Something that really helps me to stay motivated to go to the gym sevaral times a week is to keep it exciting. I am constantly looking for new ways to work out and mixing up my routine and strength training. This week I have been concentrating on strengthening my abs and my back muscles to help with flexibility and twisting. Strengthening these muscles is essential for big rotational turns and also to prevent injury. A couple of days ago I stumbled across this article in Women’s Health Magazine featuring Anna Kournikova, and well lets be honest, who can’t be inspired and motivated by her?? This medicine ball workout is great for strengthening the abs, the lower back, and in many ways mimics some of the positions we get into while surfing. The twisting motions in surfing and tennis use similar muscles, so there are a lot of benefits to this “tennis” workout that parrallel our “surfing” workouts, plus it’s always fun to try something different! Even if you are not a surfer, or a tennis player in fact, this workout is a great way to tighten your body and burn calories So thank you Women’s Health Mag, and thank you Anna Kournikova for sharing. Loved the workout!
1. Medicine Ball Slam
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and raise your arms overhead, bending your elbows so the medicine ball is behind your head. Keeping your core tight, throw the ball as hard as you can onto the ground, lowering into a squat as you follow through. Immediately return to start and repeat for 20 total reps.
2. Backhands & Forehands
Standing with your feet wider than hip-width apart, shift your weight onto your left leg, knee bent. Twist your torso and shoulders to the left and bring the ball to the left of your chest, elbows bent. In one motion, step your right foot forward, twist your torso and hips forward, and lower into a lunge, swinging the ball in front of your body and above your right shoulder. Reverse the motion to return to start. That’s one rep. Do 10, then switch sides and repeat.
3. Russian Twists
Hold the ball in both hands and sit with your legs slightly bent, feet together. Raise your feet off the ground. Twist your torso to lower the ball to the ground. Return to center and repeat on the other side. Do 10 reps.
Quick tip: Keep your back flat, hips forward, and lower body steady as you twist from side to side.
4. Squat with Biceps Curl
Holding the medicine ball with both hands, stand with your feet two to three feet apart. Keeping your chest up, sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a deep squat, lowering the ball between your legs. Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to return to standing, bending your elbows to curl the ball in front of your chest. That’s one rep. Do 20.
5. Wall Sit with Rotation
With your back against a wall, hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest and lower into a squat. Keeping your hips steady, twist to the left and reach the ball toward the wall. Return to center. That’s one rep. Repeat on the other side. Move back and forth at a slow, controlled pace for 20 total reps.
Quick tip: Make it harder by fully extending your arms instead of bending your elbows.
6. High-to-Low Chop
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, holding the ball directly overhead, arms extended. Sit your hips back and lower into a squat, simultaneously lowering the ball to your left foot, keeping your arms straight. Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat, lowering the ball to your right foot, and continue alternating for 20 total sets.
Quick tip: Up your heart rate (and total calorie burn) by moving through the reps at a quick pace.