3 Awesome Medicine Ball Exercises

In previous posts, I’ve shared exercise equipment like the jump rope, ab wheel, BOSU and exercise ball. Fitness accessories can add creativity to your workouts and offer new challenges. The medicine ball is another great tool for your arsenal. They come in different weights, sizes and colors. Some even have handles. Like other fitness tools, doing exercises with the medicine ball become task-oriented. You think more about the movement and not just completing a set. Instead of doing the same old 10 repetitions on the leg press machine, for example, you can do Medicine Ball Side throws (see below). Now you’re focusing on throwing and catching the ball, twisting your body, shifting your weight appropriately, etc. So check out these three medicine ball exercises and let me know what you think.

Using a medicine ball or short step, get into a regular pushup position. Leave one hand securely on the ground and position the other hand on top of the medicine ball. In a controlled manner, perform a regular pushup. At full extension, take one hand off of medicine ball and place it on the floor. At the same time take other hand off floor and place it on top of ball. Repeat pushup. Be sure to inhale as you lower your body down and exhale as you press your body up.

Stand parallel to a wall with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold a medicine ball with both hands. Squat down while shifting your weight slightly to the outer leg. Then thrusting from hips, thighs and low back, toss the medicine ball against the wall. Carefully catch the ball in the standing side position and repeat. Be sure to exhale as you toss the ball and inhale as you catch it.

Facing a wall, stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart (or staggered). Hold medicine ball with both hands at chest height. Lift ball above and behind head, then throw the ball hard against a wall. This is like throwing in a soccer ball. Carefully catch the ball in a standing position and repeat. Be sure to exhale as you throw the ball and inhale as you catch it.

3 Awesome Medicine Ball Exercises2013-01-04T08:50:19-06:00

Potassium is Pro-Muscle!

Diets rich in potassium appear to help preserve muscle. A study was recently conducted by the federal Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston (reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in March ’08). They were interested in keeping muscles strong so that the muscles could help prevent falls that so often cause bone breakage in the elderly. They had a study group of almost 400 men and women and they tracked them for 3 years. They were giving them calcium and vitamin D for bone health. After the three years were over they looked at the amount of muscle participants had and correlated it to other components in their diet. The strongest correlation was the potassium intake. Individuals with the highest potassium intake were able to protect their muscles “enough to offset a good chunk of, if not all of, the age-related decline in muscle that normally occurs,” said the researchers. How does potassium help? The researchers believe that the potassium acts as an alkaline buffer to acids that build up in the muscles and trigger breakdown. The acids are naturally produced when protein and cereal grains get broken down by the body. Better choice of diet? Get fewer carbs from cereal grains and focus on fruits and veggies. The bonus is that fruits and veggies are high in potassium!

Source: Science News, March 29, 2008

Potassium is Pro-Muscle!2012-02-28T18:05:52-06:00
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