We've all met guys who brag about going to the gym five days a week, but who spend more time yapping it up with their buddies than working out. You can easily surpass these gym rats in athleticism with a metabolic med ball routine—a fast circuit of exercises that builds aerobic endurance and muscle strength.
Med Ball Chest Pass
Grab a med ball that's light enough to bust out high reps, but not so light that the workout is a breeze. Assume an athletic stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Relax your knees and lower into a squat. The lower you go, the more you'll work your legs. Whether you hold at a 45- or a 90-degree angle, keep your knees behind your toes. With your head up and back straight, throw chest passes against a wall as fast as you can. Stand close enough to make the ball bounce quickly back to your chest. Perform three to four sets of 15-20 reps.
This exercise enhances the reactive capability of your upper body [chest, triceps and anterior deltoids]. Working for speed gives you a metabolic workout, so you'll have a strong chest even when you're winded at the end of a game.
Stand about a foot away from a wall. Holding a med ball at your chest, go into a low squat [90 degrees or more]. Press through your heels to explode back up and push the ball over your head and into the air, aiming for a spot on the wall approximately 10 feet off the ground. Keep your knees soft so that you can easily squat as you catch the rebounding ball. Complete three to four sets of 15-20 reps.
This drill develops strength and speed throughout your body, especially in the legs and shoulders. Transferring explosive power from your lower to your upper body is essential for all athletes.
Overhead Med Ball Slams
This exercise simultaneously strengthens the back and builds aerobic capacity. Make sure you have plenty of clear space. Assume an athletic stance holding the med ball at your hips, arms extended with a slight bend in the elbows. Engage your core as you swing the ball over your head and slam it on the ground as fast as you can. Catch the ball off the bounce and repeat the motion. Do three to four sets of 15-20 reps.
Especially beneficial for basketball players who want to rip balls off the boards and get into a triple-threat position.
Med Ball Rotational Throws
In an athletic stance 8-10 feet away from wall, hold the ball in front of your hips with a slight bend in your elbows. Turn away from the wall into a semi-squat position, then quickly rotate and fire the med ball at the wall. Use your core to generate the power to fire strikes. Catch the ball off the bounce and repeat 10-12 times before switching to the other side.
Powerful rotational movements are necessary in many sports. Envision a quarterback throwing a hard pass, a pitcher delivering a cut fastball, a hockey player winding up for a slap shot, or a basketball player doing a spin move around a defender.
Performing this workout with 45-60 seconds of rest between sets takes 30-45 minutes. You'll develop high levels of athleticism in less time than it takes Mr. Yapper to get through one exercise.
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