If your school weight room is not always available this summer, or if you're away on vacation and can't get to a gym, don't fret! A worthwhile alternative is to get a moderately heavy (about 80% RM) med ball. Portable and versatile, a med ball is all you need to perform a variety of upper- and lower-body and core-strengthening exercises wherever you happen to be.
The following intense full-body med ball workout incorporates key sports performance-enhancing components such as endurance, strength, power, building muscle and balance. The short rest periods (15 seconds between sets and 30 seconds between exercises) boost endurance, and performing the exercises on one leg improves balance.
- Hydrate before, during and after the workout.
- Do a dynamic upper- and lower-body warm-up (e.g., Arm Circles and forward Lunges.)
- Finish with a cool-down of full-body static stretches to enhance range of motion and flexibility.
- Sets/Reps: 3x10
- Rest 30 seconds between exercise combo sets and 45 seconds (and hydrate) before starting another exercise combo routine.
- Perform the workout on non-consecutive days (allowing 24-48 hours for adequate recovery.)
- For variety, change exercise sequence each training session.
Push-Ups/Burpees/Overhead Presses Combo
- Begin in push-up position with both hands on the ball.
- Do a Push-Up immediately followed by a Burpee.
- Without rest, return to starting push-up position and continue sequence for 10 reps.
Alternating Side Lunges and Twists Combo
- Assume an athletic stance holding the ball with your arms extended at chest level.
- Lunge laterally right and simultaneously rotate your body to the right with the ball.
- Drag your right foot toward your left while returning to starting position with the ball.
- Lunge laterally left and twist left with the ball.
- Drag your left foot toward your right foot and continue alternating right/left lunging/twisting for 10 reps.
Single-Leg Squats/Ball Pulls/Upright Rows Combo
- Start in a single-leg squat position, right knee bent and left foot off the floor, holding the ball with your arms extended below waist level.
- Bend over slightly and quickly pull the ball toward your waist while straightening your right knee.
- Without rest, pull the ball up toward your chest and shoulders while straightening your torso upright.
- Return to start position and continue sequence for 10 reps.
- Without rest, repeat the sequence on your left leg with your right foot off floor for 10 reps.
Prone Plank/Seated Twist/Reverse Crunch Combo
This combo really tests core strength and thoroughly fatigues the abdominal muscles. A timer or watch with a second hand is helpful.
- Start in a prone plank position, both feet atop the ball, with your forearms set shoulder-width apart on a mat (or on grass or turf).
- Keeping your back straight (don't sag), pull your abdominal muscles in and hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
- Without rest, assume a seated position with your feet off the ground holding the ball at waist level.
- Rapidly twist your torso from side to side for 30-60 seconds.
- Place your feet atop the ball while seated.
- Raise your arms and lean back slowly, gradually (15 seconds) lowering your upper-body toward the ground.
- Sit up and do another 15-second lowering movement.
- Rest and repeat the entire Prone Plank/Seated Twists/Reverse Crunch sequence twice more.
- For a greater challenge, do the prone plank with just one foot atop the ball and the other foot airborne, hold for 30 seconds, then switch feet for another 30 seconds.
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