Has anyone else already gotten tired of elbowing their way to the elliptical? You know, given that the beginning of the year has clogged up just about every piece of machinery in the gym. Not to mention having to book a seat at cycling class, like, two weeks in advance. Yeah, it sucks to be fit right now. That’s why we’ve conceded to finding the lesser-loved equipment that still does a damn good job at pushing us closer to our fitness goals. Cue in the medicine ball, in all its forgotten glory, demonstrated by Nike trainer, Jenny McConnell, on how it can tone from :muscle: to :peach: in the comfort of your home (or secluded corner of the gym) You know, as effing far away as possible from other people.
"Wall balls are an incredible metabolic conditioning tool, which enables huge opportunity to increase athletic performance. Not only that, but because they are a movement performed in multiple planes, using multiple joints, you will simply move stronger and better in your day-to-day life as a result of doing them.
Grab your wall ball (at the appropriate weight for you) and stand approx. 1ft away from the wall. Hold the ball at chest-height with your hands placed on the side of the ball towards the bottom. Next comes the squat portion of the movement. While keeping your shoulders back, chest high and feet shoulder-width apart, move into a full squat. Immediately upon reaching your full squat, drive through your heels and stand up explosively, using that energy to drive the medicine ball upwards on the wall. Absorb the ball as it rebounds off of the wall and immediately squat down to repeat the previous steps.
Perform 5 sets, 15-20 per set."
Pull to Tuck
"Pull to Tucks using a medicine ball are an amazing movement for combining strength and stability through the abdominal and shoulders.
Place a medicine ball nearby and lay on the floor in front of it with your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart in a push-up position. Place the tops of your feet on the medicine ball. At this point your legs should be fully extended and the upper body should be in a push-up position, shoulders directly over top of your wrists. While keeping your back straight and abdominals engaged, pull your knees in towards your chest allowing the ball to roll forward under your ankles. Squeeze your abs and hold that position for a second.Slowly straighten your legs, rolling the ball back to the starting position.
Perform 5 sets, 10-20 tucks per set."
"Russian twists performed with a medicine ball can be a super way to get strong abdominals as well as tighten obliques.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and raise your feet to a 90 degree bend, toes pointed. Rolls your shoulders and set them down your back. Hold the medicine ball with both hands directly in front of you. At this point, if you are sitting up nice and staring with your chest proud, your abdominals should be engaged. Begin twisting from your waist to the right until you touch the medicine ball down on floor beside your hip, then quickly twist to the left and do the same. Repeat.
Perform 5 sets, 10-20 reps on each side."
"Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend the medicine ball directly overhead. Pull your shoulders blades down your back and tuck your rip cage in so you have a beautifully flat and solid midsection. Lift the right foot off the floor, step forward and lower your body down till both legs are at 90 degrees or till the back knee touches the floor. Be sure to keep the abdominals engaged and your arms fully extended, head poking through your shoulders. Push back up off of the the right heel and repeat with the left leg.
Perform 5 sets, 10-15 on each leg."
Single Arm Medicine Ball Push Up
"Single limb movements foster equal strength between the left and right sides of the body, which helps eliminate power imbalances that could negatively affect the way your body develops. This movement increases chest, shoulder and arm strength, including the pecs, delts and improves shoulder and core stability.
Assume push up position with one hand on med ball, one hand on the ground, shoulders directly over your wrists. Be sure to keep your hips down, core and gluten engaged. Perform push up,lowering your entire body as one unit until the ball touches shoulder area. Push back until arms are in a fully extended position, roll med ball to other hand; perform push up again.
Perform 5 sets, 5-10 on each arm."
Close Grip Medicine Ball Push Up
"A close grip medicine ball push up is an awesome strength movement that places emphasis on the triceps. The unstable surface of the ball also helps improve core strength and stability.
Get in the standard push up position with your hands on a medicine ball directly beneath your chest. Your left thumb and forefinger should touch your right thumb and forefinger. Brace your core with your arms fully extended and keep your elbows close to the body. Be sure to keep your abdominals and glutes turned on during the movement. This will allow your body to stabilize and move as one unit during the push up. Slowly lower yourself towards the medicine ball. Once your chest touches the ball, press back to full extension position.
Perform 5 sets, 5-10 per set."