip, leg, shoulder, back, chest and arm muscles.
- Assume am athletic stance while holding the ball with your arms extended at chest level.
- Rapidly rotate your body to the right while turning with the ball and simultaneously lunging laterally to the right.
- Bring your feet together and return to start position.
- Continue lunging laterally right while twisting with the ball for 10 reps.
- Without rest, perform 10 left Lateral Lunges and Ball Twists.
Woodchopper and Twist
Another great core and lower/upper-body strengthening exercise. Rotating the body from side to side requires strong core muscles and carries over to sports movements when quickly turning or twisting to dodge an opponent or reach for a ball.
- Begin in an athletic stance with the ball held overhead.
- Bend your knees while explosively driving the ball down through your legs.
- Bring the ball up to chest level while straightening your legs and holding the ball with your arms extended.
- Immediately rotate to the right side and then to the left side with the ball.
- Return to start position and repeat sequence for 10 reps.
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